USS Aquila (AK-47)

For other ships of the same name, see USS Aquila.
Career (US)
Laid down: in 1936 as MV Tunis
Launched: 1936
Acquired: 11 August 1941
Commissioned: 24 October 1941
Decommissioned: 9 October 1945
Struck: 9 October 1945
Fate: scrapped in Greece in 1978
General characteristics
Displacement: 2,054 tons
Length: 288 ft 1 in (87.81 m)
Beam: 40 ft 6 in (12.34 m)
Draught: 18 ft 4 in (5.59 m)
Propulsion: Diesel, single screw
Speed: 12.5 kts
Complement: 156
Armament: two 3" guns

USS Aquila (AK-47) was an Aquila-class cargo ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II. She was responsible for delivering general cargo and equipment to ships and stations in the war zone.

MV Tunis was built in 1936 at Copenhagen, Denmark, by the Helsinger Shipbuilding Co.; acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission on 11 August 1941; renamed Aquila (AK-47) on 3 September 1941; converted for naval service by the Sullivan Drydock & Repair Co.; and commissioned on 24 October 1941, Lt. Comdr. Samuel S. Fried in command.

World War II North Atlantic operations

Aquila almost immediately began a series of convoy runs from New York and Boston, Massachusetts, to Reykjavík, Iceland. Between 1 December 1941 and 10 October 1942, the cargo ship made five round-trip voyages. On 7 November 1942, she arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, to begin operations with the Naval Transportation Service.

The ship's new assignment involved shuttling supplies and personnel between ports in the Eastern, Panama, Gulf, and Caribbean Sea Frontiers.

Post-war decommissioning

Aquila followed this routine until she was placed out of commission at Norfolk, Virginia, on 9 October 1945. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 24 October 1945, and the ship was returned to the Maritime Commission for disposal. She was then placed under charter by Alcoa Steam Ship Co., at Portsmouth, Virginia, 9 October 1945, renamed MV Bonanza. In accordance with Public Law 101, she was returned to her owners DFDS, Denmark, 25 June 1946, and renamed MV Tunis. She was sold in 1966, renamed MV Maria T, then again sold in 1972, and renamed MV Mathios. Her final disposition: scrapped in Greece in 1978.

Military awards and honors

Aquila’s crew members were eligible for the following medals:

  • American Campaign Medal
  • Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Philippines Liberation Medal

See also


  • This article incorporates text from the here.

External links

  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive - AK-47 Aquila
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