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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USAT Thistle
USAHS Thistle (1943 - 1946)
USS Munargo (AP-20) (1941 - 1943)
USAT Munargo (1941)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Defense Service Medal (with "A" device) - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal

Transport / Hospital Ship;
  • Laid down, 30 September 1920, as the Passenger/Cargo Liner SS Munargo for the Munson S.S. Co., at New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.
  • Launched, 17 September 1921
  • Delivered to Munson S.S. Co., 11 December 1921
  • Purchased from Munargo Line Co. (Munson S.S. Co.), 27 March 1941, by the US Army at Pier #4 US Army Base Brooklyn, N.Y. for conversion to a troop ship, Commissioned USAT Munargo
  • Decommissioned and transferred to the US Navy 6 June 1941
  • Commissioned USS Munargo (AP-20), 4 June 1941, CDR. Harold F. Ely in command.
  • Decommissioned, 18 October 1943, at Brooklyn, N.Y. and returned to the War Department
  • Struck from the Naval Register
  • Converted for service as a US Army Hospital Ship
  • Commissioned USAHS Thistle, 15 January 1944
  • Converted in March 1946 to a US Army Transport and redesignated USAT Thistle
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 1 November 1948, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Astoria, OR.
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 13 March 1957, at Astoria, to the Learner Co.
    AP Specifications:
    Displacement 7,100 t.
    Length 432'
    Beam 57' 6"
    Draft 23' 7"
    Speed 16 kts.
    Complement 254
    Hospital Ship Patient Capacity 456
    Transport Armament
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    eight .50 cal machine guns
    steam turbine
    single propeller, 5,800shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service Munson Steamship Lines
    Munargo - A play on words, Mun - argo = Munargo. Munson gave many of its ships names beginning with "Mun".
    In Greek mythology the Argo was a ship built with the help of the gods that Jason and the Argonauts sailed from Iolcos to Colchis to retrieve the Golden Fleece.
    Photo - A 1490 painting by Lorenzo Costa of the Argo.
    The Yorck Project (2002) 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei (DVD-ROM), distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH. ISBN: 3936122202 (Wikipedia)
    Tommy Trampp
    Munargo 75k SS Munargo escorted by unidentified harbor tug, probably leaving New York.
    Photo from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massmam.
    Robert Hurst
    Munargo 396k Munson Steamship Co. West Indies Cruise rate sheet for Winter, 1931 for SS Munargo and SS Evangeline with destinations of; New York, Nassau Bahamas, Miami Florida, Havana Cuba, Kingston Jamaica. Tommy Trampp
    Munargo 122k SS Munargo officer listing, Voyage No. 370 Southbound, New York to Havana, Saturday February 22, 1936. Tommy Trampp
    Munargo 285k SS Munargo stateroom Tommy Trampp
    Munargo 95k SS Munargo underway, date and location unknown Tommy Trampp
    USS Munargo (AP-20)
    Munargo 99k USS Munargo (AP-20) near New York Navy Yard, 11 December 1941.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-26133, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    113k USS Munargo (AP-20) near New York Navy Yard, 26 May 1942. Two gun tubs have been added on the poop deck with two more 3"/23 antiaircraft guns, and the positions for the eight .50 caliber machine guns on the superstructure have been enlarged.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo #'s 19-N-37279, and 19-N-30515, US Navy Bureau of Ships photos now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    93k USS Munargo (AP-20) sortieing from Halifax harbor anchorage, 2 June 1942. She will join convoy AT16 heading for Iceland and ports in the British Isles.
    Photo by HB Jefferson, Nova Scotia Archives. Used for educational and non-commercial purpose.
    John Chiquoine
    Munargo 50k USS Munargo (AP-20) underway, date and location unknown. Bob Thomasson
    USAHS Thistle
    Thistle - is the common name of a group of flowering plants characterised by leaves with sharp prickles on the margins. Prickles are an adaptation that protects the plant from being eaten by herbivores. Milk Thistle flowerhead, taken by a river in Swifts Creek, Victoria. B.C.Photo
    Photo from flagstaffotos [at] GNU Free Documentation License 1.2
    Tommy Trampp
    Munargo 25k USAHS Thistle, date and location unknown US Army Hospital Ship Thistle web page
    Munargo 51k USAHS Thistle arriving at Port of Embarkation, Charleston, S.C., date unknown.
    US Army Signal Corps. photo
    Tommy Trampp
    Munargo 88k USAHS Thistle leaving Charleston, South Carolina, for Europe, 4 August 1944.
    US Coast Guard photo from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massmam.
    Robert Hurst
    Munargo 363k USAT Thistle at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo now in the collections of the US Naval Institute.
    Photos and text from "U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II" by David H. Grover
    Robert Hurst
    USAT Thistle
    Munargo 97k USAT Thistle sporting a light grey paint scheme photographed at the Army's Fort Mason port facilities at San Francisco, CA., 23 July 1946.
    US Army photo from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massmam.
    Robert Hurst
    156k USAT Thistle underway, Seattle to Yokohama, Japan in 1948
    From the album of Elizabeth Terry, a Department of Army Civilian aboard from February 10 through the 26th of 1948, Wikipedia Commons
    John Spivey
    878k USAT Thistle passing Aquatic Park Pier on her way to Fort Mason in San Francisco Bay circa 1946-48, Magic Carpet voyage. Darryl Baker

    USS Munargo (AP-20) / USAHS / USAT Thistle
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Thistle Scuttlebutt" USAT Thistle on board information brochure

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    Last Updated 9 February 2024