Allied Warships

USS Pepperwood (AN 36)

Net tender of the Aloe class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeNet tender
PennantAN 36 
Built byJohn H. Mathias Co. (Camden, New Jersey, U.S.A.) 
Ordered31 Jul 1940 
Laid down25 Oct 1940 
Launched25 Aug 1941 
Commissioned8 Jun 1942 
End service15 Dec 1944 

Decommissioned and transferred (on loan) to France on 15 December 1944 being renamed Tarentule
Sold to France on 21 March 1949


Commands listed for USS Pepperwood (AN 36)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt. Charles E. Hall, USN15 Dec 1942??? (1)

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Notable events involving Pepperwood include:

13 Jul 1944

Combined convoy OS 83 / KMS 57.

This combined convoy assembled off Oversay on 13 July 1944.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Adrastus (British, 7905 GRT, built 1923), Ashbury (British, 3901 GRT, built 1924), Astrid (Norwegian, 2861 GRT, built 1942), Bactria (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928), Baron Tweedmouth (British, 3357 GRT, built 1927), Benedick (British, 6978 GRT, built 1928), Bestik (Norwegian, 2684 GRT, built 1920), Bornholm (British, 3177 GRT, built 1930), Capitaine Paul Lemerle (French, 4945 GRT, built 1925), Clan Chattan (British, 7262 GRT, built 1937), Empire Addison (British, 7010 GRT, built 1942), Empire Clive (British, 7069 GRT, built 1941), Empire Derwent (British, 4026 GRT, built 1930), Empire Fal (British, 4880 GRT, built 1914), Empire Melody (British, 2283 GRT, built 1942), Empire Pakeha (British, 8115 GRT, built 1910), Empire Peacock (British, 6098 GRT, built 1919), English Monarch (British, 4557 GRT, built 1924), Fort Lawrence (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fresno Star (British, 7998 GRT, built 1919), Geologist (British, 6202 GRT, built 1944), Glaucus (British, 7596 GRT, built 1921), Harberton (British, 4585 GRT, built 1930), Harpalycus (British, 5629 GRT, built 1935), Maihar (British, 7563 GRT, built 1917), Novasli (Norwegian, 3204 GRT, built 1920), Pacheco (British, 1405 GRT, built 1927), Samcebu (British, 7253 GRT, built 1944), Samfinn (British, 7253 GRT, built 1944), Silverlarch (British, 5064 GRT, built 1924) and Tweedbank (British, 5627 GRT, built 1930).

The rescue ship Gothland (British, 1286 GRT, built 1932) was also part of the convoy.

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the escort carrier HMS Fencer (A/Capt. W.W.R. Bentinck, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Hesperus (Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RD, RNR), frigates HMS Cotton (Lt.Cdr. I.W.T. Beloe, RN), HMS Gardiner (A/Lt.Cdr. W.G.H. Bolton, DSC, RD, RNR), corvettes HMS Flint Castle (T/Lt. S.G. Wright, RNVR), HMS Oxford Castle (T/Lt. H.E. Holden, DSC, RNR), HMS Rushen Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.C. Warwick, DSC and Bar, RNR) and HNoMS Tunsberg Castle (?).

On assembly the Empire Fal and Tweedbank collided and the returned to port.

On 21 July 1944, the merchant vessel Empire Chamois (British, 5684 GRT, built 1918) joined the convoy coming from the Azores.

Around 0615B/22, HMS Fencer parted company with the convoy to join the combined convoy SL 164 / MKS 55 which she did around 1945B/22. She was escorted by HMS Cotton which did not join this convoy but returned to convoy OS 83/ KMS 57.

On 23 July 1944 the convoy split into convoy OS 83 bound for Freetown and convoy KMS 53 bound for the Mediterranean.


Convoy OS 83 was made up of the merchant vessels; Adrastus, Bactria, Bornholm, Clan Chattan, Empire Chamois, Empire Clive, Empire Pakeha, Fresno Star, Harberton and Silverlarch.

These were joined by the merchant vessels Beckenham (British, 4636 GRT, built 1937), Empire Flame (British, 7069 GRT, built 1941), Empire Moonrise (British, 6854 GRT, built 1941), Nailsea Moor (British, 4926 GRT, built 1937) and Radmanso (Swedish, 4280 GRT, built 1914) coming from Gibraltar which they had departed earlier that day.

These ships had been escorted by the frigates HMS Aire (A/Lt.Cdr. N.K. Boyd, DSC and Bar, RNR), HMS Odzani (Lt.Cdr. L.A. Sayers, RD, RNR), corvette HMS Bellwort (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.V. Banks, RNVR) and the patrol vessel HMS Kilmington (T/Lt. D.D. Humphreys, RNVR) which now formed the escort of this convoy towards Freetown.

on 24 July 1944, the merchant vessel Samstrudy (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944) departed Casablanca to join the convoy. She was escorted by the patrol vessel / sloop Amiral Mouchez. On this ship joining the convoy, the Hamberton parted company to proceed to Casablanca escorted by the Amiral Mouchez. They arrived at Casablanca on 25 July.

