The name camel is given both to the well-known Asiatic and African ruminants, and to wooden floats used especially to fend vessels off piers.
(IX-113: dp. 3,665; l. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 28'4"; s. 11 k; cpl. 79; a. 1 5", 1 3"; cl. Armadillo)
The second Camel (IX-113), a tanker, was launched 31 October 1943 as William H. Carruth by California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. J. Low; acquired by the Navy 22 November 1943; and commissioned the same day, Lieutenant D. Dunham, Jr., USNR, in command.
Camel sailed from San Pedro, Calif., 1 January 1944, for Tarawa, where she arrived 24 January to deliver aviation gasoline for use in the aerial reconnaissance missions then flown from that island. From February through August, Camel operated on shuttle service, supplying fleet units and shore installations throughout the Marshall and Mariana Islands with petroleum products, lifeblood of modern war. At Saipan, while discharging, Camel discovered two Japanese stowaways, both of whom jumped overboard. One was killed. The surviving member of the once-proud Japanese garrison told of their hope to reach Hawaii or the United States.
Camel continued to supply the forces on Saipan and Guam from Eniwetok until 27 March 1945, when she cleared Ulithi for the Ryukyus. After serving as station tanker at Kerama Retto from 2 April to 8 July, she sailed to Okinawa as headquarters ship for Service Division 104. During this period, her guns aided in driving off the massive effort of the Japanese to halt the operation by air attacks, and on 6 April she took part in splashing one enemy aircraft.
The tanker returned to the east coast after occupation duty, was decommissioned at Norfolk, Va., 22 May 1946, and was returned to the Maritime Commission 24 May 1946.
Camel received one battle star for World War II service.