USS Armadillo (IX-111)

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Career (US) 100x35px
Laid down: 24 September 1943
Launched: 26 October 1943
Commissioned: 18 November 1943
Decommissioned: 29 May 1946
Struck: 19 June 1946
Fate: sold
General characteristics
Displacement: 14,500 tons
Length: 441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)
Beam: 56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)
Draught: 28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)
Speed: 11.0 knots
Complement: 79 officers and men
Armament: one five-inch gun, one three-inch gun, eight 20mm cannon

USS Armadillo (IX-111), the lead ship of her class of tanker was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the armadillo, an insect-eating mammal which has an armorlike shell encasing its back and head. Her keel was laid down as Sidney Howard (T. Z-ET1-S-C3), under a Maritime Commission contract (MCE hull 1900) on 24 September 1943 at Wilmington, California, by the California Shipbuilding Company. She was launched on 26 October 1943 sponsored by Mrs. S. Howard, renamed Armadillo and designated IX-111, acquired by the Navy on a bareboat basis, and simultaneously placed in commission at San Pedro, California, on 18 November 1943, Lieutenant Michael R. Meyer in command.

Following her commissioning, the vessel began a period of final fitting out and shakedown training off the southern California coast. In January 1944, Armadillowas assigned to Service Force, Pacific Fleet, and sailed for Pearl Harbor. From early February through early April 1944, the vessel carried personnel and petroleum products between Pearl Harbor and Tarawa, Gilbert Islands. On 22 April, she reported to Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, where she served as a station tanker through late August. Armadillo then shifted to Ulithi, Caroline Islands, to perform the same duty. This service was broken by trips to Guam and Saipan in the Mariana Islands and to Peleliu in the Palau Islands.

Armadillo left Ulithi on 10 April 1945 and shaped a course for Okinawa. She arrived there on 18 April and began providing services to various ships of the Pacific Fleet. On 1 February 1946, the tanker departed Buckner Bay, Okinawa, and headed for the East Coast of the United States. She transited the Panama Canal on 13 March and continued on to Norfolk, Virginia. The vessel reached that port on 23 March and began preparations for her inactivation. Armadillo was decommissioned on 29 May 1946 and, on the same day, was delivered to the Maritime Commission's War Shipping Administration at Lee Hall, Virginia. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 19 June 1946. The ship was sold later that same year and was converted for merchant service.

Armadillo earned one battle star for her World War II service


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.