Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Caribou
(IX-114: dp. 3,665; l. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 28'4"; s. 11 k.; cpl. 79; a. 1 5", 1 3"; cl. Armadillo)

A North American reindeer, native to Canada, Alaska, and Greenland.

Caribou (IX-114) was launched 2 November 1943 by California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, Calif., as Nathaniel B. Palmer under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. T. A. Gregory; acquired by the Navy 25 November 1943; commissioned the same day, Lieutenant Commander A. J. Nail in command; and reported to the Pacific Fleet.

Caribou stood out of Pearl Harbor 10 February 1944 for Kwajalein and Eniwetok, where she served as station tanker until August, providing rear echelon support for the striking forces of the 5th Fleet. Moving on to Manus, Caribou based there while fueling units at sea in support of operations in the Philippines until March 1945. From May through July, she resumed station duty, this time at Mindoro, Manila, and Tacloban, closer to the swiftly moving American advance. Sailing to Ulithi, she carried oil to Leyte, then made a similar voyage to Guam. Caribou served from August to December in the Marianas and at Iwo Jima.

On 2 December 1945, Caribou cleared Guam for Norfolk, Va. There she was decommissioned 3 May 1946, and delivered to the War Shipping Administration for sale 6 May 1946.

Caribou received one battle star for service in World War II.