USS Sara Thompson (AO-8)
USS Sara Thompson at anchor
|Career (US)||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Namesake:||named Sara Thompson at request of previous owner|
|Ordered:||as German civilian oil tanker Gut Heil|
|Builder:||William Armstrong, Mitchell and Co.|
|Launched:||in 1888 as the German mercantile tanker Gut Heil|
|Completed:||in 1888 at Newcastle, England|
|Acquired:||8 August 1918|
|Commissioned:||1 Jan 1943 I.J.N.|
|Decommissioned:||21 July 1933|
|Renamed:||6 May 1942 Sanraku Maru|
|Reclassified:||as AO-8, 17 July 1920|
|Struck:||12 December 1933|
|World War I Victory Medal (with Atlantic Fleet clasp)|
|Captured:||May 1942 by Japanese|
|Fate:||Sunk by USN submarine 15 June 1943|
|Displacement:||2,691 tons dockside|
|Tons burthen:||5,836 tons fully loaded|
|Length:||321 ft (98 m)|
|Beam:||40 ft 3 in (12.27 m)|
|Draft:||22 ft (6.7 m)|
|Propulsion:||steam engine, one shaft|
USS Sara Thompson (SP-3148/AO-8) was a tanker in the United States Navy. She was purchased at the start of World War I by the U.S. Navy and served as a tanker supporting American troops in Europe. Post-war she operated in the Pacific Ocean, supporting Navy operations in the Guam, China, and the Philippines. Because of her age and deteriorating condition, she spent her final days in the US Navy as a receiving hulk in the Philippines.
Built in England as Gut Heil
Sara Thompson was built during 1888 by William Armstrong, Mitchell and Co., Newcastle, England, as the German merchant tanker Gut Heil, and was sold to a United States firm in 1912, retaining her original name. Accidentally lost on the Mississippi River during 1914, Gut Heil was raised during 1917 and repaired.
She was purchased on 8 August 1918 for United States Naval service from J. W. Thompson of New York, and renamed Sara Thompson on 7 September 1918 at the request of her former owner. Sara Thompson was commissioned on 17 September 1918 at New Orleans, Louisiana with Lt. Cmdr. Frederick S. Hayes, USNRF, in command.
World War I service
Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS), Sara Thompson transported fuel oil from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Port Arthur, Texas, and Hoboken, New Jersey, to Boston, Massachusetts and Bermuda into February 1919.
Arriving on 4 March 1919 at Ponta Delgada, San Miguel, Azores, she was detached from NOTS on the same day and assigned to the Train, Atlantic Fleet. Sara Thompson remained at Ponta Delgada as station tanker until 7 September 1919 when she sailed for the Philippine Islands. Calling at Gibraltar, Suez, and Colombo, the tanker arrived in Manila Bay on 9 November 1919 for permanent assignment as fuel storage ship at the Cavite Navy Yard.
She was classified AO-8 as an oiler on 17 July 1920. She steamed northward to Chefoo, China, twice during 1920, operating with ships of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet before returning to Manila Bay on 12 October.
Sara Thompson continued local operations with Cavite-based destroyer forces into November 1921.
Inspection of her deteriorating engines led to Sara Thompson being placed in reduced commission "in ordinary" on 8 December 1921 for duty only as a floating storage vessel for fuel and diesel oil.
Service as a receiving hulk
Sara Thompson was decommissioned on 21 July 1933 and struck from the Navy list on 12 December 1933. Her hulk was sold on 9 August 1934 to Alberto Barrette of Manila. Renamed Sarangani. Used by US Navy as a Bunker ship(storage hulk)
World War II
Scuttled in 1942 to prevent capture by the Japanese. Renamed Sanraku Maru 6 May 1942. 30 September 1942 refloated. Repairs completed December 1942. Registered with the Imperial Japanese Navy as an Auxiliary Oiler on 1 January 1943. Conversion to an Oiler began 19 January 1943. Finished 3 February 1943. Operated by Osaka Shosen Kaisho. Sunk by USS Trout ( United States Navy) near Cape Lovieanne, Borneo in the Celebes Sea 15 June 1943.
- "Japanese Oilers". Combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 15 June 2013.