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Gazelle

 

Any of numerous small, graceful, and swift antelopes, with lustrous eyes, found especially in South Africa, northern Africa, Iran, and India.

 

III

 

(IX-116: dp. 14,500;l. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 28'4"; s. 11.5k.; cpl. 115; a. 1 5")

 

The third Gazelle (IX-116) was launched 9 November 1943 by the California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, Calif., as SS Cyrus K. Holliday; sponsored by Mrs. J. E. Stewart; and acquired by the Navy and simultaneously commissioned 29 November 1943, Lt. Joseph P. Marshall in command.

 

Auxiliary oiler Gazelle sailed from Wilmington 9 January 1944 for Pearl Harbor, where she was assigned to Rear Admiral Turner's Southern Attack Force for the imminent assault on Kwajalein. Underway with the task force 28 January, she entered Kwajalein Lagoon on D-day, 2 February 1944, and began fueling operations in. the midst of the furious fighting. For 2 weeks she fueled combatant ships, including battleships New Mexico, Mississippi, Idaho, many cruisers, escort carriers, and smaller warships.

 

Her mission accomplished, Gazelle stood out 15 February for further combat duties. She steamed into Eniwetok Lagoon on D-day, 18 February, to support the amphibious invasion of that strategic island. Here in the front line of fighting she fueled several destroyer divisions before sailing 26 February for Kwajalein, where she issued fuel to American warships until getting underway 1 April for Pearl Harbor, arriving 12 April.

 

One week later she sailed for Majuro, arriving 27 April, and subsequently continued fueling operations and shuttle runs through submarine-infested waters to Majuro, Roi, Kwajalein, and Eniwetok through the summer of 1944, until reaching Ulithi 15 October. Gazelle escaped damage when Japanese midget submarines penetrated the harbor net and patrol defenses at Ulithi 20 November and sank oiler Mississineica, moored 2,000 yards away. Underway once more 10 January 1945, the ship reached Palau 2 days later and served there until arriving Leyte 28 February. While at Leyte she fueled some 100 Allied ships during the next 6 months.

 

Gazelle sailed 13 September for Korea, arriving Jinsen 28 September, and joined the Korean Service Group, 7th Fleet. She remained in Korea through October 1945.

 

Gazelle reached Norfolk 28 February 1946 and decommissioned there 9 May 1946. Returned to WSA the next day, she was stricken from the Navy List 21 May 1946. In 1948 she was sold to Intercontinental S.S. Corporation and renamed Evistar.

 

Gazelle earned one battle star for World War II service.