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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Panda (IX-125)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - Lima - Whiskey
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive - San Pedro Bay, Leyte) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1)
Bottom Row - World War II Victory Medal - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (1)

Personnel Awards

Purple Hearts (6 - Commanding Officer LT. Polk and five crew members - 27 November 1944)

Armadillo Class Mobile Station Tanker:
  • Laid down, 19 October 1943 as SS Opie Read, a Maritime Commission type (Z-ET1-S-C3) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1929) at Delta Shipbuilding Co., New Orleans, LA.
  • Renamed Panda 27 October 1943
  • Launched, 3 December 1943
  • Acquired by the Navy, 5 January 1944
  • Commissioned in the 8th Naval District, 6 January 1944, LT. Nicholas Polk, D-M USNR in command
  • During World War II USS Panda was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 18 October to 29 November 1944

  • Following World War II USS Panda remained in the Philippines supporting US operations until 4 April 1946
  • Decommissioned, 12 July 1946, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Delivered, 15 July 1946 to the WSA, at the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA., 15 July 1946, for disposal, name reverted to SS Opie Read
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 31 July 1946
  • USS Panda earned one battle star for World War II service
  • Merchant Service
  • 13 April 1948 sold to Eastport SS Corp, New York - renamed SS Westport - US flag
  • August 1949 converted to dry cargo ship by Todd Hoboken Shipyard, Hoboken, N.J.
  • Sold in 1954 to Cia Nav Pardalina SA - renamed SS Pardalina - Liberian flag, Blidberg Rothchild Agency Corp, New York
  • Sold in 1963 to Caroline Navigation Inc.- renamed SS San Antonio - Liberian flag, Ceres Shipping Co Ltd, London, Seres Shipping Inc, New York from 1964-67
  • Sold to Japanese breakers - arrived Hirao 20 January 1968
  • Final Disposition, scrapped in 1968
    Displacement 3,665 t.(lt) 14,500 t. (fl)
    Length 441' 6"
    Beam 56' 11"
    Draft 28' 4"
    Speed 11 kts.
    Officers 9
    Enlisted 74
    Cargo Capacity 8,500 DWT
    Oil 63,000 Bbls
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    one single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount
    eight single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 13,700 Bbls
    one three cylinder triple-expansion reciprocating engine
    two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, 225psi 450°
    three recip-drive 20Kw 120V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single 4 bladed, 18' 6" propeller, 2,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    United States Maritime Commission
    140k United States Maritime Commission Tanker Design Z-ET-1-S-C3.
    US National Archives photo thanks to Auke Visser's Famous T-Tanker Pages
    USS Panda (IX-125)
    Panda - is a bear native to South Central China. It is characterized by its bold black-and-white coat and rotund body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the giant panda is a folivore, with bamboo shoots and leaves making up more than 99% of its diet.
    Tommy Trampp
    Merchant Service
    Panda 89k Ex-USS Panda (IX-125) in March 1948 just after being withdrawn from the Maritime Commission Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA. and just before being delivered to her commercial buyer, Eastport SS Co., at Hoboken, N.J.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo #. NH 89406, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Panda 126k SS Westport, [ex-USS Panda (IX-125)], probably dry docked at Todd Hoboken Shipyard, Hoboken, N.J., in March, 1948 one month after being sold to Eastport SS Corp.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo #. NH 89405, courtesy Ted Stone, 1979.
    Mike Green
    Panda 61k Underway while In merchant service as Cia Nav Pardalina SA's SS Pardalina, date and location unknown. David Nixon
    Panda 423k SS Pardalina under way, date and location unknown. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Panda 100k The Caroline Navigation Inc. freighter SS San Antonio entering the port of Vancouver, BC, date unknown Gerhard Mueller-Debus

    USS Panda (IX-125)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Miscellaneous Ship (IX) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 16 July 2021