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Giraffe

 

A large ruminant mammal of Africa, the tallest of quadrupeds, that has a very long neck.

 

(IX-118: displacement 15,245 tons; length 441 feet 6 inches; beam 57 feet; draft 27 feet 8 7/8 inches; speed 11 knots; complement 108; armament one 5-inch, one 3-inch, 8 20 mm.; class Armadillo; Type Z-ET1-S-C3)

 

The Liberty tanker Sanford B. Dole (MC Hull E-1907) was launched on 11 November 1943 by the California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, Calif.; and sponsored by Miss Mary F. Leddy. Acquired by charter from the War Shipping Administration (WSA), the ship, which had been designated as an unclassified auxiliary vessel, was renamed Giraffe (IX-118) on 27 October 1943, was commissioned on 12 December 1943, Lt. Comdr. Frederick F. Daly, USNR, commanding.

 

Following shakedown training, Giraffe sailed westward, and reached Funafuti, Ellice Islands, on 10 February 1944. She subsequently served as a mobile oil storage tanker with Service Squadron (ServRon) 10 at a succession of bases that included Guam, Eniwetok, Saipan, Ulithi, and Kossel Roads, in the Palaus, supporting the Pacific Fleet’s advance across the Pacific, reaching Okinawa on 4 May 1945. Shifting back to Ulithi, she returned to Okinawa on 20 July and operated there through Japan’s surrender and the beginning of the occupation of the former enemy’s homeland, reaching Wakayama on 1 November 1945. She operated later at Sasebo and Yokosuka, ultimately departing the latter port for Pearl Harbor in February 1946.


Giraffe reached Norfolk on 3 May via the Panama Canal Zone and Charleston, S.C. Decommissioned at Lee Hall, Va., on 17 June 1946, Giraffe was returned to the War Shipping Administration on that date. She was stricken from the Navy List on 3 July 1946 and reverted to her merchant name, Sanford B. Dole. Acquired by the Metro Petroleum Shipping Co., Inc., of Wilmington, Del., she was converted to a dry cargo carrier at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va., in August 1949. She carried a succession of names between that time and 1960: initially renamed Eileen, then to Seapender, Ragnar Naess, and Ocean Daphne, the last name being carried while she operated under Liberian registry under the house flag of Ocean Liberties, Inc. out of Monrovia.

 

Giraffe was awarded two battle stars for World War II service.



17 February 2004