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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Celtic (IX-137)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - Quebec - Uniform
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) - Philippine Liberation Medal

USS Celtic (IX-137) was manned by the US Coast Guard during World War II
Mobile Floating Storage Tanker:
  • Laid down in 1921 as SS Java Arrow, at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, MA. for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Co.
  • Launched, 30 April 1921
  • Assigned Registry Number (ID-4784) by the US Navy
  • Operated by Standard Transportation Co. 1921-1931, SS Java Arrow was engaged primarily in the backhaul routes from Balikpapan, Kalimantan, to Europe until 1931 li>In February 1926, Java Arrow distinguished herself by rescuing 13 crew members of Daisan Daishin Maru in the Northern Pacific
  • Operated by Standard Vacuum Co., 1931-1935, SS Java Arrow next was engaged in domestic trade
  • Requisitioned by WSA in April 1942, following the US entry into WWII
  • While operating under WSA control Java Arrow was torpedoed, 5 May 1942, eight miles off the Florida coast near Fort Pierce, towed to Port Everglades for temporary repairs
  • Full title and ownership passed to the WSA in June 1942
  • Under government ownership Java Arrow, renamed SS Kerry Patch, was towed to Norfolk, VA. for permanent repairs
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 17 January 1944, at Noumea, New Caledonia
  • Commissioned, USS Celtic (IX-137), 17 January 1944, with a Coast Guard crew
  • During World War II USS Celtic (IX-137) was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Following World War II USS Celtic (IX-137) was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 2 September to 31 October 1945
  • Decommissioned, 6 February 1946, at Mobile AL.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 20 March 1946
  • Returned to the WSA, 24 December 1946, at Mobile AL. for disposal
  • Merchant Service
    Sold to Panamanian operator, Radocean Tanker Corp., 2 April 1948, renamed SS Radketch reflagged Panama
    Sold in June 1949 to Armadora Valenciana, Panama, renamed SS Gale
    Resold in 1955, to Marine Charters Inc., Panama renamed SS Sugar
  • Final Disposition, broken up at La Spezia in March 1959 by Cant. Nav. del Golfo S.p.A.
    Displacement 20,000 t.(fl)
    Beam 62' 6"
    Draft 39' 6"
    Speed 10.2 kts
    Cargo Capacity, 13,350 DWT
    Oil 99,350 Bbls
    Officers 8
    Enlisted 106
    one single 4"/50 cal gun mount
    one single 3"/5- cal dual purpose gun mount
    eight single 20mm AA gun mounts
    one quadruple expansion engine 51" stroke, replaced with one J.H.Keneald and Co. Diesel engine Ship's Service Generators
    two recip-drive 20Kw 120V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 50Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 3,200shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Merchant Service Standard-Vacuum Oil Company Socony-Vacuum Oil Company
    Celtic 93k SS Java Arrow underway, 22 April 1942, departing a U.S. port. This ship became USS Celtic (IX-137) in 1944.
    US Coast Guard photo from the Arthur D. Baker III. Photo Collection. Courtesy of
    Robert Hurst
    Celtic 104k SS Java Arrow underway, 4 May 1942, in convoy off Savannah, GA.
    Arthur D. Baker III. Photo Collection. Courtesy of
    Robert Hurst
    Celtic 122k SS Java Arrow underway, 14 July 1942, photographed by an aircraft from the US Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, N. J.
    US Navy photo from the Arthur D. Baker III. Photo Collection. Courtesy of
    Robert Hurst

    USS Celtic (IX-137)
    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
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back to The Section ID Number Photo Index Back To The Miscellaneous Ship (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 6 October 2023