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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Gold Star (AG-12)
USS Gold Star (AK-12) (1922)
USS Arcturus (AK-12) (1922)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Sierra - Juliet
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (28JUN45) - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet Clasp) - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1)
Bottom Row - World War II Victory Medal - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (1)

  • Laid down as SS Gold Star in 1919 under a USSB contract at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, DE.
  • Launched, July 1919
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 8 November 1921
  • Commissioned USS Arcturus (AK-12), 1 February 1922, at Philadelphia, PA., LCDR. J. Katterfield, USNRF, in command
  • Renamed Gold Star (AK-12), 6 February 1922
  • Reclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary (AG-12), 2 May 1922
  • During World War II USS Gold Star (AG-12) was assigned to th Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Philippine Islands operation, 8 December 1941 to 6 May 1942

  • Decommissioned, 17 April 1946, at Seattle, WA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 may 1946
  • Gold Star earned one battle star for World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 30 June 1946, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Olympia, WA. Group
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 1 December 1947, to Dulien Steel Products Inc. (PD-X-377 dated 7 November 1947), Withdrawn from the Olympia Reserve Fleet, 1 December 1947, scrapping completed, 26 August 1948
    Displacement 4,860 t.(lt), 10,449 t.(lim)
    Length 391' 9"
    Beam 52' 1"
    Draft 11' 5"
    Speed 12 kts.
    Officers 11
    Enlisted 140
    Troop Accommodations 105
    Largest Boom Capacity 8 t.
    AK - 6-pdrs (authorized but not installed at time of commissioning)
    AG - two 5"/51 cal dual purpose gun mounts, four 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts, eight single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 9,350 Bbls
    Gasoline400 Gals
    one Bethlehem Shipbuilding vertical triple-expansion steam engine
    three (coal fired) Scotch boilers 200psi, Sat.
    two turbo-drive 60Kw 120V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 2,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Gold Star
    Gold Star
    Gold Star - dates back to World War I. During that time, military families displayed service flags featuring a blue star for each immediate family member serving in the Armed Forces. If a family lost a loved one in the war, the blue star on their flag would be changed to gold, signifying the loss.
    Tommy Trampp
    Gold Star 133k SS Gold Star launching party, July 1919. Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Wilmington, DE. Ladies Who Launch - Ship Christening Photographs exhibit at Philadelphia's Independence Seaport Museum
    USS Gold Star (AG-12)
    60k Panorama view of U.S. Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA., looking out into the Delaware River, circa 1921. Visible ships include (left to right):
    Lighter-than-Air Aircraft Tender USS Wright (AZ-1);
    Submarine Tender USS Fulton (AS-1);
    Collier USS Saturn (AG-4);
    Cargo Ship USS Gold Star (AK-12);
    Oiler USS Kaweah (AO-15);
    Stores Ship USS Yukon (AF-9)
    and the Destroyer Tender USS Dobbin (AD-3).
    U.S Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # S-574-I
    Robert Hurst
    Gold Star 58k USS Gold Star (AG-12), at Sitka, AK. in September 1922.
    US Navy photo from US Naval Historical Center
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Gold Star 104k USS Gold Star (AG-12), at anchor off Sitka, AK. in September 1922.
    US Navy photo # NH 631 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Gold Star 156k USS Gold Star (AG-12) moored in the harbor at Apra, Guam, circa-1920s. Gold Star was station ship at Guam from 1924 to 1941. In this image she seems little changed since she was photographed at Sitka in 1922
    US National Archives, RG-80-G, Photo# 80-G-651919, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Gold Star
    89k USS Gold Star (AG-12) moored to a buoy, probably at Guam while serving as Station Ship there between 1924 and 1941.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, March 1950
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Gold Star 117k USS Gold Star (AG-12) moored to a buoy, probably at Guam while serving as Station Ship there between 1924 and 1941.
    US Navy photo courtesy
    Mike Green
    Gold Star
    95k Guard Mail postage stamp featuring USS Gold Star (AG-12) Guard Mail was local mail on Guam instituted in the 1930s. Guard Mail was necessary since the US Post Office at Guam did not deliver to individual addresses. Tommy Trampp
    Gold Star 104k USS Gold Star (AG-12) under way at Shanghai, China. According to the original caption of this photo, dated 2 September 1937, "Gold Star was scheduled to sail from Shanghai for Kobe, Japan, on 3 September 1937 with 25 Americans, mostly the wives of officers and ex-servicemen." This was probably the limit of her passenger accommodations, possibly located in the area under the bridge, and many Americans were fleeing the port in ships of other nations. This photo may in fact show the ship a year or two before this voyage.
    US Navy photo courtesy
    Mike Green
    Gold Star 45k Starboard side view of USS Gold Star (AG-12) in an Australian Port, circa 1942-1944. Note 20mm Oerlikon guns on the forecastle and a 3/50 AA gun aft.
    Australian War Memorial, Photo No. 302610.
    Mike Green
    Gold Star 61k Port side view of USS Gold Star (AG-12) at anchor, 26 November 26, 1943. Additional AA guns have been added on the bow and superstructure, supplementing the 3/50 mounted aft.
    Australian War Memorial, Photo No. 302612.
    Mike Green

    USS Gold Star (AG-12)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Katterfield, Julius Charles, USNRF1 February 1922 - 23 April 1923
    02CDR. Ghent, Daniel Throckmorton, USN (USNA 1903)23 April 1923 - 27 August 1924
    03CDR. Bradley Jr., Willis Winter, USN (USNA 1908)27 August 1924 - 14 June 1926
    04CDR. Ware Jr., Bruce Richardson, USN (USNA 1907)14 June 1926 - 1 July 1928
    05CDR. Bernard, Richard Felid, USN (USNA 1907)1 July 1928 - 18 July 1930
    06CDR. Crosse, Charles Washburn, USN (USNA 1907)18 July 1930 - 5 March 1932
    07CDR. Faus, William Curtis, USN (USNA 1909)5 March 1932 - 10 June 1933
    08CDR. Hill, Kinchen Leonard, USN (USNA 1908)10 June 1933 - 31 March 1934
    09CDR. Dyer Jr., Robert Allan, USN (USNA 1914)31 March 1934 - 17 April 1937
    10CDR. Reinberg Jr., John Ernest, USN (USNA 1916)17 April 1937 - 3 July 1937
    11CDR. Patterson, Theodore Thomas, USN (USNA 1916)3 July 1937 - 1 July 1939
    12CDR. MacKey, Donald McArthur, USN (USNA 1912)1 July 1939 - 18 July 1941
    13CDR. Lademan, Jr., Joseph Uhrig, USN (USNA 1920)18 July 1941 - 7 July 1942
    14LCDR. Schultz, Theodore Joseph (Ted), USN7 July 1942 - 5 March 1944
    15CDR. Rawle, Henry, USNR5 March 1944 - 28 September 1944
    16CDR. Leonard, Charles Albert, USN (USNA 1916)28 September 1944 - November 1945
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    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 Cargo Ship (AK) Photo Index Back To The Miscellaneous (AG) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 22 March 2024