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WORLD WAR II ERA TANKER HISTORY Some of these may only have worked as Oil Transports – Not performing UNREP. Cimarron Class – June 1938 Kennebec Class.

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Presentation on theme: "WORLD WAR II ERA TANKER HISTORY Some of these may only have worked as Oil Transports – Not performing UNREP. Cimarron Class – June 1938 Kennebec Class."— Presentation transcript:

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2 WORLD WAR II ERA TANKER HISTORY Some of these may only have worked as Oil Transports – Not performing UNREP. Cimarron Class – June 1938 Kennebec Class – April 1941 Chicopee Class – Sept Mattaponi Class – Jan Big Horn Class – April 1942 Suamico Class – May 1942 Chiwawa Class – June 1942 Atascosa Class – Sept Escambia Class – April 1943 Mission Buenaventura Class – May 1944

3 The two Block Island Aircraft Carriers (CVE 21and CVE 106) were unlike any other two ships by the same name. CVE 21 (along with 5 other CVE’s) was originally actually a C3 tanker hull being constructed to deliver oil to our allies in Europe. The scourge of the German submarine activities, taking the great toll of the convoys underway far out to sea, became a major priority to all of the allied nations due to the fact that the majority of the sinkings were taking place far out of the range of any allied aircraft. President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill got together and the United States entered into a agreement to convert several tanker hulls into small aircraft carriers to be provided to Great Britain to roam the vast areas of the Atlantic Ocean seeking out these submarines. Many tankers were converted to CVE’s

4 Following some early development starting at about 1900 for transferring coal, the technique of underway replenishment (UNREP) was perfected by the United States Navy in the late 1930's UNREP was used extensively as a logistics support technique in the Pacific theatre of World War II. Since it allowed extended range and striking capability to naval task forces the technique was classified so that enemy nations could not duplicate it. It is now used by most, if not all, blue-water navies.

5 In mid-1940, Cimarron entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard to receive her armament and other features required for her intended combat support employment. Upon completion of this work in the Spring of 1941, she began operations in the Atlantic that lasted until March 1942, when she transited the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet. USS Cimarron, first of the Navy's many World War II era T3-S2-A1 type oilers. She was built at Chester, Pennsylvania. She went into commission in March 1939 and transported oil along the west coast and to Hawaii during her first year of service. Profile from: Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages

6 T2 Tanker Main Deck T2 Tanker Cargo Hold Four Hulls were used for Escort Carriers Plans from: Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages

7 The second Kennebec (AO-36) T2 type, was launched as Corsicana 19 April 1941 by Bethlehem Steel Shipbuilding Corp., Sparrows Point, Md.; sponsored by Mrs. E. Rolfe Brown; Renamed Kennebec 9 January 1942; she was acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission 13 January 1942; and commissioned 4 February 1942, Comdr. S. S. Reynolds in command. Kennebec departed 11 February 1942 and joined the Service Force of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. The fleet oiler arrived New Orleans 27 February and commenced oil runs from Gulf ports to depots along the Atlantic coast and South America. Kennebec was almost constantly at sea, supplying the fleet from Brazil to Newfoundland with vital fuel oil, kerosene, diesel oil, and aviation gasoline. She departed Norfolk 4 May for fueling operations in the Caribbean, then resumed coastal oil runs throughout the summer.

8 The second Chicopee (AO-34) was built in 1941 by Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pa., as Esso Trenton; sponsored by Mrs. N. L. Lank; acquired by the Navy 3 January 1942; and commissioned 9 February 1942, Commander G. Bannerman in command. After a short period as station tanker at Casco Bay, Maine, Chicopee made several oil runs between ports on the Gulf of Mexico and the east coast. She departed Norfolk 8 June 1942 for Argentia, Newfoundland, and served as station tanker there from 12 June until 8 July when she sailed to Reykjavik, Iceland, returning to Norfolk 25 July.

9 Mattaponi (AO ‑ 41) T2-A type, built under Maritime Commission contract, was laid down originally as Kalkay (M.C.hull No. 149) by the Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pa., 9 September 1941; launched as Mattaponi, 17 January 1942; sponsored by Mrs. E. Macauley; and commissioned 11 May 1942, Comdr. Martin J. Gillan, Jr., in command. On 12 December she departed New York Harbor for the first of 21 wartime transatlantic convoys. As a vital link in the war effort, she carried, in addition to her cargo fuels, landing craft, aircraft, provisions, mail, medical supplies, and passengers. Her medical complement as well as her engineers and mechanics were often called on, at sea and in port, to remedy malfunctions, human and mechanical, on board other ships. Mattaponi spent almost all of World War II in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theaters. From her commissioning until December 1942 she plied the waters off the east and gulf coasts carrying fuel from the Texas oil ports to the Navy’s fuel storage depots at Craney Island, Yorktown, Newport, Boston, and Casco Bay.

