(IX-115: dp. 14,500 (f.); l. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 28'4"; s. 10 k.; cpl. 103; a. 1 5", 1 3"; cl. Armadillo)
A large deer of the northern forests of Europe, Asia, and America.
The second Elk (IX-115), a tanker, was launched 6 November 1943 by California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, Calif., as William Winter for the Maritime Commission; sponsored by Mrs. H. H. Hall; delivered direct to the Navy 26 November 1943; and commissioned the same day, Lieutenant W. T. Stannard, USNR, in command.
Elk sailed from San Pedro, Calif., 12 January 1944 for Kwajalein where she served from 19 February to 19 April as station tanker to fuel ships in the assault and occupation of the Marshalls. Mooring to Majuro, she fueled combatant ships at this base until June, then carried petroleum products between Majuro, Kwajalein, and Eniwetok to support the Marianas operation. From 26 June she was based again on Majuro, providing fuel for destroyers of the Security Patrol who guarded the waters around the bypassed, enemy-held islands of Wotje, Mili, and Jaluit.
After a fueling assignment at Tarawa in September 1944, Elk reported to the advance fleet base at Ulithi 15 October and there began the vital task of fueling the ships of the fast-moving 3d and 5th Fleets for their far-ranging air and surface strikes against Japanese bases. In April 1945 she arrived at Okinawa to fuel the staunch destroyers of the radar picket line. When hostilities ceased, Elk was at Leyte preparing to sail with a convoy to Okinawa. In September she arrived at Sasebo, Japan, to serve in the occupation. Elk returned to the States in early 1946, was decommissioned at Norfolk 17 May 1946, and reverted to the Maritime Commission 20 May 1946.
Elk received one battle star for World War II service.