SUPER TANKER HISTORY
USN and  Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force (MSC)

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Title transfer to MARAD
All on 05/01/1999
Commissioned
De-Commissioned
AGE
23.6 avg.
Stricken
from MSC
AGE
38.7.avg.
NEOSHO - 143
09/24/1954 05/25/1978 23.7 02/16/1994 39.4
MISSISSINEWA - 144
01/18/1955 11/15/1976 21.8 02/16/1994 39.1
HASSAYMAPA - 145 04/15/1955 11/17/1978 23.6 02/16/1994 38.8
KAWISHIWI - 146
07/06/1955 10/10/1979 24.3 11/07/1994 39.3
TRUCKEE -147 11/18/1955 01/30/1980 24.2 07/18/1994 38.7
PONCHATOULA - 148
01/12/1956 01/30/1980 appox.
24.0
08/31/1992 36.6

JUMBOIZED TANKERS
Cimarron/Ashtabula Class tankers were built previous to the Neosho Class Fleet Oilers built between 1939 and 1946, numbered AO-22 thru AO-109 They were each 553 feet long with a beam of 75 feet and draft of 32 feet with twin screws Cargo capacity was 146,000 barrels. There are 42 u.s.gallons to a u.s. oil barrel. 146,000 =  6,132,000 gallons Eight of these (from records located) were jumboized 644 feet, maintaining the beam of 75 feet but with draft increased to 34' 9". Their cargo capacity increased to about 180,000 barrels or 7,560,000 gallons same as the Neosho class. "On the Neosho's the JP-5 was on the centerline, tanks 3-7.  The Jumboized had their JP-5 tanks grouped amidships and was a constant stress problem, needing ballasting (salt water). The 105's were easier to work and were more capable ships with their STREAM freight stations and electrohydraulic winches.  They could also land helo's forward after the kingpost was removed.  The Pac 143's needed more skill in handling the steam winches and had only a vertrep deck (Lant Fleet had a flight deck aft of the stack), but were vastly better seaboats.  A 105 did 17 knots on a good day, a 143 could do 19 on routine.  Normal was 15 and 18 respectively.  A 143 in similar load conditions and the same weather, could do several knots better than a 105 and UNREP in much worse weather conditions.  I know...I spent too much time hanging from pipes on the main deck with green water wetting my butt on both classes.  Give me a 143 any day!  Note...that was when I was Cargo Mate.  My butt only got wet in typhoons when I was Capt." (Pat Moloney)  These 8 tankers were in service 23% longer than the 6 Neosho Class tankers.

Commis-
sioned
Jumboized
De-Comm
AGE
33.8 avg.
Striken
from MSC
AGE
47.7 avg.
ASHTABULA- 51
Disposed of as Target,10/15/2000
08/07/1943
07/01/1967
6
08/05/1982
39.0
09/06/1991 48.1
CALOOSAHATCHEE - 98
10/16/2003 Towed to England
10/10/1945 10/01/1967
7
02/28/1990 44.3 07/18/1994 48.8
CANISTOE - 99
10/16/2003 Towed to England
12/03/1945
11/01/1967
8
10/02/1989
43.8 08/31/1992
48.7
MISPILLION - 105
Moored in Suisun Bay
12/29/1945
04/16/1965
3
07/26/1974
28.6 02/15/1995
51.1
NAVASOTA - 106 
Scrapped in June 1998
02/27/1946
12/01/1964
1
08/13/1975
29.5 01/02/1992
47.9
PASSUMPSIC - 107
Scrapped in
Karachi,Pakistan
04/01/1946
06/01/1965
5
07/24/1973
27.2 12/17/1991
45.7
PAWCATUCK - 108
Scrapped in Norfolk, 2005
05/10/1946
05/01/1965
4
07/15/1975
29.1 09/21/1991
45.6
WACCAMAW - 109 
Scrapped at Brownsville, TX
06/25/1946
04/01/1965
2
02/24/1975
28.7 10/11/1991
45.6
This is a good time to make some real rough estimates. How many USN personnel served on these 14 ships? The average number of years for the Neosho Class with all USN personnel aboard was 23.6 years. The rate of personnel turnover would be very hard to record but let’s say every 2 years each ship had a turnover of 250 men or 125 per year. For 23.6 years that would be 2950 men per ship or 18,000 men served on the Neosho Class ships. The same calculation for the 8 Jumboized would be 125 x 33.8 x 8 = 34,000 men. A total of 42,000 men on just these 14 ships.
Just think, if these men were needed to keep all the other ships gased up, how many men  and women have served in the Navy?
The Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force began in 1972 with the transfer of the fleet oiler Taluga to MSC after a series of tests showed civilian crews could operate the Navy's fleet support ships more efficiently than Navy sailors.

Military Sealift Command's Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force Program is composed of fleet ocean tugs, fast combat support ships, oilers, combat stores ships and ammunition ships plus two hospital ships that are kept in a reduced operating status. Besides delivering supplies at sea, NFAF ships also conduct towing and salvage operations and serve as floating medical facilities.

MSC's NFAF ships are government-owned vessels crewed by civil service mariners. Small Navy departments that previously handled communications and signaling were replaced by civilian mariners in a program that was completed in FY 2002. A similar program will replace some Navy supply personnel with CIVMARs aboard MSC's six combat stores ships.

MSC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has area commands in Norfolk, Va.; San Diego, Calif.; Naples, Italy; Yokohama, Japan and Manama, Bahrain. Additionally, the command operates 114 ships and several shore offices around the world.

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Upon transfer of titles to MARAD, most tankers were moored in their Naval Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) located at three fleet sites - James River, VA (East Coast), Beaumont, TX (Gulf Coast), and Suisun Bay, CA (West Coast). Naval auxiliaries are maintained at the fleet by MARAD on a retention basis for the Navy. This is an inactive reserve source of basic Merchant design type ships that can be activated within 20 - 120 days to meet the shipping requirements of the United States during national emergencies. These merchant vessels are available for use in both military and non-military emergencies, such as commercial shipping crises.

The ships are maintained in two categories.
NON-RETENTION Ships in this category are no longer militarily or non-militarily useful assets and are scheduled for scrapping or they can be donated to individual US states for use as artifical fishing reefs.
RETENTION
Ships in this category are militarily useful assets which are titled to either MARAD or to the Navy.
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