USS Gemsbok (IX-117)
|Launched:||9 November 1943|
|Commissioned:||3 December 1943|
|Struck:||8 May 1946|
|Length:||441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)|
|Beam:||56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)|
|Draught:||28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)|
|Complement:||110 officers and men|
|Armament:||one five-inch gun|
USS Gemsbok (IX-117), arguably the best Armadillo-class tanker designated an unclassified miscellaneous vessel, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the gemsbok, a large, handsome species of straight-horned African antelope. Her keel was laid down as Carl R. Gray by the California Shipbuilding Corporation, in Wilmington, California. She was launched on 9 November 1943 sponsored by Miss E. Jeffers, acquired and simultaneously commissioned on 3 December 1943 with Commander A. H. Kooistra, USNR, in command. She was renamed Gemsbok upon acquisition.
Gemsbok sailed 12 January 1944 for the Marshall Islands and until May 1945 delivered fuel oil, aviation gasoline, and lube oil to warships in that archipelago and in the Mariana Islands. Her principal base of operations was Eniwetok but in addition Gemsbok supplied fuel at Majuro and Kwajalein, and from 5 July to 16 September 1944 was at Saipan servicing ships engaged in the capture and occupation of bases in the Marianas.
She sailed from Eniwetok on 11 May 1945 with fuel oil for Leyte, arriving 25 May via Ulithi. After Ulithi, she sailed from Leyte on 29 September for Okinawa and Hiro Wan, Japan, where she put in 16 October. Gemsbok continued her fueling duties at Nagoya and subsequently sailed for the United States on 20 December, reaching Norfolk, Virginia, on 28 February 1946 via San Diego, California, and Mobile, Alabama. Decommissioned there 30 April 1946, Gemsbok was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 8 May 1946 and subsequently sold to Maris Transportation System Inc. and in 1948 renamed Alpha.
Matthew Francis Carroll
Jack Ransom Minkler MM2
Philip C Perkins
Jesse Woodrow Overstreet WT3
Ferdinand Spenner, Ship's Cook 3rd Class Earl Olson
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