Online Library of Selected Images: -- U.S. NAVY SHIPS --

USS Arethusa (1898-1927, later AO-7)

USS Arethusa, a 3319-ton tanker, was built in England in 1893 as the merchant ship Lucilene. Purchased by the U.S. Navy in August 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American War, she was converted to a water tanker and supply ship and began her active service in the West Indies during late 1898 and early 1899. After spending more than a year out of commission, Arethusa was sent, via Suez, to the Asiatic Station where she supported U.S. Navy forces and carried relief supplies until returning to the U.S. East Coast (again via Suez) in August-October 1902. She was then employed as a water carrier in the Caribbean and western Atlantic areas, with both Navy and civilian crews. In December 1907 Arethusa began a long voyage around South America as a support ship for the "Great White Fleet"'s World cruise. She reached Hawaii at the end of June 1908, but was then reassigned to the Pacific Fleet. Following a year and a half operating along the shores of California and Mexico, some of it as flagship of the Pacific Torpedo Flotilla, she returned to the Atlantic in early 1910.

With oil beginning to supplement coal as the Navy's primary fuel, upon arrival at the East Coast Arethusa became the fleet's first oil tanker, serving in that role for the remainder of her career. Prior to U.S. entry into World War I she mainly supported destroyers, which were early users of liquid fuel, delivering her cargo to fleet operating areas in the Caribbean and along the Atlantic Coast. In January 1918 Arethusa was assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service and began a series of wartime and post-war voyages to take oil to bases in the Azores and Western Europe. She also supplied fuel to destroyers and submarine chasers during operations at sea. When the Navy implemented its hull number system in mid-1920 Arethusa was formally classified as an oiler and designated AO-7. She was placed out of commission in late June 1922 and sold in July 1927.

This page features all the views we have concerning USS Arethusa (1898-1927, later AO-7).

Photo #: NH 61686

USS Arethusa
(1898-1927, later AO-7)

Photographed circa 1898. This ship began conversion to a water carrier during the Spanish-American War, but was commissioned too late to see service in that confict. About a decade later, she became the U.S. Navy's first oiler.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 57KB; 740 x 530 pixels

Photo #: NH 61685

USS Arethusa
(1898-1927, later AO-7)

Off New York City, 3 October 1911.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 35KB; 740 x 595 pixels

Photo #: NH 104803

USS Arethusa
(1898-1927, later AO-7)

Fueling submarine chasers, circa 1918-1919.
One SC is near Arethusa's starboard quarter. Another is alongside her, amidships.
Photograph reproduced on post card stock by Ted Silberstein (Ted Stone), circa the 1930s or early 1940s.

Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 39KB; 740 x 500 pixels

Photo #: NH 42568

USS Arethusa
(1898-1927, later AO-7)

Fueling six submarine chasers at once in a moderate gale, circa 1918.
Among the subchasers present are SC-135 (left foreground), SC-370 (alongside Arethusa, aft) and SC-388 (partially visible at left).

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 45KB; 740 x 455 pixels

Photo #: NH 94774-KN (Color)

"Uncle Sam's Ships"

Cover for sheet music composed and written by Chief Yeoman Daisy May Pratt Erd, USNRF, during World War I. It features the names of 109 U.S. Navy ships, from battleships to tugs and patrol boats.

Donation of Miss G.H. Erd, 1973.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 136KB; 585 x 765 pixels


The after portion of what is probably USS Arethusa is partially seen on the left side of the following photograph of another ship.

Photo #: NH 107022

USS Favorite
(ID # 1385, later IX-45)

Underway at sea, possibly while en route to France in mid-1918. She is painted in pattern camouflage.
The ship partially visible at left is probably USS Arethusa (1898-1927, later AO-7).

Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2010.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 59KB; 900 x 615 pixels


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

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