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OILERS - AO, AOE, AOG & AOR TANKERS


Bearmon
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Salvage Sailor

USS PATAPSCO (AOG-1) SERVICE - SUPPORT - FUEL FOR PEACE. Three war class leader Gasoline Tanker, served in WWII, occupation service, Atomic Tests, and in the Korean war. Recommissioned in 1966 for service in Vietnam supplying the Brown Water Navy, she operated off South Vietnam under ComNavSupAct, Da Nang, Huế, and Cửa Việt.

 

AOG 1 USS PATAPSCO 001.jpg

 

USS PATAPSCO earned one battle star for her World War II service, one battle star for Korean War service and seven campaign stars for Vietnam War service

 

AOG 1 USS PATAPSCO 002.jpg

 

Photo: USS PATAPSCO (AOG-1) off of Cua Viet South Vietnam in 1967

 

AOG 1 USS PATAPSCO off Cua Viet in 1967.jpg

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Salvage Sailor

USS CIMARRON (AO-22) Class leader fleet replenishment oiler in service 1939 to 1968.

 

The (30) Cimarron-class oilers were an underway replenishment class of oil tankers which were first built in 1939 as "National Defense Tankers," United States Maritime Commission Type T3-S2-A1, designed "to conform to the approved characteristics for naval auxiliaries in speed, radius and structural strength", anticipating their militarization in the event of war. "Tentative plans had been reached with the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey to build ten high-speed tankers with the government paying the cost of the larger engines needed for increased speed. By the first week in December [1937], Standard Oil had solicited and received bids from a number of yards providing for the construction of a number of 16,300-ton (deadweight) capacity tankers.

 

Four more Cimaron class hulls were converted to Sangamon class (CVE) escort carriers in 1942

 

AO 22 USS CIMARRON 001.jpg

 

USS CIMARON received 10 battle stars for World War II service, 7 battle stars for Korean War service, 4 campaign stars for Vietnam War service

 

AO 22 USS CIMARRON 008a.jpg


Photo from navsource: Starboard bow plan view looking aft of USS Cimarron (AO-22) at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA., 26 November 1942, after taking part in the Tokyo Raid with the USS Hornet (CV-8) and USS Enterprise (CV-6) in April and the Battle of the Coral Sea in early May with USS Lexington (CV-2), USS Yorktown (CV-5), Hornet and Enterprise, to defeat the Japanese at Midway at the end of May-early June, and finally, taking part in operations in the Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal. Cimarron is still in splotches. The excessive fading of the seablue (5-S) is evident on the hull. The small dark patches are primer coats of 84D. Hulls always took more of a beating because they could not be “kept up” underway, whereas decks and superstructures were often touched up and maintained. The bright sun tends to wash out the 5-O and 5-H side splotches on the bridge. The circles indicate new equipment or structures added at that time and are actually drawn on the original negatives. The Farragut class destroyers USS Worden (DD-352) and USS Dewey (DD-349) in the background, on the opposite side of the pier, across for Worden, are both in Measure 21, navy blue (5-N). The stern of the heavy cruiser USS Chicago (CA-29) is visible just forward of USS Worden. Across the river at Mare Island Naval Station, in the ferry slip, is either the harbor ferry Delta King (YFB-55) or Delta Queen (YFB-56).

US Navy photo

 

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AO 22 USS CIMARRON 007.jpg

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Salvage Sailor

Another Vietnam War gasoline tanker

 

USS NOXUBEE (AOG-56) Patapsco class gasoline tanker in service 1945 to 1975. She was our SERVRON FIVE tanker specifically upgraded in 1965 to serve the Salvage forces and Brown Water Navy bases in RVN (like the PATAPSCO in post no. 51)

 

AOG 56 USS NOXUBEE 001.jpg

 

On 10 September 1966, following a seven-month outfitting and modernization period at Baltimore, Noxubee was recommissioned at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, LT Howard Pabst commanding. One month later she sailed for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii via the Panama Canal as a unit of Service Squadron Five.
 
