Neosho - a river in
Kansas then Oklahoma

Neosho Class
History "A"    "B"  1975
Port Of Call MAP
Neosho Ship Photos
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Neosho HOME PAGE      and       HER FINAL VOYAGE
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USS Neosho 1863-1873   History 

A Ironclad River Monitor

USS Neosho AO-23
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 USS Neosho AO-48  ..............    History   Photos
Other History:

1958, September, NEOSHO participated in "Operation Argus" where US Navy Task Force 88 conducted three High-Altitude Nuclear Explosions. 

TG 88.3 - Mobile Logistics Group, consisted of: - USS Neosho (AO-143), equipped with USAF MSQ-1 radar and communication vans, - USS Salamonie (AO-26), - assigned destroyers; - the commanding officer of the Neosho was the Group Commander;

Many tests were conducted across the next month in preparation for another Mediterranean Cruise beginning on September 8. The first exercise would be a North Atlantic Nato Exercise "Peace Keeper" and then on to a six month deployment with the U.S. Sixth Fleet. Ships leaving with her were the USS Sampson (DDG 10), USS Johnston (DD 821), USS Mc Card (DD 822) and the USS Semmes (DDG 18). USS Stickell (DD 888) and USS Waldron (DD 699) joined the formation on the 10th of September and Commander Second Fleet, embarked in the USS Newport News (CA 148) assumed duties as SOPA. USS Neosho (AO 143) provided fuel services.

The cruise had been perfect until 16-17 September when the Atlantic reared it's ugly head sending one of it's infamous storms down the formation. The storm scattered the formation and opened a hole in Cone's main decks allowing water to pour into the after living compartment on every roll the ship took. The hole was patched early morning of 17 September, the day when "Peace Keeper" began. Finally the storm subsided and Cone returned to the exercise area on 19 September after having been driven far to the south.

1962, 2 October; USS Ashland (LSD-1) Set Refueling and Replenishment Detail.    Received 260,526 gallons of NSFO from USS NEOSHO (AO-143).   HEITKEMPER,  W.L., BM1,  received an avulsion on right hand and puncture of the right eyelid; not due to own misconduct.   1230 Sighted Punta Del Sabinal Light bearing 012, range 13 miles.  

1962, (24 October-22November): participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis
                                                           (all received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal):

1965, 29 August, Gemini 5 made retrofire on revolution 120 (one revolution early due to a threatening tropical storm near the landing area) at 7:27:42 a.m. EST on . Splashdown occurred at 7:55:13 in the western Atlantic at 29.73 N, 69.75 W after a total mission time of 190:55:14. Splashdown was 169 km short of the target due to a ground-based computer program error. The crew arrived onboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lake Champlain at 9:26 and the spacecraft was recovered at 11:50. USS Neosho AO-143 was there in support of the task force.

1973, 29 May USS NEWPORT NEWS steamed south for LANTREDEX 3-73 and port visits in Roosevelt Roads and San Juan, Puerto Rico and New York City. Damage control drills and General Quarters were held during the transit and USS NEWPORT NEWS refueled from USS NEOSHO (AO 143) on the 31st.

1977, 10 June; USS America CV-66 sailed from Hampton Roads for a five-week South Atlantic deployment as a unit of TG 20.4. Other ships in company included USS South Carolina (CGN-37), USS Claude V. Ricketts (DLG-5), USS Dupont (DD- 941 ), and USS Neosho (AO-143).

1981, 1 June;USS NITRO is badly damaged by a fire in the machinery room while en route to Athens, Greece. NITRO is taken under tow the next day by USNS NEOSHO (T-AO 143) for Souda Bay. 60 nautical miles northeast of Souda Bay, Greece

1985, 8 July; Arthur Radford - DD-968, Stopping for fuel at Mina Raysut, Oman, on 8 July 1985, Arthur W. Radford transited the Strait of Bab el Mandeb in company with Antrim on 10 July, and the two warships conducted freedom of navigation operations off the coast of the Democratic People's Republic of Yemen on the 11th. The destroyer transited the Suez Canal on the 14th, and replenished from the oiler USNS Neosho (T-AO-143) that same day. Fueling from USNS Truckee (T-AO-144) the following day, Arthur W. Radford conducted a port visit to Benidorm, Spain, from 20 to 23 July before reaching Rota on the 24th. Proceeding thence with Antrim, Barney, and Charles F. Adams, the destroyer sailed for Norfolk on 24 July. After visiting Ponta Delgada, in the Azores, and Bermuda, en route, Arthur W. Radford reached her on 5 August 1985.

