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Ship Name and Designation History

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Mobile Floating Storage Tanker
    Keel Laid 1921 as GARGOYLE
    Assigned Registry Number (ID-4689) by the US Navy
    Operated under charter, 20 April 1942 for the WSA by Socony-Vacuum Oil Corp.
    Operated under charter, 16 October 1943, for the WSA by the War Emergency Tankers Inc.
    Renamed ARETHUSA 3 November 1943
    Acquired by the US Navy 23 March 1944

    Commissioned in the Marshall Islands 23 March 1944
    Decommissioned at Subic Bay, P.I. in May 1946

    Struck from the Naval Register 5 June 1946
    Sold for scrapping 8 December 1947

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each name of the ship (for example, Bushnell AG-32 / Sumner AGS-5 are different names for the same ship so there should be one set of pages for Bushnell and one set for Sumner). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

  1. USS Arethusa IX-135 Covers Page 1     (DATE RANGE)



This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each name and/or commissioning period. Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.


Postmark Type
Killer Bar Text

Thumbnail Link
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link
Cover Image


Locy Type
Fleet Post Office


The ship had no postal facilities.


Other Information

USS ARETHUSA earned the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 2 Battle stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp), the Philippines Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon and the Philippine Liberation Medal (2 awards) during her Naval career.

NAMESAKE - A nymph of Elis, one of the Nereids, who—in Greek mythology—was the daughter of Oceanus and one of Diana's attendants. One evening on the island of Ortygia, near Syracuse, as Arethusa was heading home from the day's hunt, she chanced upon the Alpheus, a clear and beautiful brook. When she entered its cool waters seeking relief from heat and fatigue, she heard a voice rise from the stream which frightened her into leaping to land and fleeing in terror. The river god pursued her until, in desperation at her failing strength, she prayed to Diana for help. In response the kind goddess changed Arethusa into a fountain.

Three ships of the US Navy have borne the name ARETHUSA - USS Arethusa (1864 Collier), USS Arethusa AO-7 and USS Arethusa IX-135.



If you have images or information to add to this page, then either contact the Curator or edit this page yourself and add it. See Editing Ship Pages for detailed information on editing this page.


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