Following refresher training at Pearl Harbor, Noxubee deployed to the western Pacific on 9 March 1967. During that deployment she supported advanced fuel bases along the coast of I Corps, South Vietnam. On 2 August 1967, Noxubee departed Da Nang for Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan. During her return trip to Pearl Harbor Noxubee was diverted to Wake Island to assist in the salvage of a grounded civilian tanker. She finally arrived at Pearl Harbor on 22 September 1967. While conducting a training cruise off the coast of Oahu on 24 November, Noxubee spotted and rescued the sole survivor of a fishing boat accident.
 
On 17 April 1968, Noxubee departed Hawaii for her second WESTPAC cruise. Noxubee headed directly for Vietnam for three months of continuous operations. In August Noxubee received the Battle Efficiency Pennant for fiscal year 1968. On 28 October, Noxubee came under enemy artillery fire while anchored off Cửa Việt, escaping unharmed. During this deployment Noxubee set the all-time record for AOGs by pumping 20 million gallons of petroleum products and earning a Meritorious Unit Commendation. Noxubee returned to Pearl Harbor in December 1968.
 
Following six months of upkeep and training Noxubee again departed Pearl Harbor for Vietnam on 2 June 1969 with LT D. E. Cass commanding. Operating out of Da Nang, she made frequent trips to Sa Huynh, Tan My and Cửa Việt. On 9 September 1969 Noxubee was mined by enemy swimmers while anchored at Cửa Việt. The explosion created a three by five-foot hole in her hull but the crew suffered no casualties. Temporary repairs were quickly accomplished at Da Nang and she was back on station in less than a week. At the end of the month Noxubee traveled to Subic Bay for permanent repairs. In addition to Subic Bay, Noxubee also visited Hong Kong and Sasebo, Japan during this deployment. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 6 February 1970.
 
NOXUBEE was awarded six campaign stars for Vietnam War service

 

AOG 56 USS NOXUBEE 001.jpg

 

AOG 56 USS NOXUBEE 002.jpg

 

AOG 56 USS NOXUBEE 003.jpg

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Salvage Sailor

USS NAVASOTA (AO-106) Cimarron/Ashtabula class fleet oiler in service 1946 to 1975, USNS service 1975 to 1991 as (T-AO-106);  She went through 'Jumboization' in 1963-1964 to increase her length from 553' to 644'

USS NAVASOTA earned nine battle stars for Korean War service and fourteen campaign stars for Vietnam War service

 

AO 106 USS NAVASOTA 001.jpg

 

Two different patches from her USN Pacific Fleet service career, a 1950's Japanese patch (pre-Jumboized) and a US Gemsco patch made after her Jumboization.

 

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AO 106 USS NAVASOTA 005.jpg

 

AO 106 USS NAVASOTA 006.jpg

 

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS ELOKOMIN (AO-55) Cimarron class fleet oiler in service 1943 to 1970.  WWII MTO/ETO and Atlantic/Med Cold War Service

 

AO 55 USS ELOKOMIN 001.jpg

 

AO 55 USS ELOKOMIN 002.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor

USS NECHES (AO-47) Kennebec (Mattaponi) class Fleet Oiler in service 1942 to 1970.  

USS Neches earned nine battle stars for World War II service and nine campaign stars for Vietnam War service

Japanese made patch

AO 47 USS NECHES 001.jpg

 

The Kennebec-class oilers were sixteen United States Navy medium oilers built during World War II to three related designs at Bethlehem Sparrows Point Shipyard of Sparrows Point, Maryland and Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. of Chester, Pennsylvania, all of which survived the war. One is still in commercial service as of 2018.

 

All of the ships of the class initially were to be built for private companies, but the outset of World War II, the ships were transferred to the United States Maritime Commission and given new names. Later, when allocated to the U.S. Navy, they were renamed again.

 

In some cases the Kennebec class is divided into three classes, the Kennebec class (AO-36 to AO-40, AO-48), the Mattaponi class (AO-41 to AO-44, AO-47) and the Chiwawa class (AO-68 to 72). The first two classes were of the T2 and T2-A designs, built by different shipbuilders, and the Chiwawas were of the T3-S-A1 design, mainly differing in having only a 7,000 shp engine and a top speed of 15.3 knots.

 

AO 47 USS NECHES 002.jpg

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