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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Contributed by Don McGrogan BMCS USN (Ret.)

USS Big Horn (IX-207)
ex
USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124) (1944 - 1945)
USS Big Horn (AO-45) (1942 - 1944)

International Call Sign:
November - Romeo - Mike - Yankee
NRMY
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Liberation Medal



USS Big Horn (AO-45) also served as USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124)
  • Built in 1936 as Gulf Dawn at Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, PA.
  • Acquired by the Navy and modified as a Q-ship at Boston Navy Yard, Boston, MA.
  • Commissioned USS Big Horn (AO-45), 16 April 1942, CDR. James A. Gainard, USNR, in command
  • Decommissioned, 17 January 1944, and transferred to the Coast Guard and commissioned USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124), a weather ship
  • Redesignated as Miscellaneous Unclassified USS Big Horn (IX-207), 1 February 1945, for service as a shuttle tanker
  • Following World War II USS Big Horn (IX-207) was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 2 September 1945 to 26 February 1946
  • Decommissioned, 6 May 1946, at Orange, TX.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 3 July 1946
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 24 November 1946, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Beaumont, TX.
  • Sold for merchant service, 27 June 1947, to Sabine Transportation Co., (MARAD Sale #PD-X-356 for $ 304,000.00), removed by buyer on 17 July 1947, renamed SS C. B. Watson
  • Sold for foreign commercial service in August 1955, reflagged Liberian
  • Final Disposition, scrapped in 1960
    Specifications (IX-207):
    Displacement 4,150 t.(lt) 16,200 t.(lim)
    Length 441' 8"
    Beam 64'
    Draft 28' 10" (lim)
    Speed 12.5 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 15
    Enlisted 224
    Q-ship Armament
    one single 5"/50 stern mounted gun
    four 4" guns behind Q-ship gun masks
    Upgraded Armament
    two single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    two single 40mm AA gun mounts
    eight single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity 84,000 Bbls
    Fuel Capacity NSFO 7,900 Bbls
    Propulsion
    two Westinghouse 2-cylinder direct drive turbines
    two Foster-Wheeler A-type watertube boilers 450psi, 750°
    double Westinghouse Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 125Kw 240V D.C.
    two turbo-drive 60Kw 60V D.C.
    single propeller, 3,080shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service
    Big Horn 114k SS Gulf Dawn arriving at a U.S. port, 22 March 1942, shortly before being acquired by the US Navy for conversion to a "Q"ship.
    US Coast Guard photo # unknown, donated by Arthur D. Baker III., courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Robert Hurst
    USS Big Horn (AO-45)
    Big Horn 137k Big Horn (AO-45) beginning conversion, 2 April 1942, at the Bethlehem Steel 56th Street yard, Brooklyn, N.Y. Note her original name Gulf Dawn on her bow.
    US Coast Guard Historian's Office photo # 19-N-29138, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of t he US Coast Guard Historian's Office, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Big Horn 106k USS Big Horn (AO-45) under way, 22 April 1942, upon completion as a "Q" ship. Armament appears to be a single 5-inch/50-caliber gun aft and two machine guns on her lengthened forecastle.
    US Navy National Archives Photo # 19-N-29322 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collection of the US National Archives, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Big Horn 102k USS Big Horn (AO-45) near Boston Navy Yard, 22 July 1942, after completing outfitting as a Q-ship.
    US Coast Guard Historian's Office, Photo No. 19-N-31363, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US Coast Guard Historian's Office, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Big Horn 108k USS Big Horn (AO-45) near Boston Navy Yard, 22 July 1942, after completing outfitting as a Q-ship.
    US Coast Guard Historian's Office, Photo No. 19-N-31362, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US Coast Guard Historian's Office, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Robert Hurst
    Big Horn 21k USS Big Horn (AO-45) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124)
    Big Horn 80k View from the crows nest of USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124) under way probably in Casco Bay, ME. during shakedown, 17 January 1944 to 1 February 1945. Big Horn was assigned to CINCLANT, homeported at Boston, MA., serving as a weather ship.
    US Navy photo.
    CDR. Douglas L. Jordan, USCGR(Ret) for his father CDR. Chester L. Jordan USCG CO Big Horn
    Big Horn 140k Gun drills aboard USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124) while under way probably in Casco Bay, ME. during the ship's shakedown cruise. CDR. Douglas L. Jordan, USCGR(Ret) for his father CDR. Chester L. Jordan USCG CO Big Horn
    Big Horn 72k Q-ship gun masks open for gunnery practice aboard USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124) while under way probably in Casco Bay, ME. during the ship's shakedown cruise. CDR. Douglas L. Jordan, USCGR(Ret) for his father CDR. Chester L. Jordan USCG CO Big Horn
    Big Horn 67k USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124) firing hedgehogs while under way probably in Casco Bay, ME. during the ship's shakedown cruise. CDR. Douglas L. Jordan, USCGR(Ret) for his father CDR. Chester L. Jordan USCG CO Big Horn
    Big Horn 51k USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124) drydocked during the ship's shakedown. CDR. Douglas L. Jordan, USCGR(Ret) for his father CDR. Chester L. Jordan USCG CO Big Horn
    Big Horn 83k USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124) under way on her first patrol, circa February 1944. CDR. Douglas L. Jordan, USCGR(Ret) for his father CDR. Chester L. Jordan USCG CO Big Horn
    Big Horn 68k LCDR. Chester L. Jordan USCG Commanding Officer USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124) under way Easter, 9 April 1944. CDR. Douglas L. Jordan, USCGR(Ret) for his father CDR. Chester L. Jordan USCG CO Big Horn
    Big Horn 62k USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124) at anchor date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "U.S. Coast Guard Cutters and Craft of World War II" by Robert L Scheina.
    Robert Hurst
    Big Horn 55k USCGC Big Horn (WAO-124) under way, circa 1944, location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    US Coast Guard Historians Office
    Big Horn 22k
    USS Big Horn (IX-207)
    Big Horn 90k USS Big Horn (IX-207) at the Boston Navy Yard, 11 March 1945, after completing conversion to a station tanker (IX). Her Q-ship fittings were removed during this conversion.
    US. National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo No. Unknown a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green

    USS Big Horn (AO-45)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Gainard, Joseph Aloysius16 April 1942 - 24 June 1943
    02CDR. Farley, Louis Calott24 June 1943 - 17 January 1944
    03LCDR. Jordan, Chester Lawrence (USCG)1 February 1945 - 6 May 1946
    Courtesy Jon Strupp, 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
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    US Coast Guard Historian's Office - Big Horn, WAO-124 (ex-Gulf Dawn; ex AO-45; later IX-207)
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Fleet Oiler (AO) Photo Index Back To The Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 15 January 2016