Neosho Class Naval Fleet Oiler

The Neosho class Naval Fleet Oiler mission is to provide logistical support to various units by transporting bulk petroleum products, fleet freight, mail and personnel from shore depots to combatants and support forces afloat and effecting delivery underway.

AO-143: Bethlehem Steel, Quincy Massachusetts
AO's 144 thru148: New York Shipbuilding, Camden New Jersey
38,000 tons full load
655 feet
86 feet
35 feet
20 knots
Two geared turbines, two boilers, two shafts, 28,000 shaft horsepower
Armanent One 5"/38 dual purpose gunmount, (Two on some , but the first guns to be removed)
Four twin 3"/50 gun mounts; 50 caliber machine guns.

None (in 60's a landing platform for vertical replenishment was added)
Cargo Capacity
180,000 barrels
324 Navy command to 1979 -- then under MSC, 106 civilians, 21 Navy

Neosho Class ships built were:
AO-143 USS Neosho;...........AO-144 USS Mississinewa;..... AO-145 USS Hassayampa;
AO-146 USS Kawishiwi;...... AO-147 USS Truckee;............... AO-148 USS Ponchatoula...

The ships of this class were transferred to the Military Sealift Command in the mid-1970s, and remained in service into the early 1990s. When the Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187) class joined the fleet, Kaiser-class ships permited the retirement of oilers of the 1940s (Mispillion class) and 1950s (Neosho class). The first of the 18-ship series of new Kaiser oilers was delivered in September 1986. The Neosho-class was disposed of by Navy title transfer to the Maritime Administration
Quincy Shipbuilding Division General Dynamics Corp.
 Fore River Shipyard, Quincy MA

Fore River Shipyard Production Record

The Fore River facility in Quncy MA (pronounced "quin-zee"), which opened in 1885, was closed by General Dynamics in 1985 citing a lack of orders. High labor and production costs made Fore River, which employed 7,000 workers, uncompetitive in the commercial ship building market. During the Second World War the Fore River Shipyard, which was operated by Bethlehem Steel Corporation and employed 15,000 people, turned out more ships than any other shipyard in the country. This boom-and-bust cycle was not without precedent, as Boston's shipbuilding industry virtually collapsed in the late 19th century when the craft-oriented wooden shipyards failed to adapt to the assembly-line techniques of iron and steam-powered ship construction.

In 1996 the Quincy yard was the first to qualify for revitalization under new legislation aimed at reactivating former military yards. The US Maritime Administration has approved guarantees for $55 million in loans for modernization of the Fore River Shipyard. On 07 May 1997 the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority sold 130 acres of land, drydocks, cranes and warehouses at the facility to Massachusetts Heavy Industries, a company founded by Sotirios Emmanouil, a Greek national. Although the market value of the land was estimated as high as $35 million, the selling price was $10 million.

On 18 December 1997 US Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater announced a $55 million federal loan guarantee to Massachusetts Heavy Industries (MHI) to modernize the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. The federal government offered to use the federal ship financing program known as Title XI to guarantee private funds for the revitalization of the yard. Congress passed legislation in 1996 to authorize $100 million in Title XI loan guarantees for this type of project. The Transportation Department's Maritime Administration (MARAD) administers the Title XI program and had been working with MHI for since 1995 on the Quincy shipyard revitalization project. On Nov. 1, 1996, MARAD issued a letter commitment to MHI for the $55 million financing guarantee. The Quincy modernization project was expected to be completed by the end of 1998. Since its enactment of the National Shipbuilding Initiative in 1993, MARAD has approved more than $2 billion in loan guarantees under the Title XI program.

MHI missed a regularly scheduled $1.55 million debt service payment on June 1, 1999. Upon its request and the concurrence of the lending institution, Fleet Bank, MARAD deferred the payment until December 1, 1999. However, on December 1, 1999, MHI missed its second consecutive regularly scheduled payment of $2.1 million on the guaranteed obligations, as well as the payment owed from June 1st.

MARAD and MHI had continuing discussions in an attempt to provide a funding mechanism for the December 1, 1999 payment, at the urging of Fleet Bank. MARAD extended until late February 2000 the date on which this payment could be made to give MHI the fullest opportunity possible to make those payments. However, MHI was unable to obtain the necessary financing -- in a form acceptable to MARAD -- to make this payment or to complete the shipyard without substantially impairing MARAD's security and increasing MARAD's liability under the loan guarantee. Thus, a demand for payment under the Title XI guarantee was made to MARAD by the lending institution. On February 25, 2000, the agency honored this demand by making a payment for $59.1 million on the defaulted loan, which was the principal amount plus accrued interest. MHI subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and MARAD moved to foreclose on the shipyard.

The United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum and USS Salem are located at the former Fore River Shipyard.

New York Ship Building Corporation

Also known as the New York Shipyards, was located in Camden NJ, across the Delaware River from downtown Philadelphia. This south New Jersey facility closed in 1967. The USS Kitty Hawk, launched in 1961, was one of the last major shipbuilding projects at the yard. Construction of the SSN-647 Pogy began at Camden, though in January 1968 the boat was towed to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for completion, following the cancellation of the contract with New York Shipbuilding on 05 June 1967.

Camden City, located in the southwestern section of New Jersey, is the seventh largest City in the state. The nearby Audubon Park community was created for New York Shipyard employees in 1941. Camden was once self-sufficient, a thriving metropolis turning out battleships during World War II from the New York Shipyard that employed thousands in the city. Campbell Soup and RCA Victor were there, too. But the shipyard closed; RCA merged, diversified and eventually sold out; and Campbell has closed the plant where it once made soup. Camden is faced with a dwindling tax base and a dearth of industry and commerce.

Despite Camden's socio-economic decline, the City's strategic location offers hope that this trend may be reversed. Located directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Camden has easy access to many different forms of transportation. Camden has access to the international market through the City's ports which rank among the nation's leaders in the shipment of bulk cargo.