USS Fomalhaut (AK-22/AKA-5/AE-20)
was a Fomalhaut
class attack cargo ship
named after Fomalhaut,
a star in the southern constellation Piscis Austrinus
. She served as a commissioned ship for 4 years and 3 months.
The ship was launched January 25, 1941 by Pennsylvania Shipyards, Inc.
, Beaumont, Tex.
, as Cape Lookout
, a Type C1 ship
cargo ship. It was acquired by the Navy May 16, 1941 and commissioned 2 March 1942. She was reclassified 'AKA-5 in February 1943, but reclassified AK-22 in August of 1944and reclassified AE-20 in December 1948.Fomalhaut
arrived at Samoa
8 May 1942 with passengers and cargo from the east coast. On 22 June, she sailed for Wellington, New Zealand
, to load cargo from 30 June to 22 July, and after exercises in the Fijis
, sortied for the initial landings of Marines on Guadalcanal
on 7 August. During this first American land offensive of the war, Fomalhaut
lay anchored in such a position as to observe the Battle of Savo Island
9 August, and that day sailed for Noumea
to load additional men and supplies for Guadalcanal.
Returning to Guadalcanal 23 August, Fomalhaut
was ordered to tow the destroyer Blue
(DD-387), which had been torpedoed the previous day. But before she could complete unloading and get underway with her tow, an enemy submarine launched a torpedo her way, and Japanese surface forces were reported moving in. As two other destroyers sank Blue
to prevent her from possibly falling into enemy hands, Fomalhaut
was ordered underway with... Read More