USS Munargo (AP-20)

Career (US)
Laid down: 1920
Launched: 1920
Acquired: 8 June 1940
Commissioned: 4 June 1941
Decommissioned: 18 October 1943
In service: as USAHS Thistle
Out of service: March 1946
Struck: unknown date
Fate: scrapped in 1957
General characteristics
Displacement: 7,100 tons
Length: 432 ft (132 m)
Beam: 57 ft 6 in (17.53 m)
Draught: 23 ft 7 in (7.19 m)
Propulsion: steam turbine, single propeller, 5,800shp
Speed: 16 kts
Complement: 254
Armament: one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount, four 3"/50 guns, eight .50 cal machine guns

USS Munargo (AP-20) was a commercial vessel-class transport acquired by the U.S. Navy for service as a troop carrier during World War II. She operated in the Atlantic Ocean, and, during the war, she was converted into a U.S. Army Hospital ship and renamed Thistle.

Munargo (AP 20) was completed in December 1921 by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, New Jersey; acquired by the Navy from the Army 6 June 1941; and commissioned 4 June 1941, Comdr. Harold F. Ely in command.

World War II North Atlantic operations

Following conversion at Brooklyn, New York, Munargo was attached to the Naval Transportation Service at Brooklyn in December 1941. On 16 December she embarked troops and sailed to Bermuda, arriving St. George’s Harbor 2 days later. She departed 19 December for San Juan, Puerto Rico, with troops and civilian passengers, and thence steamed to Trinidad to take aboard suspected German agents for transportation to New York, arriving 5 January 1942.

For the first 3-1⁄2 months of 1942, Munargo carried troops between New York and Reykjavík, Iceland. On 17 April she embarked British troops on Iceland, then carried them to Gourock, Scotland. After another such voyage, she returned to Boston, Massachusetts, 27 June to disembark British officers, then spent 4 months In New York.

South Atlantic and Pacific operations

Munargo left New York 30 December with troops, cargo, and U.S. currency for Trinidad and Brazil, from which she sailed through the Panama Canal to San Francisco, California, arriving 18 March 1943. On 17 May she reached Noumea, New Caledonia with troops, returning to California to reload, and once again arriving in Noumea 18 July. She sailed almost at once for Samoa, Hawaii, Guantánamo Bay, and the U.S. East Coast She decommissioned at Brooklyn 18 October 1943, and was returned to the War Department.

Conversion to hospital ship

The U.S. Army converted her to a hospital ship and she renamed Thistle. Operating from Charleston, South Carolina, she made nine voyages of mercy to the Mediterranean. Ordered to the Pacific Ocean in September 1945, she called at Leyte and returned to the west coast in December. Where she took a load of Army Air Force men and dependents to be stationed in Alaska. She sailed under the USS Thistle name to Alaska. She was decommissioned as a hospital ship in March 1946.

Post-war decommissioning

She was subsequently returned to the Maritime Commission and remained under its custody for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet until 1968. Final disposition: she was scrapped in 1957.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

See also

External links

  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive - AP-20 Munargo - US Army Hospital Ship Thistle
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