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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Don McGrogan, BMCS USN Ret. - Popular Patch

USS Nitro (AE-2)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Echo - Lima - Lima

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet clasp) - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Europe-African-Middle East Campaign Medal (1) - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal

Pyro Class Ammunition Ship:
  • Laid down, 19 March 1919, at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, WA.
  • Launched, 16 December 1919
  • Commissioned USS Nitro (AE-2), 1 April 1921, CDR. R. W. Vincent in command
  • During World War II USS Nitro was assigned to both the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign;

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Invasion of southern France, 15 August to 25 September 1944

  • Decommissioned, 30 November 1945, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 19 December 1945
  • USS Nitro earned one battle star for World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 30 March 1948, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 19 September 1949, to Welding Shipyards, Inc., New York
    Displacement 7,025 t.(lt) 14,110 t.(fl)
    Length 483' 10"
    Beam 61' 1"
    Draft 26' 7"
    Speed 12.2 kts.
    Officers 51
    Enlisted 268
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    Cargo Capacity 3,250 DWT
    non-refrigerated 170,000 Cu ft
    two single 5"/51 cal surface gun mounts
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose guns mounts
    two twin 40mm AA gun Mounts
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 10,250 Bbls
    Diesel 260 Bbls
    one Navy Yard Puget Sound turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 200psi Sat°
    single Westinghouse Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    one turbo-drive 75Kw 120V D.C.
    two turbo-drive 100Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 5,300shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Nitro 175k Nitro (AE-2) fitting out at Puget Sound Navy Yard, WA., 14 February 1921.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 2790 from the collection of Rear Admiral Ammen Farenholt, MC USN
    Mike Green
    Nitro 52k USS Nitro (AE-2) moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    Photo from "U.S.Warships of World War One" with permission from the author Paul H. Silverstone.
    Robert Hurst
    Nitro 26k USS Nitro (AE-2) moored pierside, circa 1930s, location unknown. Ron Reeves
    Nitro 221k USS Nitro (AE-2) moored pierside at Naval Ammunition Deport Iona New York, circa 1930s.
    Photo by CWO4 Cecil Wood USMC
    Donald Wood for his father CWO4 Cecil Wood USMC
    Nitro 90k USS Nitro (AE-2) at Naval Ammunition Depot Balboa, Canal Zone, 1 January 1938.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-466183, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    Nitro 105k USS Nitro (AE-2) near the Norfolk Navy Yard, 4 September 1942. The two forward 5"/51 guns have been replaced with two additional 3"/50 AA guns and the .50 caliber machine guns have been replaced with 20mm guns. She also has a light radar platform around her forward searchlight.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-34507 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Nitro 75k USS Nitro (AE-2) underway, 17 December 1943, location unknown.  
    Nitro 37k USS Nitro (AE-2) after departing Norfolk, VA., 20 April 1944, while enroute to Belfast, Northern Ireland.
    US Navy photo.
    Hyperwar US Navy in WWII

    USS Nitro (AE-2)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01 CDR. Vincent, Roe Willis, USN (1899)1 April 1921 - 2 June 1923
    02 CDR. Ridgely, Frank Eugene, USN (1896)2 June 1923 - 1 December 1923
    03 CDR. Stark, Harold Raynsford (Betty), USN (1905) :ADM1 December 1923 - 14 November 1925
    04 CDR. Pickens, Andrew Calhoun, USN (1904) :RADM14 November 1925 - 8 April 1927
    05 CAPT. Metcalf, Martin Kellogg, USN (1903)8 April 1927 - 9 May 1929
    06 CAPT. Finney, Earl Peck, USN (1902)9 May 1929 - 9 June 1931
    07 CAPT. McCain, John Sidney ("Slew"), USN (1906) :ADM9 June 1931 - 31 May 1932
    08CDR. Parker, Ralph Chandler, USN (1907)31 May 1932 - 25 May 1934
    09CDR. Markland, Henry Thomas, USN (1908)25 May 1934 - 31 May 1936
    10 CDR. Kelly, Monroe, USN (1909)31 May 1936 - 1937
    12 CDR. Bennion, Mervyn Sharp, USN (1912)10 March 1938 - 1 June 1939
    13 CAPT. Cobb, Calvin Hayes, USN (1911) :VADM1 June 1939 - 11 July 1940
    14 CDR. Balsley, Alfred Henry, USN (1914)11 July 1940 - 15 June 1941
    15 CAPT. Chippendale, Burton Witham, USN (1915)15 June 1941 - 3 June 1942
    16 CDR. Johnson, George William, USN (1918)3 June 1942 - 1 July 1942
    17 LCDR. Milner, Robert Miller (Shorty), USN (1921a) (acting)1 July 1942 - 29 July 1942
    18 CDR. Ragonnet, Lucien, USN (1922) :RADM29 July 1942 - 13 March 1943
    19 CDR. Trimble, Foy, USNR13 March 1943 - 25 September 1945
    20 LCDR. Parr, Walter Scott, USN25 September 1945 - 30 November 1945
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    USS Nitro AE-2 AE-23 Association
    AE/AOE Sailors Association
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Ammunition Ship (AE) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 12 May 2017