On 31 July 1944, the Bactria and Empire Clive arrived at Dakar having been detached from the convoy while the merchant vessel Slesvig (British, 3098 GRT, built 1938) had joined the convoy coming from Dakar.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 2 August 1944. Some ships of the convoy did not enter Freetown but proceed directly to other destinations.


Convoy KMS 57 proceeded towards the Straits of Gibraltar. This convoy was made up the merchant vessels Ashbury, Astrid, Baton Tweedmouth, Benedick, Bestik, Capitaine Paul Lemerle, Empire Addison, Empire Derwent, Empire Derwent, Empire Melody, Empire Peacock, English Monarch, Fort Lawrence, Geologist, Glaucus, Harpalycus, Maihar, Novasli, Pacheco, Samcebu and Samfinn.

The rescue ship Gothland was also with them.

Escort was provided by the escort from combined convoy OS 83 / KMS 57.

On 25 July 1944, the Baron Tweedmouth, Benedick, Pacheco and Gothland arrived at Gibraltar together with the original escort of the convoy.

Off Gibraltar the merchant vessels Alexandre Andre (Belgian (tanker), 5261 GRT, built 1928), Antonio (British, 5225 GRT, built 1918), Empire Highway (British, 7166 GRT, built 1942), Fort Colville (British, 7153 GRT, built 1943), Parame (French, 2337 GRT, built 1918) joined the convoy as did a new escort which was made up of the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.T. Jellicoe, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), frigates HMS Evenlode (Cdr. V.F. Smith, DSO, RD, RNR), HMS Usk (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Pattinson, DSC, RD, RNR), corvettes HMS Bergamot (A/Lt.Cdr. W. McInnes, RNR), HMS Delphinium (T/Lt. S. Rule, RNVR) and the A/S whalers HMSAS Protea (Lt. A. Thomas, DSC, SANF) and HMSAS Southern Sea (Lt.Cdr. M.R.J. Terry-Lloyd, SANF).

On 26 July 1944, the Empire Derwent and Parame arrived at Oran after having been detached from the convoy while the merchant vessels Aztec (Hunduran, 5511 GRT, built 1929), Chateau Latour (French, 1912 GRT, built 1914), Dromus (British (tanker), 8036 GRT, built 1938), Elias Boldinot (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), James E. Howard (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Joel Chandler Harris (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Silverster Gardiner (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Smith Thompson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), William H. Wilmer (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943) and the net tender USS Pepperwood (Lt. E.F. McLaughlin, USNR) and the self propelled fuel barge USS Gauger (Lt. G.V. Davis, USNR) joined the convoy.

On 27 July 1944, the Alexandre Andre, Astrid, Capitaine Paul Lemerle, Chateau Latour, Empire Highway, Empire Melody, Fort Lawrence, Silverster Gardiner, Smith Thompson and William H. Wilmer arrived at Algiers after having been detached from the convoy while the merchant vessels Avon Coast (British, 1036 GRT, built 1923), Empire Tern (British, 2479 GRT, built 1919), Fort Grahame (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), Fort Hall (British, 7157 GRT, built 1943) and James J. Maguire (British (tanker), 10525 GRT, built 1939) joined the convoy.

On 28 July 1944, the Empire Tern arrived at Algiers after having been detached from the convoy while the merchant vessel Kola (British, 1538 GRT, built 1924) joined the convoy.

Around 0555B/29, HMS Colombo parted company wth the convoy and set course for Malta where she arrived around 1850B/29.

On 30 July 1944, the Antonio, Aztec, Dromus, Joel Chandler Harris and Novasli arrived at Bizerta after having been detached from the convoy while the merchant vessel George F. Patten (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy.

On 30 July 1944, the Bestik arrived at Tunis after having been detached from the convoy.

On 30 July 1944, Avon Coast and Fort Colville arrived at Malta after having been detached from the convoy.

On 30 July 1944, the merchant vessels Albert G. Brown (American (tanker), 7218 GRT, built 1943), Destro (British, 3553 GRT, built 1920), Evviva (Norwegian, 1597 GRT, built 1921), Fort Clatsop (British, 7157 GRT, built 1943), James J. Hill (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Vulcan (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Samconon (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), and Zaanstroom (Dutch, 1646 GRT, built 1920) departed Augusta to join the convoy. With them was also the frigate HMS Awe (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR) which also joined the convoy.

On 31 July 1944, the Ashbury, Elias Boldinot, Empire Peacock, English Monarch, Fort Grahame, Fort Hall, George F. Patten, Harpalycus, James E. Howard, James J. Maguire, Kola and Samcebu, Samfinn, Silvester Gardiner and Smith Thompson as well as USS Pepperwood and USS Gauger all arrived at Augusta after having been detached from the convoy.

On 3 August 1944, the Fort Clatsop, James J. Hill, Ocean Vulcan and Zaanstroom arrived at Alexandria after having been detached from the convoy. With them the HMS Awe, HMS Evenlode and HMS Usk also arrived at Alexandria.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Port Said on 4 August 1944.

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