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S.S. Sweep, later USS Silver Cloud (IX-143) circa 1943
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Class:        SILVER CLOUD (IX-143)
Design        Tanker, 1916
Displacement (tons):        4,352 light, 15,333 full load
Dimensions (feet):        446.0' oa, 430.0' wl x 58.2' x 27.0' full load.
Original Armament:        1-4"/50 1-3"/50 8-20mm (both)
Later armaments:        --
Complement        70 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        10.5
Propulsion (HP):        2,800
Machinery:        1 screw, vertical triple expansion

IX Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
143 SILVER CLOUD 12 Jul 44 William Cramp & Sons -- 15 Jul 19 12 Jul 44
178 BANSHEE 13 Dec 44 William Cramp & Sons -- 3 May 17 25 Dec 44

IX Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
143 SILVER CLOUD 29 Mar 46 17 Apr 46 29 Mar 46 MC/D 12 Dec 46
178 BANSHEE 5 Feb 46 25 Feb 46 5 Feb 46 MC/D 2 Feb 48

Class Notes:
FY 1943 (IX-143), 1944 (IX-178). In 1916-1917 Cramp built five tankers, including IX-178, to a 446-foot design. The company then used this design used with minor modifications to build four tankers that were ordered by the Shipping Board for use by the Navy. These became AO-10 and AO 15-17 in the Navy.

-- IX-143: USS Alameda (AO-10) was commissioned in October 1919. She operated primarily along the east coast, making periodic trips to Port Arthur, Texas, to load oil. Beginning in February 1920 Alameda also carried oil across the Atlantic to support American warships in European waters. On 19 November 1921, while about 30 miles off Cape Henry, Va., she suffered an explosion in her boiler room. The resulting fire forced her crew to abandon ship in stormy weather. Merchant ships rescued the entire crew, and naval tugs brought the damaged ship into Norfolk. Formally decommissioned in March 1922, Alameda was stricken from the Navy list and sold in August 1922. Repaired by her new owner, she entered merchant service in 1925 as S.S. Olean. On 15 March 1942 the unescorted tanker was torpedoed twice in the engine room off Cape Lookout by the German U-158. Six of her crew were killed while abandoning ship. Olean was later towed to Hampton Roads and drydocked. She was first declared a total loss, but the War Shipping Administration (WSA) took her over in April, requisitioned her in June, and had her rebuilt at Baltimore. She returned to service in April 1943 as S.S. Sweep. On 12 Oct 43 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended that 15 old tankers including Sweep be acquired for use as floating storage at advanced bases. See the IX-132 class for full details on this directive, which covered IX 131-145.

-- IX-178, plus IX-179: On 3 Jul 44 the Auxiliary Vessels Board noted that two of the tankers acquired under its recommendation of 12 Oct 43 had subsequently been converted instead to distilling ships (AW 1-2). To make up the shortage caused by this diversion and to supply the increasingly large requirements of oil products to forward areas the Commander, Seventh Fleet had requested that two replacement tankers be acquired. The Board recommended that two operating tankers be acquired upon their arrival in the Southwest Pacific Area and be assigned to Service Force, Seventh Fleet for use primarily as mobile floating storage. IX-178 was then undergoing repairs at San Pedro and IX-179 was being repaired at San Francisco, and on 12 Aug 44 CNO directed that before departure they be armed and provided with the usual 26 lengths of filling hose and other equipment essential to their mission as mobile floating storage, including the function of shuttling petroleum products to intermediate and advanced bases.

Ship Notes:
IX Name Notes
143 SILVER CLOUD Ex merc. SWEEP, ex OLEAN 1943, ex USS ALAMEDA (AO-10) 1925 (ID-4838, completed Oct 19). Torpedoed 15 Mar 42, repaired. Acquired at Eniwetok. Merc. SWEEP (MC) 1946. To buyer 21 Jan 47, scrapped by 10 Oct 47.
178 BANSHEE Ex merc. W. C. FAIRBANKS, ex EMBA (USSR) 1944, ex W. C. FAIRBANKS 1943, ex HAROLD WALKER 1935 (ID-4530, completed Jun 17). Acquired at Milne Bay, New Guinea. To MC at Subic Bay 1946 as W. C. FAIRBANKS, to buyer 3 Mar 48 as BANSHEE and scrapped at Shanghai.

Page Notes:
IX        1944
Compiled:        24 Aug 2010
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2010