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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Merrimack (AO-37)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Hotel - Delta
NIHD
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Lilac (N)ovember - Section 6A of JANAP 119(F) 1968
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (3) - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row- Navy Occupation Medal - National Defense Service Medal - Philippines Liberation Medal


Kennebec Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 12 September 1940, as SS Caddo, a Maritime Commission type T2-SO) tanker hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 143), at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Sparrows Point, MD.
  • Launched, 1 July 1941
  • Acquired by the US Navy from Socony-Vacuum Oil Co., New York City, N.Y., 31 December 1941
  • Renamed Merrimack 9 January 1942
  • Commissioned USS Merrimack (AO-37), 4 February 1942, CAPT. William E. Hilbert in command
  • During World War II USS Merrimack was first assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and later to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    North African occupation
    Algeria - Morocco landings, 9 to 11 November 1942
    Luzon operation
    Formosa attacks, 3 to 4, 15 and 21 January 1945
    Luzon attacks, 6 and 7 January 1945
    China Coast attacks, 16 January 1945
    Sicilian occupation Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 16 February to 2 March 1945
    Salerno landings Okinawa Gunto operation
    5th and 3d Fleet raids in support of Okinawa Gunto operation, 26 March to 3 June 1945
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 4 to 21 June 1945
    Invasion of southern France 3rd Fleet operations against Japan,, 10 to 29 July 1945

    Following World War II USS Merrimack was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    2 September to 11 December 194513 to 26 December 1946
    11 May to 26 July 194616 to 18 November 1948
    13 December 1946 to 12 December 1947 
    1 to 11 May 1948 
    23 to 26 November 1948 

  • Decommissioned, 8 February 1950
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Texas Group, Orange, TX.
  • Recommissioned, 6 December 1950
  • Decommissioned, 20 December 1954 at San Diego, CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 4 February 1959
  • Transferred, to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Beaumont, TX.
  • Final Disposition, disposed of by MARAD (Trade-In Exchange Program), 29 March 1982, to Eckhart & Co., scrapped in Germany
  • USS Merrimack earned eight battle stars for World War II service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 6,013 t.(lt) 21,580 t.(fl)
    Length 501' 5"
    Beam 68'
    Draft 30' 9"
    Speed 16.7 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 19
    Enlisted 220
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Largest Boom Capacity 5 t.
    Cargo Capacity 14,750 DWT
    Oil 109,600 Bbls
    Gasoline 689,000 Gals
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 9,860 Bbls
    Propulsion
    one Westinghouse geared turbine
    two Foster Wheeler "P" type boilers, 420psi 725°
    double Westinghouse Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    one turbo-drive 50Kw 240V D.C.
    two turbo-drive 300Kw 240V A.C.
    single propeller, 12,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed By
    Merrimack 83k USS Merrimack (AO-37) underway off the east coast of the United State, 8 October 1943
    US Navy photo 80-G-87115 from the collections NARA II.
    Tracy White
    Merrimack 43k USS Merrimack (AO-37) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    William Toohey for his father
    Bill Toohey SK1, USN 1947, USS Merrimack
    Merrimack 95k USS Merrimack (AO-37) at anchor, circa 1945, location unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, photo # NH 73251, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Merrimack 154k Aerial view of USS Merrimack (AO-37) underway, date and location unknown. Tommy Trampp

    USS Merrimack (AO-37)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Hilbert, William Edward4 April 1942 - 23 July 1943
    02CDR. MacKerracher, Robert Archibald25 September 1943 - 24 September 1944
    03CAPT. Bailey, Vaughan24 September 1944 - ?
    04CAPT. Zemmer, Harold Maurice, USN (1927) :RADMApril 1946 - April 1947
    05CDR. Thurston Jr., Charles Edwardno dates
    06CAPT. Talbot Jr., Wallace Leeno dates
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    Fleet Tankers Association
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    USS Merrimack (AO-37) 1947 Around the World Cruise

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 7 January 2017