US ARMY SMALL SHIPS SECTION
UNITED STATES ARMY SERVICES OF SUPPLY (USASOS)
IN AUSTRALIAN WATERS
DURING WWII

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After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, a group of specialist were assembled in the USA and sent to Australia to scour all the harbours between Adelaide and Cairns and identify and commandeer every small ship they could find that could support the war effort. Their mission was known as "Mission X".

Many Australians served with the US Army Small Ships Section of the US Army Services of Supply (USASOS) in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) during WWII. They generally signed contracts which lasted for typically 6 - 12 months. The list of ships below also contains some US Army Transport Service (ATS) ships which were manned by Small Ships men. US Army Transport Service later changed its name to the US Army Transportation Corps.

Many of the Australian crew members of the US Small Ships were aged as young as 15 years old. And some were as old as seventy years old.

A-1 (S-182) Ajax Alacrity (S-34)
Altair (S-117) Alvic (S-35) Anshun
Apache (S-568, CSN-1) Aqua/Rena Star (S-170) Argo (S-86)
Argosy Lemal (S-6) Alamo Atlantic Trader
Australian Flyer Babilla (OL-2, S-236) Badal (OL-4, S-345)
Bangalow (OL-24, S-346) Bantam Barbara C (S-208)
Barraconda (S-61) BCL-3061 BCL-3065
BD-240 (S-240) BD-1156 Bella Gee (S-193)
Bellbird (S-120) Bergalia (S-144) (not acquired) Billy Jo
Bingarra (S-98) Black Fin (S-9) Bloomfield (S-43)
Bobby Bonwin (S-23) Booralee (S203)
Bopple (S-147) Brianbarb (S-160) Brit Phos "Uno" (S-69)
Brit Phos "Dos" (S-70) Brit Phos "Tres" (S-71) Bronzewing
Bulimba (S-148) Bundaberg (S-101) Camille (S-202)
Canonbar (S-149) Carawa (ST-16, S-220) Caribqueen
Cecilia (S-59) Charles Cam (S-10) Charles W. Pasley (CI-S-DI)
Chippewa City of Fort Worth City of Philadelphia
Civic (S-165) Cobargo (S-137) Colorado
Comara (S-138) Contessa Coorabie (S-30)
Coringle (S-31) Corrimal (S-150) Coweambah (S-96)
Cranwin (S-24) Crystal Star (S-8) Darwin (S-109)
Davenport (S-209) Dawn Defiance (S-204)
Desikoko (S-129) Destiny (S-84) Deutgan (S-108)
Director II Diana (S-211) Dolphin (S-28)
Dover (S-25) Duluth (S-963) Duncan (S-173)
Eldorado (S-198) Ellin (S-168) Ena (S-33)
Erina II (S-151) Esther Johnson (S-216) Eva (S-53)
Evaleeta (S-3, Q-156) Excel (S-128) Excelsior (S-225)
F-73 (S-515) F-95 (S-561) F-96 (S-633)
F-117 (S-557) F-119 (S-563) F-122 (S-589)
F-126 (S-543) F-129 (S-566) Fauro Chief (S-66)
Forster (S-122) FP-47 (S-430, CS-2) Free Selector (S-54)
FS Boats (Freight Supply) FSA-Boats (25 x 62 ft and 50 x 38 ft) FS-1 (S-275, Nabilla)
FS-2A (S-377, Adina) FS-2B (S-273, Wagnup) FS-7A (S-378, Allie)
FS-8A (S-379, Aldinga) FS-9A (S-429, Alkira) FS-10A (S-480, Alkoo)
FS-11A (S-481, Alkooni) FS-11C (S-256, Tarni) FS012A (S-482, Allara)
FS-12B (S-532 Wangary) FS-13A (S-541, Aleena) FS-14A (S-624, Allinga)
FS-17A (S-707, Anaroo) FS-19A (S-709, Apa) FS-20B (S-700, Wehla)
FS-22A (S-854, Arilpa) FS-23A (S-855, Arira) FS-27
FS-117 FS/FP-143 (S-586) FS-172 (S-775)
FS-130 FS-195 (S-971) FS-258 (S-1037)
FS-267 (S-1111) FS-390 (S-877) FS-528
Gee Bee/G.B. (S-210) General MacArthur (S-44) Geoanna (S-382, TP-249, CS-1)
Gertrude (S-124) Gwendolyn (S-190) Greer
Grey Lag H-9 (Bower) H-11
Haere (S-118) Half Rufus (S-217) Hanyang (X-8)
Harold (S-58, CS-3) Helen Dawn (S-56) Hilda Norling (S-62)
Hinemoa (S-194) Hokitika (S-130) Hunanui (S-131)
Illawarra (S-171) Iluka (S-97) Inverness (S-187)
International Iona (S-179) Irak (S-161)
Irma (S-119) Isabelle Star/Potts (S-123) J-548
J-549 J-676 Jack Cam (S-29)
Jack Pot (S-126) James Oliver James Wallace (S-90)
Jane Moorhead (S-63) Jacqueline Marie (S-7) J.E. Gorman (S-965)
Jessie (S-68) Joellen (S-184) John C. Calhoun
John Jacob Astor John I. Nolan John Reid Cam (S-95)
Jomaro (S-213) June (S-92) Jupogi (S-82)
Kaiulani (S-106) Kalbar (S-186) Kalowa (S-114)
Kapaiapoa Karsik/Karsig Katoora (S-140)
Keith Cam (S-12) Kelton (S-11) Ken (S-80)
Kia Ora (S-185) Kimbriki King John (S-13)
Kintore (S-154) Kiparra Kittahn
USS Klang Koala (S-112) Kookaburra (S-113)
Koomeela (S-26) Koondooloo (S-181) Kooraka (S-4)
Kurimarau (S-105) Lady Linda (S-183) Lady Betty (S-166)
Lokatoi (S-1) Leeta May (S-2) Lena Gladys (S-102)
