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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

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

1912 International Radio Call Sign:
Nan - Boy - Unit
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 Luciline
  • Purchased by the US Navy, 12 August 1898
  • Commissioned, USS Arethusa in August 1898, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, CDR. John F. Merry, USN 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.
  • Sold, 7 July 1927, to Marshall B. Hall of Boston
  • Converted to a storage hulk in 1928
  • Final Disposition, 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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    Arethusa - In Greek mythology, Arethusa was a nymph and daughter of Nereus (making her a Nereid),who fled from her home in Arcadia beneath the sea and came up as a fresh water fountain on the island of Ortygia in Syracuse, Sicily.(Wikipedia)
    A Silver decadrachm of Arethusa, minted in Syracuse, Sicily (405-400 BCE). As a patron figure of Syracuse, the head of Arethusa surrounded by dolphins was a usual type on their coins. They are regarded as among the most famous and beautiful Ancient Greek coins. The die carver was Euainetos. American Numismatic Society 1997.9.64 MANTIS(Wikipedia)
    Tommy Trampp
    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
    Arethusa 31k USS Arethusa at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy Photo
    Jim Kurrasch
    Battleship Iowa Pacific Battleship Center

    USS Arethusa (AO-7)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Merry, John Francis, USN30 April 1897 - 1 February 1899
    02MASTER, Secoombe, William S. (Naval Auxiliary Service)22 August 1900 - 14 March 1906
     Decommissioned14 March 1906 - 10 November 1906
    03MASTER, Newell, Joseph (Naval Auxiliary Service)10 November 1906 - 29 November 1907
    04CDR. Grant, Albert Weston, USN (USNA 1877) :VADM29 November 1907 - 31 March 1908
    05LCDR. Bierer, Bion Barnett, USN (USNA 1891)31 March 1908 - 15 October 1909
    06MASTER, Newell, Joseph (Naval Auxiliary Service)15 October 1909 - 22 March 1910
    07MASTER, Whitton, Arthur Marton (Naval Auxiliary Service)22 March 1910 - 1 August 1912
    08MASTER, Kennedy, Walter Robert (Naval Auxiliary Service)1 August 1912 - 17 July 1916
    09MASTER, Werner, Richard (Naval Auxiliary Service)17 July 1916 - 10 February 1917
    10LCDR. Werner, Richard, USNRF10 February 1917 - 9 January 1918
    11LCDR. Kennedy, Walter Robert, USNRF9 January 1918 - 13 July 1919
    12LCDR. Midgett, Clarence K., USNRF13 July 1919 - 7 January 1922
    12LCDR. Wynquist, Eric Edward, USNRF7 January 1922 - 28 June 1922
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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    Last Updated 7 May 2021