Stonewall II IX-185


Stonewall II

(IX-185: dp. 14,493 (full); 1. 453'0"; b. 56'0; dr.
27'5" (full); s. 10 k.; cpl. 70; a. 1 4", 1 3", 8 20mm.)

Frank G. Drum, a tanker built in 1921 at Alameda Calif., by the Bethlehem Steel Co., was acquired by the Navy on 16 September 1944 from the Tidewater Associated Oil Co. through the War Shipping Administration; renamed Stonewall (IX 185); and commissioned on 18 September 1944, Lt. Comdr. Dalmer D. Lett, USNR, in command.

During the first week of October, she conducted shakedown training off San Pedro, Calif., then she entered the Standard Shipbuilding Co. yard at Los Angeles for post-shakedown availability. On 18 October, she departed the west coast for Finschhafen, New Guinea. She reached her destination on 17 November. For the next three months, Stonewall delivered diesel fuel and gasoline to various American bases in the South Pacific area. In addition to Finschhafen, she visited Biak Island, Hollandia, and Manus Island. She visited the latter island for repairs, necessitated when she ran aground on the northeastern coast of New Guinea in late November.

She returned to Humboldt Bay, New Guinea, early in February 1945, but by the 9th, was underway with a convoy for Leyte in the Philippine Islands. She made Leyte on the 17th and, for the following six months, she shuttled petroleum between the islands of the Philippines group. Among her ports of call were Guinan Samar, Zamboanga, Mindanao Basilan Island, Palawan Island; and Manila. On 10 July, while she was moored at Zamboanga, Mindanao, fires broke out on the surface of the water around Stonewall. The fires spread around one side and in between her and M. V. China, which was moored alongside. Neither ship suffered serious damage and Stonewall's crew escaped injury, but four men in M. V. China died of fire induced injuries.

On 16 August 1945, the day following the cessation of hostilities, the tanker was reassigned to Service Division 104; and, just under two weeks later, she cleared the Philippines for Okinawa. After riding out a typhoon between 1 and 3 September, Stonewall reached Okinawa on the 6th. Four days later, she put to sea flying the pennant of the convoy commodore and, after a five day voyage, arrived at Jinsen, Korea. She remained at Jinsen until 4 November, when she got underway to return to the United States at San Francisco, Calif. On the 29th, she was rerouted to San Pedro, where she arrived on 5 December. There she reported to the Commandant, 11th Naval District, for decommissioning and disposal. Stonewall was decommissioned on 17 January 1946 and delivered to the War Shipping Administration for disposal. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 7 February 1946, and she was subsequently returned to her owner.