Leprena (S-64) Lindisfarne (S-5, Q-154) Lodestar (S-39)
Lorinna (S-135) Louise (S-197) LST-228
LST-530 LST-975 LT-20 (S-548)
LT-125 LT-129 (S-595) LT-133 (S-687)
LT-140 LT-219 (S-571) LT-226 (S-588)
LT-348 (S-574) LT-451 LT-530 (S-662)
LT-644 LT-645 LT-784
Mac (S-176) Mactan (S-188) Maetsuyker
Maggie (S-104) Maiala (S-174) (or Miala) Maigre (S-224)
Maiwara (S-146) Mako (S-158) Margaret Twaits (S-52)
Margaret Rose (S-172) Marjorie Jean (S-57) Marrawah (S-178)
Mary Ellen (S-175) Masaya (S-85) Matonga (S-339, TL-25)
May (S-91) Melanesia (S-134) Melcustoms (S-100)
Melinga (S-139) Merri Chris (S-42) Michale (S-169)
Midge Miena (S-115) Mina (S-214)
Minnamurra (S-60) Minnow (S-107) Minston Brae (S-14)
Mirrabooka (S-15) Miss Lorraine (S-215) Moa (S-16)
Moa Moa (S-143) Mokatam Mongana (S-27)
Moreton (S-88) Morewa (S-281) Mosquito
MT-112 Mulcra (S-141) Muliama (S-159)
Muscoota (S-196) Nambucca II Nanagai (S-164)
Nancy Narooma (S-38) Nelcebee (S-32)
Nemesis (S-201) Newcastle (S-111) Nobby (S-45)
Nomena (S-40_ Norena Noora (S-136)
Norab (S-206) Norena Norindies
Norlago Norwest (S-103) Octorora
OL-1 (S-222, Baan) OL-2 (S-236, Babilla) OL-4 (S-345, Badal)
OL-6 (S-411, Bagoo) OL-21 OL-6A (S-360, Dannevirke)
OL-7 (S-412, Bahloo) OL-8 (S-857, Balal) OL-9 (S-858, Balerang)
OL-10 (S-859, Balemo) OL-12 (S-884, Ballarat) OL-21 (S-313, Banda)
OL-31 (S-664, Barah) Olga Star (S-17) Ozark
P-92 P-308 Pacific (S-55)
Pax/Sunset (S-205) Peggy Love (S-192) Pelorus (S-36)
Pemmican Point San Pedro Poonbar (S-155)
Potts/Isabelle Star (S-123) Priscilla Protector
Pulganbah (S-142) Q-127 (S-546) QS-2 (S-898)
QS-3 (S-649) QS-14 (S-609) Rapaki
Raymond Rena Star (S-170) Repatri (S-83)
Rhea (S-110) Ripride (S-18) Roxana (S-257)
Rufus King (see Half Rufus) Saint/St. John (S-19) San Antonio
San Christofolo (S-65) San Jose (see TP-242) San Nicholas (S-163)
Say When Scot Sea Arrow
Sea Hawk (S-162) Sea Mist (S-75) Seagull (S-125)
Sea Rover (S-127) Shangri-La (S-51) Sidney (S-226)
Silver Fin Silver Quay (S-46) Silver Arrow (S-74)
Silverwater Simoon (S-76) ST-1 (S-347, Coatesville)
ST-3 (S-349, Canterbury) ST-10 (S-396, Christchurch) ST-12 (S-398, Clive)
ST-14 (S-400, Cook) ST-17 (S-277, Carbanup) ST-18 (S-279, Carbeen)
ST-19 (S-278, Carbethon) ST-21 (S-706, Carcoola) ST-22 (S-340, Carinya)
ST-26 ST-27 ST-38 (S-848, Chullora)
ST-40 (S-850, Cobadong) ST-42 (S-341, Cobarup) ST-43 (S-342, Cobbora)
ST-46 (S-1018, Cobacup) ST-66 (S-1019, Coonatto) ST-68 (S-1021, Coonong)
ST-72 (S-1025, Corio) ST-74 (S-1027, Cowal) ST-75
ST-76 (S-1029, Cowlong) ST-131 ST-145
ST-179 ST-309 ST-357
ST-381 (S-577) ST-405 (S-648) ST-468 (S-583)
ST-472 (S-641) ST-729 Stella Maris
Spitfire (S-191) Stuart Thorpe (S-426) Sunbeam (S-89)
Sunshine (S-67) Swan (S-199) Swartenhondt
Swordfish (S-180) Tassie MBL III (S-77) Tassie IV
Tassie MBL VI (S-78) Tee Bee (WT-12, S-200) Terralinna
Tiger (S-50) Timoshenko (S-41) TL-57 (S-476, Mirreh)
TP-102 (S-750) TP-109 (S-679) TP-112 (S-765)
TP-117 (S-864) TP-109 TP-119 (S-996)
TP-121 (S-975) TP-129 (S-863) TP-130 (S-870)
TP-140 TP-242 (S-487, San Jose) TP-243 (S-486, Bennehaven)
TP-244 (S-508, Ardito) TP-245 (S-485, San Giovanni) TP-246 (S-551, Sea Tern)
Tolema (S-47) Torres (S-87) Tropic Bird
Tuhoe (S-132) Tung Song (S-152) T.W. Drennan (S-610)
Two Freddies (S-20) Uki (S-177) Ulladulla (S-21)
Valiant (S-73) Valkyrie (S-133) Valola (S-94)
Van Heemskerk Vaquero (S-207) Van Heutsz
Veebeebe (S-81) Veesa Veiya (S-48)
Venture Vim (S-72) Volador (S-385, CSM-1)
Volunteer (S-93) Wannon (S-153) Warilda (S-212)
Warren (S-121) Weeroona (S-195, CSQ-1) Weerutter
West Texas Weenonah (S-49) Will H. Point
Will Watch (S-116) William Foster Cowham Willyama II (S-22)
Wingo (S-37) Wombat (S-79) Wongawill (S-167)
Wortanna (S-145) WST-2 (S-387, Eucla) WT-2 (S-292, Koroki)
WT-6 (S-298, Korokai) WT-12 (S-788, Kokako) WT-19 (S-733, Kahka)
WT-23 (S-516, Kanuka) WT-31 (S-286, Kargatta) WT-35 (S-299, Karlta)
WT-40 (S-415, Karoolup) WT-45 WT-46 (S-289, Katak)
WT-52 (S-304, Kerabin) WT-57 (S-329, Kiamah) WT-58 (S-330, Kiana)
WT-63 (S-229, Killara) WT-67 (S-223, Kimbriki) WT-73 (S-231, Kiparra)
WT-74 (S-232, Kittahn) WT-77 (S-235, Kolodong) Y-1M?
Y-3 (S-363) Y-4 (S-364) Y-5 (S-365)
Y-7 (S-367) Y-11 (S-491) Y-13 (S-243)
Y-15 (S-245) Y-18 (S-369) Y-19 (S-243)
Y-20 (S-383) Y-21 (S-427) Z-17 (S-189)
Zoie (S-99)    

