Stuff You Should Know
Named after the star Situla, the 441-feet long ship was laid down in January 1943 as the Liberty Ship SS John Whiteaker and later converted to a cargo ship at the San Francisco Navy Yard. The ship carried out various transportation missions between Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, Kwajalein, Saipan, and Guam throughout the war. After the war, the ship remained on the west coast for a brief period, before returning to Pearl Harbor in April 1946. It was later returned to the Maritime Commission at Suisun Bay and was struck from the Navy list in January 1948. The crew received 3 medals for their service brought to the county: the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.