A former name retained.
(AP‑20: dp. 7,100; l. 432'; b. 57'6"; dr. 23'7"; a. 16 k.; cpl. 254; a. 1 5", 4 3", 8 mg.)
Munargo (AP‑20) was completed in December 1921 by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.; acquired by the Navy from the Army 6 June 1941; and commissioned 4 June 1941, Comdr. Harold F. Ely in command.
Following conversion at Brooklyn, N.Y., Munargo was attached to the Naval Transportation Service at Brooklyn in December 1941. On 16 December she embarked troops and sailed to Bermuda, arriving St. George’s Harbor 2 days later. She departed 19 December for San Juan, P.R., with troops and civilian passengers, and thence steamed to Trinidad to take aboard suspected German agents for transportation to New York, arriving 5 January 1942.
For the first 31⁄2 months of 1942, Munargo carried troops between New York and Reykjavik, Iceland. On 17 April she embarked British troops on Iceland, then carried them to Gourock, Scotland. After another such voyage, she returned to Boston 27 June to disembark British officers, then spent 4 months In New York.
Munargo left New York 30 December with troops, cargo, and U.S. currency for Trinidad and Brazil, from which she sailed through the Panama Canal to San Francisco, arriving 18 March 1943. On 17 May she reached Noumea, New Caledonia with troops, returning to California to reload, and once again arriving in Noumea 18 July. She sailed almost at once for Samoa, Hawaii, Guantanamo Bay, and the east coast. She decommissioned at Brooklyn 18 October 1943, and was returned to the War Department. The Army converted her to a hospital ship and she renamed Thistle. Operating from Charleston, S.C., she made nine voyages of mercy to the Mediterranean. Ordered to the Pacific in September 1945, she called at Leyte and returned to the west coast in December, decommissioning as a hospital ship in March 1946. She was subsequently returned to the Maritime Commission and remained under its custody until 1968.