One of Eight
Ashtabula (AO-51) after Jumboization, 1968
Ed Benningfield GMG1 USNR Ret, USS Ashtabula 1968-70
Descriptiom is below poem
For this particular ship, her career would not mean much,
Unless you had walked her decks, and felt her tender touch.
Built to serve the fleet, and
commissioned in '43,
These are the first four phrases of a poem written by
OSCM(SW) Rick Dillard, USN
Rick was in charge of coordinating this SINKEX event
the last time he was in Frisco where ex-ASHTABULA (AO-51)
was being towed out to sea, stern first.
He wrote about this exercise with through poem.
Go To: The Poem in Total
Ashtabula is the name of a river in Ohio.
(AO-51: dp. 7236; l. 553'; b. 75'; dr. 32'4"; s. 18.3 kts.; cpl. 298; a. 1 5", 4 3"; cl. Cimarron)
Ashtabula (AO-51) was launched 22 May 1943 by Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard., Inc., Sparrows Point, Md., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. Adolf Berle; transferred to the Navy 7 August 1943; commissioned the same day, Commander L.J. Modave, USNR, in command; and reported to Service Squadron 8, Pacific Fleet.
Assigned to "at sea" fueling duty, Astabula served with the logistic support forces for the fast carrier task forces. She supported them during operations in the in the Marshall Islands (29 January-8 February 1944), Marianas (11-27 June), and at Leyte (22-28 October). During the Leyte landings 24 October 1944, she was damaged by a Japanese torpedo. Although there were no personnel casualties, and she completed her mission, the structural damage she incurred necessitated her return to San Pedro, Calif., for repairs (17 December 1944-26 January 1945).
In February 1945 Ashtabula reported to Service Squadron 10 and throughout the remainder of the war she participated in the 3d and 5th Fleet raids in support of the Okinawa operation (16 March-13 June 1945) and the 3d Fleet operations against Japan (10 July-14 August).
Ashtabula has operated in logistic support of the Pacific Fleet since 1945. During the Korean conflict, she served under the operational control of Commander, Service Squadron 3 and TG 79.1 while refueling fleet units off Korea (8 December 1950- 25 May 1951, 12 October 1951-18 January 1952, 29 February-24 March 1952, and 24 October 1952-23 May 1953)
has received five battle
stars for her service in the Pacific during World War II and four
stars for her Korean service.
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal - Korean Service Medal (4) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (4-Quemoy-Matsu, 9-Vietnam, 1-Korea, 1 Op. Frequent Wind)
Fourth Row - Vietnam Service Medal (7) - Humanitarian Service Medal (1-Frequent Wind, 1-Snowgo, New York) - Philippines Liberation Medal
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)