1988, 29 November; USS WISCONSIN left for operations around Puerto Rico conducting her first underway replenishment in more than 30 years. Refuels USS ANTRIM (FFG20) being rearmed from USS NITRO (AE 23) and being refueled from USNS NEOSHO (AO 143)


1990, Spring time, Neosho was assigned to deliver supplies to the embassy in Sierra Leone and the Marines who were positioned off the coast of Liberia shortly after arriving in the Med. There was a civil war or something going on. Neosho actually dropped anchor in Sierra Leone. Operation Desert storm happened towards the end of the deployment. Two or maybe three trips were made down the coast of Africa.


1990,  Several crew members of the Communications Division take excellent videos of the areas noted in the map above. On June 1st Neosho was heading out of the Mid when they were greeted with the fun swimming Dolphins. Neosho was heading to Rota where she and her sister ships, Truckee and Mississinewa make port many times.

Location "1", June 1, Strats of Gibraltar, shows dolphins, signals from the bridge, a helicopter landing plus some of the crew driving east to Gibralter.

Location "2", August 8, Eisenhower CVN-69 convoy passing through Bitter Lake. Ships include: Scott DDG-995, John L. Hall FFG-32, Suribachi AE-21,
                     Tinconderoga CG-47 and of course Neosho AO-143

Location "3", August 14, Djibouti harbor plus a link to the "Largest Crack on Earth"

Location "4", August 18,19 USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN-69 page, UNREP with
Suribachi at night, plane flights, signal flags and helicopter.

Location "5", August 24, Port of Suez, the southern end of Suez Canal.

Location "6", September 4, Neosho made port at Sarroch Oil Refinery on the Italian Island of Sardonia.
                    September 11, They also had an incidfent where their a launch lost power. Sited RoRo ship type Cape I Class.

Location "7", September 18, Neosho enters port of Cartagena, Spain, Here she receives some needed new paint, etc. The city has history of the Roman occupation
                    and  WWII Forts. October 8, she prepares to head back east into the mediterranean.

Location "8", October 22, Muster of Signalmen, UNREP with USS Rigel AF-58, UNREP with USS Thomas C. Hunt DE-1092, UNREP with USS Biddle CG-34 and
                    on October 25, a tour of the ship, including the captains quarters where he demonstrates his steam powered tractor that he made.

Location "9", November 2, site volcano Etna, UNREP with USS Yellowstone AD-4, November 4, view USS John F. Kennedy CVN-67 aircraft landings and head home.

2005,  Neosho is sold for $1.00 to International Shipbreaking Limited, Brownsville, TX


Some Officer Information
Capt. Slade Deville Cutter, Commander USS Neosho (AO-143)

Cdr. Charles Z. Hanus USN,
Executive Officer USS NEOSHO (AO-143).

CAPT Donald R. McKenzie Jr.
CAPT Donald R. McKenzie Jr., SC, USN, completed 27 years of active service and retired on June 1, 1998, after serving at the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, Norfolk, Va. He received his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and his master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. His previous duty stations include Defense Contract Management Area Operations, Boston, Mass.; Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.; Naval Supply Center, Jacksonville, Fla.; USS Dale (CG 19); Naval Air Systems Command, Arlington, Va.; USS Neosho (AO 143); and USS Enterprise (CVN 65).

Neosho River source is in Kansas and flows
Into Oklahoma. There is also a town of
Neosho in Missouri.

Photos were taken at  the Neosho River
bridge in Twin Bridges State Park while
attending 2003 reunion in Neosho, MO

Your host, Vern Bouwman, crossed this river in Kansas at point of letter "d" in word Independence after his 2002 reunion.

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