Re: SS Argon
Posted by Ron Carlson on July 16, 2008, 10:47 am, in reply to "SS Argon"
SS ARGON (6,952 tons) was an oil tanker built in 1920 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. in Baltimore for the Standard Transportation Company of Delaware, a subsidiary of the Standard Oil Company (see http://www.shipbuildinghistory.com/history/shipyards/1major/inactive/bethsparrowspoint.htm).
In World War II she served as a fleet oiler or escort oiler to supply fuel for convoy escorts in a number of convoys. I found numerous references to her at the website ConvoyWeb (http://www.convoyweb.org.uk). She is listed in about 60 different convoys, mostly between New York and various places in the Caribbean. (In making the rather short runs to and from the Caribbean she may have been transporting oil from, say, Venezuela, to the United States rather than operating as an escort oiler.)
SS ARGON was present in convoys to, from and within the Mediterranean from June through September 1943. The invasion of Sicily took place between July 9 and August 17, 1943. I found a brief mention of ARGON being involved in that invasion in a biography of an Armed Guard sailor, Joseph Karbowski, found at http://www.armed-guard.com/biogk.html; see third paragraph. I have not found evidence that she was in the Mediterranean at any time other than June-September 1943.
According to sketchy information I found ARGON was scrapped in Baltimore in June 1947.
There is a lengthy description of the experiences of convoy ONS-5 (Liverpool to Halifax) in April-May 1943, in which ARGON sailed and in which she is mentioned several times, at http://ahoy.tk-jk.net/macslog/WilfredRonaldSidneyBavers.html. At least 13 of 46 merchant ships in this convoy were sunk although ARGON apparently was not damaged or attacked. Another description of attacks on convoy ONS-5 is found at http://www.uboat.net/ops/convoys/battles.htm?convoy=ONS-5.
I have been unable to find a picture of ARGON but a photograph of an identical sister ship, SS ARIO (completed one month after ARGON), can be found at http://www.nc-wreckdiving.com/WRECKS/ARIO/ARIO.HTML.
Ron Carlson, Webmaster
Armed Guard website www.armed-guard.com