USS Aquila (AK-47)
|Laid down:||in 1936 as MV Tunis|
|Acquired:||11 August 1941|
|Commissioned:||24 October 1941|
|Decommissioned:||9 October 1945|
|Struck:||9 October 1945|
|Fate:||scrapped in Greece in 1978|
|Length:||288 ft 1 in (87.81 m)|
|Beam:||40 ft 6 in (12.34 m)|
|Draught:||18 ft 4 in (5.59 m)|
|Propulsion:||Diesel, single screw|
|Armament:||two 3" guns|
USS Aquila (AK-47) was an Aquila-class cargo ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II. She was responsible for delivering general cargo and equipment to ships and stations in the war zone.
MV Tunis was built in 1936 at Copenhagen, Denmark, by the Helsinger Shipbuilding Co.; acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission on 11 August 1941; renamed Aquila (AK-47) on 3 September 1941; converted for naval service by the Sullivan Drydock and Repair Corporation; and commissioned on 24 October 1941, Lt. Comdr. Samuel S. Fried in command.
World War II North Atlantic operations
Aquila almost immediately began a series of convoy runs from New York and Boston, Massachusetts, to Reykjavík, Iceland. Between 1 December 1941 and 10 October 1942, the cargo ship made five round-trip voyages. On 7 November 1942, she arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, to begin operations with the Naval Transportation Service.
Aquila followed this routine until she was placed out of commission at Norfolk, Virginia, on 9 October 1945. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 24 October 1945, and the ship was returned to the Maritime Commission for disposal. She was then placed under charter by Alcoa Steam Ship Co., at Portsmouth, Virginia, 9 October 1945, renamed MV Bonanza. In accordance with Public Law 101, she was returned to her owners DFDS, Denmark, 25 June 1946, and renamed MV Tunis. She was sold in 1966, renamed MV Maria T, then again sold in 1972, and renamed MV Mathios. Her final disposition: scrapped in Greece in 1978.
Military awards and honors
Aquila’s crew members were eligible for the following medals:
- American Campaign Medal
- Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal
- World War II Victory Medal
- Philippines Liberation Medal
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.