Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

Gargoyle (Id. No. 1656)


The Navy retained the name carried by this vessel at the time of her acquisition. 

(Id. No. 1656: displacement 9,360; length 363'8"; beam 50'1"; draft 24'0" (mean); speed 11 knots; complement 49; armament 1 3-inch, 1 4-inch, 1 .30 caliber machine gun)

Called Pennoil when owned by the Vacuum Oil Co., Gargoyle was built in 1903 by Grangesmith Dry Dock Co., Greenock, Scotland, and commissioned 8 August, 1917. Lt. Oscar Windsor Smith, USNRF, in command.

Departing New York 20 August 1917, Gargoyle loaded her cargo of oil at Philadelphia and, at New York ports, fueled several battleships, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Arizona. After being repaired and loaded, she sailed 1 October on the first of three trans-Atlantic voyages through the submarine-infested waters. She arrived Dover, England 19 October, via Sidney, Nova Scotia; and offloaded her cargo at Dover, Devonport; St. Helen's Road; and Plymouth, sailing from the latter for the United States 8 November. She arrived New York 23 November for repairs and cargo, and left New York 5 January 1918, arriving 21 January at Portsmouth, via spithead and St. Helen's Road. After discharging her cargo, Gargoyle left for the United States 1 February, arriving New York after a stormy passage on 18 February.

She departed New York 9 March on her third and last trans-Atlantic voyage, arriving Plymouth, 27 March, via Halifax, Nova Scotia. After discharging and loading cargo at Devonport and Plymouth, she left the latter port 21 April, arriving New York 6 May via Portsmouth, N.H.

She decommissioned at New York 22 May 1918, and was returned to her former owner that same day.

Published: Wed Aug 17 09:55:28 EDT 2016