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USS Calamares (ID # 3662/AF-18) 

Please see item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Calamares (ID # 3662/AF-18) 

USS Calamares (No. 3662) was built in 1913 by Workman, Clark and Co., Belfast, Ireland; chartered by the Army from United Fruit Co.; transferred to the Navy 1 April 1918; outfitted at New York; commissioned 10 April 1918, Commander C. L. Arnold in command; and reported to the U.S. Cruiser and Transport Force.

Between April and October 1918 USS Calamares made five voyages to France as her part of the Navy's vast responsibility to transport to the American Expeditionary Force reinforcements, munitions, and supplies. On 11 October 1918 she was transferred to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service at New York, and converted to a refrigerator ship. USS Calamares carried perishable provisions on three voyages to France from 8 November 1918 to 12 March 1919, and then was reassigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force for service as a troop carrier. On five transatlantic voyages between 25 March and 17 August USS Calamares brought home more than 10,000 troops from St. Nazaire and Brest.

USS Calamares was decommissioned 18 September 1919, and returned to her civilian peacetime operations. World War II again required the services of every available ship, and Calamares was once more called. On 12 December 1941 the veteran ship was reacquired by the Navy, classified AF-18, and converted to a provisions storeship. She was recommissioned on 10 April 1943, Lieutenant Commander D. R. Phoebus, USNR, in command, and reported to the Pacific Fleet.

Returning to San Francisco in August, the storeship operated between the west coast and Pearl Harbor until 22 November, when she sailed for the South Pacific again, carrying Christmas delicacies as well as the usual stores for ships based on Funafuti, Ellice Islands, and Noumea. On 1 January 1944 USS Calamares (AF-18) reported to Commander, Service Force 7th Fleet, at Sydney, Australia, and until June 1945, provided vital logistic support for operations in New Guinea and the Philippines, carrying provisions from Australia, and on two occasions from San Francisco, to the operation areas. After hostilities ended USS Calamares (AF-18) continued to support Far East operations into 1946. Returning to Norfolk, Va., 1 April 1946, USS Calamares (AF-18) was decommissioned at Baltimore 25 April 1946, and returned to the War Shipping Administration.

For a complete history of USS Calamares (AF-18) please see its DANFS page.