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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Banshee (IX-178)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - India - Echo
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal - Philippines Liberation Medal

Banshee Class Mobile Floating Fuel Storage Ship:
  • Built in 1917 as SS Harold Walker at William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Co., Philadelphia, PA.
  • Launched, 3 May 1917
  • Delivered to Pan-American Petroleum and Transportation Co. in 1917, re-registered as Pan-American Foreign Corp. in June 1917
  • Assigned Registry Number (ID-4530) by US Navy
  • Chartered to Pure Oil Co, Inc., in 1935, renamed SS W.C. Fairbanks
  • Chartered to Sinclair Refining, 23 January 1942, at Boston, MA. under a Transportation Corps. Agreement
  • Transferred Lend Lease, 2 June 1943 to the Soviet Union. renamed Emba
  • Returned to U.S. Maritime Commission June 1944
  • Operated under a General Agency Agreement by Los Angeles Tanker Operations, Inc., 22 June 1944
  • Acquired by the Navy from the War Shipping Administration, 13 December 1944, at Milne Bay, New Guinea, as a Bare Bottom charter
  • Commissioned Miscellaneous Unclassified USS Banshee (IX-178), 25 December 1944, LCDR. Frank H. Lemon USN in command
  • During World War II USS Banshee was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Borneo operation
    Balikpapan operation, 28 June to 7 July 1945

  • Decommissioned, 5 February 1946, at Subic Bay, P.I. and returned to the War Shipping Administration, named changed to SS W. G. Fairbanks
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 25 February 1946
  • USS Banshee earned one battle star for her World War II service
  • Final Disposition, sold and delivered the Asia Development Corp, for scrapping, 3 March 1948
    Displacement 4,500 t.
    Length 446'8"
    Beam 68' 2"
    Draft 33'4"
    Speed 10.5 kts
    Complement unknown
    one 4" gun mount
    one 3"/50 gun mount, eight 20mm guns
    single steam turbine
    single screw

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service
    129k SS Harold Walker moored at the William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Co., Philadelphia, PA.outfitting pier
    Auke Visser's Other Esso Related Tankers - photo courtesy John Curdy
    Tommy Trampp
    105k SS W.C. Fairbanks underway, 18 September 1941, location unknown.
    Auke Visser's Other Esso Related Tankers - U.S. Coast Guard photo
    Tommy Trampp
    USS Banshee (IX-178)
    Banshee A female spirit in Irish folklore who heralds the death of a family member, usually by screaming, wailing, shrieking, or keening.
    "The Death Messenger" Our Wicklow Heritage network County Wicklow Heritage
    Tommy Trampp
    198k USS Banshee (IX-178) Commissioning Ceremony, 25 December 1944, at Milne Bay, New Guinea.
    Photo from 118th NC Battalion Seabee V.S. Robinson photo album
    Steve Franklin

    USS Banshee (IX-178)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Lemon, Frank Hill, USN25 December 1944 - 29 January 1945
    02LCDR. Bach, Jacob C., USNR (Ret.)29 January 1945 - 19 August 1945 Hospitalized aboard USS REFUGE (AH-11)
    03LT. Denslow, Jerry, USNR19 August 1945 - 2 September 1945
    04LCDR. Bach, Jacob C., USNR (Ret.)2 September 1945 - 30 November 1945
    05LT. Wiederecht, Fabian P., USNR30 November 1945 - 5 February 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler

    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 Unclassified 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 5 April 2024