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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Arethusa (AO-7)
USS Arethusa (1898 - 1920)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Mexican Service Medal - World War I Victory Medal (with Transport clasp)

Fleet Oiler
  • Built in 1893 at Stockton, England, by Craig, Taylor & Company as SS Lucilene
  • Purchased by the US Navy, 12 August 1898
  • Commissioned, USS Arethusa in August 1898, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, CDR. John F. Merry in command
  • Decommissioned, 1 February 1899, at Philadelphia, PA.
  • Recommissioned, 22 August 1900
  • Decommissioned, 16 March 1906, at Philadelphia
  • Placed in service, 17 July 1906
  • Recommissioned, 29 November 1907, CDR. Albert W. Grant in command
  • Decommissioned, 15 October 1909, and placed in service the same day
  • Recommissioned 9 January 1918
  • Designated, AO-7, 17 July 1920
  • Decommissioned, 28 June 1922, at Boston, MA.
  • Final Disposition, sold, 7 July 1927, to Marshall B. Hall of Boston, fate unknown
    Displacement 3,319 t.
    Length 343' 5"
    Beam 42'2"
    Draft 23 '6"
    Speed 9.5 kts.
    Complement 94
    Armament unknown
    Propulsion steam, single propeller

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    Size Image Description Source
    Arethusa 69k USS Arethusa circa 1898, served as a water carrier during the Spanish-American War, but was commissioned too late to see service in that conflict. About a decade later, she became the U.S. Navy's first oiler.
    US Navy photo NH 61686
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Arethusa 123k USS Arethusa probably near Philadelphia Navy Yard, 2 December 1898, where she had just completed conversion. Note the 6 pounder gun on the forecastle and the lighter gun alongside to port.
    US National Archives, RG-19-N box 26. Photo # 19-N-14250, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Arethusa 82k USS Arethusa near New York Navy Yard, 3 October 1911. Her bow is marked "Auxiliary - U.S. Navy - Arethusa."
    US National Archives, RG-19-N box 26. Photo # 19-N-61-8-17, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Arethusa 37k USS Arethusa refuels the subchasers, USS SC-135, RFS C-14 ex-SC-370, and RFS C-28 ex-SC-388, mid Atlantic in a moderate gale in mid-1918.
    US Navy photo # NH 42568, from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command.
    Robert Hurst
    Arethusa 72k USS Arethusa refueling subchasers during an Atlantic crossing in mid-1918. The photo is from a scrapbook created by George Graham Smith of USS SC-254 that was broken up and sold on Ebay. Other submarine chasers pictured include USS SC-178 and USS SC-329. The group left New London, 28 June 1918 and after stopping at Bermuda on 2-7 July and at Ponta Delgada on 20-27 July arrived at Brest, France, 5 August, Plymouth on 11 August, and their initial duty station at Queenstown on 21 August 1918. USS Arethusa probably escorted the group from New London to the Azores.
    Photo courtesy
    Mike Green

    USS Arethusa (AO-7)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Merry, John Francis30 April 1897 - ?
    02MASTER, Secoombe, William S. (Naval Auxiliary Service)22 August 1900 - 14 March 1906
    03MASTER, Newell, Joseph (Naval Auxiliary Service)14 March 1906 - November 1907
    04CDR. Grant, Albert Weston, USN (1877) :VADMNovember 1907 - ?
    05MASTER, Whitton, Arthur M. (Naval Auxiliary Service)22 March 1910 - 1916
    06MASTER, Werner, Richard1916 - 9 January 1918
    07CDR. Kennedy, Walter Robert, USNRF9 January 1918 - 13 July 1919
    08LCDR. Midgett, Clarence K., USNRF13 July 1919 - 7 January 1922
    09LCDR. Wynquist, Eric Edward, USNRF7 January 1922 - 28 June 1922
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 30 September 2016