HISTORY OF AO-143
The forth and present NEOSHO (AO-143) displaces 38,500 tons loaded, has a length of 656';86' beam and a 37' draft, was laid down 15 August 1952 by the fore River Shipyard, Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; named NEOSHO 29 September 1953; launched 10 November 1953; sponsored by Mrs. John S. Phillips, wife of RADM John S. Phillips, the last commanding officer of NEOSHO (AO-23); and commissioned 24 September 1954, Captain Norman E. smith in command. NEOSHO, the first of a class designed to combine speed and large cargo capacity for underway replenishment, reported at Norfolk for duty in the Atlantic Fleet 8 December 1954. A unit of SERVLANT, she operated along the East Coast and in the Caribbean until 7 September 1955, when she got underway for her first Mediterranean deployment. Since that initial deployment. NEOSHO has rotated regularly between the 6th and 2nd Fleets. In the fall of 1956, during her second 6th Fleet deployment, she supported units of that fleet as they by in case they were called on to intervene in the Suez War and the tense period which followed. In the fall of 1962 she provided logistcal support to the ships enforcing the Naval Quarantine of Cuba, and, less than three years later, in 1965, serviced Atlantic Fleet ships as they stood off Hispanola during the political turmoil festering in the Dominican Republic. In January 1968, NEOSHO emerged from overhaul at the Naval Shipyard at Portsmouth, Va., to continue her mission of service to the fleet.
NEOSHO, a fleet oiler, is essentially a sea-going gas station. The ship is built around a series of bulk oil storage tanks which carry in excess of eight million gallons of the several special petroleum products required by the ships and aircraft of the fleet. To meet the fuel requirements of a mobile fleet, the NEOSHO is always on call. Refueling of the combatant fleet is done by what is known as the alongside method. with the oiler proceeding at 12-15 nautical miles per hour, the ship to be replenished pulls alongside and steams on a parallel course. Large flexible hoses suspended ny cables are passed between the ships and the proper type and quantity of fuel is transferred. This may take from a matter of minutes to several hours depending on the receiving ship's needs. With two large ships operating at such close proximity, often less that 100' apart, it is obvious that the key to this maneuver is precise ship handling. The NEOSHO can refuel two ships simultaneously, one on each side. Additionally, the ship carries a vast assortment of bottled gases, drum fuel and lubricants, and other high priority staples needed by our combat forces. The NEOSHO is often a transhipment point for fleet freight, personnel and mail. the ship has a landing deck handling a variety of conventional and jet-powered helicopters for vertical replenishment at sea. the spirit with which the NEOSHO meets her many commitments is a reflection of her motto, "With Honor We Serve." Plaques pictured above show NEOSHO's old and new look. Plaque on the left showing torpedo was replaced by one on right.
Page 6 of 1975 Cruise Book
CRUISE BOOK COVER
The image on cover is of the 1st NEOSHO, an Ironclad River Monitor
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