 

Noni Brown's father: Joseph John Horan (b 1904) known in the US records as John Joseph Horan. After working on the "Oronsay", "Moreton Bay" and "Largs Bay" as a British Merchant Marine (Steward/Tourist Steward), Joseph John Horan travelled back to Australia, arriving early January 1940. He appears to have been a Warden in "Waverley" Sydney NSW and then answered the call by "ManPower", and was interviewed and accepted as a civilian employee to work on the "Small Ships" under General Douglas MacArthur's Command, US Army Transportation Corps United States Army.

Joseph John Horan in Merchant Marine Uniform

Joseph Horan's official "Honourable Discharge" recognising his veteran status (discharge dated 6th April 1944.) plus two letters acknowledging his contribution as a "veteran" at long last. He was employed on two ships (according to his records) by the U.S. Army A.P.O. 927.

Joseph Horan and fellow crew members
of
Esther Johnson (S-216)

He was a crew member on the "Esther Johnson" which he boarded in Newcastle NSW. He joined the "UST 189" in January 1944. This ship was sent out to look for a plane that had crashed, 4 miles off Goodenough Island? - they were looking for survivors (The Captain of this vessel at this time was Kan Forman, Master ST 189)

Joseph Horan was employed as Engineer 1B from 23 September 1943 to 6 April 1944. He contracted Malaria and was unable to renew his contract. The records indicate that he was an "inventory clerk" (1943 at $384 pounds per annum) "cook/hand", "deckhand" to "Engineer Assistant" (Mar 1944) then Engineer 2B then Chief Engineer.

Small Ships crew during a drill

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Stephanie Cocks for her assistance with this web page.

I'd also like to thank Noni Brown for he assistance with this web page.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

Forgotten Fleet 2
An updated and expanded history of the part played by Australian men and ships in the US Army Ships in New Guinea, 1942 - 1945
by Bill Lunney and Ruth Lunney

 

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This page first produced 12 October 2008

This page last updated 09 March 2014