Gold Star, U.S. Cargo Ship

Photograph of USS Gold Star

Navy History and Heritage Center #NH 631. Via


Tonnage 4860 tons
Dimensions 391'9" by 52'2" by 11'10"
119.41m by 15.90m by 3.61m
Maximum speed       12 knots
Complement 52
2 5"/51 guns
4 3"/50 dual-purpose guns
1-shaft triple-expansion reciprocating (2500 shp)
3 Scotch coal-burning boilers
1570 tons
Eventually added 8 20mm Oerlikon AA guns

Gold Star was built for the Navy in 1922 as a cargo ship and reclassified as a general auxiliary in 1922. She spent most of the prewar years as flagship at Guam, with frequent voyages to Japan, China, and the Philippines. Much of her prewar crew was made up of Chamorros (natives of Guam.)

Because of the ship's frequent sailings in waters close to Japan, she was clandestinely fitted out with electronic equipment and used to closely monitor Japanese naval maneuvers throughout the early 1930s. This was known as Operation GOLD STAR and returned considerable intelligence.

Gold Star was at Dumanguilas Bay when war broke out. Following the loss of the Philippines, Gold Star operated out of Australian ports as a coastal steamer.


DANFS (accessed 2008-3-1)

Evans and Peattie (1997) (accessed 2009-12-25)

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