Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Sara Thompson
(SP-3148: dp. 5,836; l. 321'; b. 40'3"; dr. 22' (mean) ; s. 9 k.; cpl. 67)

Sara Thompson, built during 1888 by William Armstrong, Mitchell and Co., Newcastle, England, as the German merchantile tanker Gut Heil, was sold to a United States firm in 1912, retaining her original name, and was accidentally lost on the Mississippi River during 1914. Raised during 1917 and repaired, she was purchased on 8 August 1918 for United States Naval service from J. W. Thompson of New York; renamed Sara Thompson on 7 September 1918 at the request of her former owner; and commissioned on 17 September 1918 at New Orleans, Lt. Comdr. Frederick S. Hayes, USNRF, in command.

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS), Sara Thompson transported fuel oil from Baton Rouge, La., Port Arthur, Tex., and Hoboken, N.J., to Boston and Bermuda into February 1919. Arriving on 4 March 1919 at Ponta Delgada, San Miguel, Azores, she was detached from NOTS on the same day and assigned to the Train, Atlantic Fleet. Sara Thompson remained at Ponta Delgada as station tanker until 7 September 1919 when she sailed for the Philippine Islands. Calling at Gibraltar, Suez, and Colombo, the tanker arrived in Manila Bay on 9 November- 1919 for permanent assignment as fuel storage ship at the Cavite Navy Yard.

Sara Thompson steamed to Apra Harbor, Guam, during April 1920 to refuel units of Destroyer Division 13, before returning to Cavite on 7 May 1920. She was classified AO-8 as an oiler on 17 July 1920. She steamed northward to Chefoo, China, twice during 1920, operating with ships of the Asiatic Fleet before returning to Manila Bay on 12 October. Sara Thompson continued local operations with avite-based destroyer forces into November 1921.

Inspection of her deteriorating engines led to Sara Thompson being placed in reduced commission "in ordinary" on 8 December 1921 for duty only as a floating storage vessel for fuel and diesel oil. She remained in service into the 1930's, being designated the Receiving Ship at Cavite on 6 January 1930 with her commanding officer also commanding the Receiving Station ashore.

Sara Thompson was decommissioned on 21 July 1933 and struck from the Navy list on 12 December 1933. Her hulk was sold on 9 August 1934 to Alberto Barrette of Manila.

Published: Wed Sep 02 14:17:20 EDT 2015