10 Big Horn (AO-45) was built in 1936 by Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pa., as Gulf Dawn; purchased by the Navy 31 March 1942, converted into a Q-ship by Boston Navy Yard, and commissioned 16 April 1942, Commander J. A. Gainard in command. Upon her re-acquisition by the Navy, Big Horn was redesignated IX-207 and assigned to Service Force, Pacific Fleet. She arrived at Pearl Harbor 8 April and proceeded to the Southwest Pacific where she served as a shuttle tanker, mainly between Ulithi and the Philippines. She got underway for Japan 28 September 1945 and served as station tanker at Nagoya, Japan (3 October February 1946). Big Horn operated in the eastern North Atlantic as a Q-ship from July 1942 to January 1944 without success. She was transferred to the Coast Guard 17 January 1944 and operated as a weather patrol vessel out of Newfoundland until returned to the Navy 1 February 1945.

11 Suamico completed her fitting-out at Norfolk. She departed Hampton Roads on 28 September and, after sailing via Aruba Island off Venezuela, she transited the Panama Canal. She arrived in Noumea, New Caledonia, late in November and then shifted to Suva Harbor, Fiji, in early December to unload her liquid cargo. She departed Suva on the 7th and, later that month, arrived in San Pedro, Calif. Suamico (AO-49) T2-SE-A1 type, was laid down as Harlem Heights on 27 September 1941 by the Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Chester, Pa.; launched on 30 May 1942; sponsored by Mrs. W. Potter; delivered to the Navy on 27 June 1942; converted to a fleet oiler at Brooklyn, N.Y., by the Bethlehem Steel Co.; and commissioned on 10 August 1942, Comdr. R. E. Butterfield in command. Three were built in Portland, Oregon

12 Chiwawa put out of Casablanca in convoy 11 April for Norfolk, arriving 28 April after a quiet passage. Between 4 May and 17 July she ferried oil on the east coast, loading at Aruba, Netherlands West Indies, and Port Arthur, Tex., and discharging her cargo at Bermuda; Argentia, Newfoundland and Norfolk. She made three convoy crossings, to Scotland, Wales, and Casablanca, between 17 July and 4 December, then resumed operations to Port Arthur and Aruba, except for the period 25 January-8 March 1944, when she again crossed to North Africa. Chiwawa (AO-68) T3-S-A1 type, was launched 25 June 1942 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Sparrows Point, Md., under a Maritime Commission contract as Samoset; sponsored by Mrs. H. G. Smith; acquired by the Navy 24 December 1942; commissioned the same day, Commander H. Fultz in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet. Chiwawa cleared Norfolk 13 February 1943 to load oil at Aruba, and returned to New York 25 February to join a convoy for Casablanca, Morocco, which sailed 4 March. Attacked by a wolf-pack east of the Azores, the convoy lost four ships, but aircraft from Port Lyautey, Morocco, drove the U-boats away, and the remainder of the convoy arrived safely 21 March.

13 Built as Esso Columbia at Chester, Pa., by the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. for the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey; launched on 7 September 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Harold G. McAvenia; Renamed by the Navy Atascosa and designated AO- 66 on 16 September 1942; purchased by the Navy on 12 October 1942: and commissioned on 9 November 1942, Lt. Comdr. Melvin H. Bassett in command. Following her commissioning at Baltimore, Md., the oiler sailed to Hampton Roads, Va., for a month of sea trials, she then got underway on 19 December for Port Arthur, Tex., where she took on a cargo of fuel oil and gasoline and then returned to Norfolk on 3 January Those are PT boats on deck. This is how small boats and airplanes were transported to the Pacific or Mediterranean. See: AO-32 and AO-38 descriptions on NavSource OnLine

14 Escambia (AO-80) T2-SE-A2 type, was launched 25 April 1943 by Marinship Corp., Sausalito, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. Joseph Cooper; and commissioned 28 October 1943, Lieutenant Commander J. M. Paulsson, USNR, in command. From 15 March to 30 August, she sailed out of Espiritu Santo, fueling the fast-carrier task force in their raids on the Palaus and during the Hollandia operation. After a December 1943 voyage from the west coast to Pearl Harbor with oil cargo, Escambia departed San Francisco 21 January 1944 for Majuro, arriving 9 February. For the next month she fueled ships at Roi and Majuro as the Marshall Islands were assaulted.

15 Mission Buenaventura T2-SE-A2 type, was laid down 29 March 1944 under a Maritime Commission contract by Marin Ship Corp., Sausalito, Calif.; launched 28 May 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Fred W. Boole; and delivered 28 June Chartered to Deconhill Shipping Co., for operations, she spent the remainder of the war supporting our victorious forces in the Pacific. She was returned to the Maritime Commission in March 1946 and on 30 March was laid up in the Maritime Commission Reserve Fleet at Mobile, Ala. Acquired by the Navy on 18 November 1947, she was activated and transferred to the Naval Transportation Service for service as Mission Buenaventura (A0-111). When the Naval Transportation Service was absorbed by the new Military Sea Transportation Service, she continued her duties as USNS Mission Buenaventura (T-AO-111). She continued her worldwide service until 4 April 1960, when she was transferred to the Maritime Commission for lay up at Mobile, Ala.


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