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USS Cuyama (AO-3)
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USS Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15) (1917 - 1920)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Echo - Romeo - Papa
NERP
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - China Service Medal (extended) World War I Victory Medal (with Transport clasp)
Second Row - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet clasp) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1)
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippine Liberation Medal


Maumee Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 15 December 1915 at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.
  • Launched, 17 June 1916
  • Commissioned USS Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15), 12 April 1917, LT. I. B. Smith, USNRF, in command
  • Designated (AO-3), 17 July 1920
  • During World War II USS Cuyama was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 21 April to 30 June 1945

  • Following World War II USS Cuyama performed Occupation duty in the Far East from 2 September to 7 November 1945
  • Decommissioned, 12 April 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • USS Cuyama earned one battle star for World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 1 July 1946 for disposal
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 10 September 1947, to Kaiser Steel Corp. (PD-X-377). Withdrawn from the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet and delivered to Kaiser Steel Corp, 6 October 1947
    Specifications:
    Displacement 5,723 t.(lt) 14,700 t.(fl)
    Length 475' 7"
    Beam 56' 2"
    Draft 26' 8"
    Speed 14.3 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 25
    Enlisted 284
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    Cargo Capacity 8,350 DWT
    Oil 534,000 Bbls
    Gasoline 222,000 Gals
    Armament
    four single 5"/35 gun mounts replaced by four single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity NSFO 5,900 Bbls
    Propulsion
    two Mare Island vertical triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
    four Ward boilers, replaced by four Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 730°
    Ship's Service Generators
    one Diesel-drive 50Kw 120V D.C.
    three turbo-drive 60Kw 120V D.C.
    twin propellers, 6,080shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15) Construction
    Cuyama 121k This photo is from a glass negative showing the boilers for Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15) being constructed at Navy Yard Mare Island in 1916.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo.
    Darryl Baker
    Cuyama 180k This photo is from a glass negative showing Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15)'s Sponsor Miss M. Offley christening the ship at Navy Yard Mare Island, 17 June 1916.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo.
    Darryl Baker
    Cuyama 292k This photo is from a glass negative showing Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15)'s main engine being assembled in the machine shop at Navy Yard Mare Island in June 1916.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 296.
    Darryl Baker
    Cuyama 78k Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15) at her outfitting berth at Navy Yard Mare Island, 2 October 1916. The ship moored in the background is the decommissioned Torpedo Boat Tender Iris.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 2766-10-16, 10/2/1916.
    Darryl Baker
    Cuyama 187k Installing Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15)'s main engine at Navy Yard Mare Island, 5 December 1916. Aft of Cuyama is the ill fated cruiser USS Milwaukee (C-21)
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 2987-12-16, 12/5/16.
    Darryl Baker
    Cuyama 94k Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15) returning to Navy Yard Mare Island, 21 March 1917 after sea trials. Under way in the lower right corner of this photo is the Yard Ferry Leslie.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 3086-3-17, 3/21/17.
    Darryl Baker
    Cuyama 89k Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15) near Mare Island Navy Yard circa late March 1917, probably on trials. Her armament of four 5"/50 guns has not yet been installed.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. NH 55547, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    USS Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15)
    Cuyama 154k Photo of USS Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15)'s fire room while at Navy Yard Mare Island, 17 April 1917.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 3107-4-17, 4/17/17.
    Darryl Baker
    Cuyama 107k USS Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15) near the Mare Island Navy Yard circa late March 1917, probably on trials. Her armament of 4-5"/50 guns has not yet been installed.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # Unknown/i>, courtesy Shipscribe.com<./font>
    Robert Hurst
    Cuyama 94k USS Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15) near Navy Yard Mare Island in 1917.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo.
    Darryl Baker
    Cuyama 32k USS Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15) under way circa 1917 Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    Cuyama 80k USS Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15) at Acapulco, Mexico, circa 1919, with destroyers (starboard side from left to center:
    USS Walker (Destroyer # 163);
    USS Crosby (Destroyer # 164);
    USS Thatcher (Destroyer # 162), and
    USS Gamble (Destroyer # 123) moored along her port side.
    US Navy photo # NH 85033, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1976.
    US Naval Historical Center
    USS Cuyama (AO-3)
    Cuyama 153k USS Cuyama (AO-3), at anchor, 2 May 1927, location unknown. Note the absence of platforms for two 3-inch AA guns amidships that were fitted in the three later ships of this class. Her forward fire control position has been removed.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo # NH 55545 (NR&L(M) 13708), courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Cuyama 132k Stern view of USS Cuyama (AO-3) in Magdalena Bay circa 1921. The ship is towing the flying boat NC-5, whose bow is in the foreground.
    US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No.2008.142.001.081
    Mike Green
    Cuyama 61k USS Cuyama (AO-3) at anchor, circa 1920s, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Cuyama 51k USS Cuyama (AO-3) at anchor, circa 1920s, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Cuyama 71k USS Cuyama (AO-3) with twelve destroyers alongside, during the early 1920s. The ships present include (from left to right):
    USS Jacob Jones (DD-130);
    USS Hull (DD-330);;
    USS Thompson (DD-305);;
    USS Corry (DD-334);;
    USS Kennedy (DD-306);;
    USS Reno (DD-303);;
    USS Cuyama (AO-3(, center);
    USS Stoddert (DD-302);;
    USS Yarborough (DD-314);;
    USS Sloat (DD-316);;
    USS Litchfield (DD-336);;
    USS Shubrick (DD-268) and;
    USS Young (DD-312).
    US Navy photo # NH 77258 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, courtesy of Mrs. C.R. DeSpain, 1973, from the scrapbooks of Fred M. Butler.
    Robert Hurst
    Cuyama 75k USS Cuyama (AO-3) with USS William Jones (DD-308) alongside, circa 1920s.
    US Navy photo # NH 77252 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, courtesy of Mrs. C.R. DeSpain, 1973, from the scrapbooks of Fred M. Butler.
    Robert Hurst
    Cuyama 215k USS Cuyama (AO-3) at anchor, circa 1920s, location unknown. It appears that Cuyama was blowing tubes as this photo was being taken. Photo from an unknown crewmember. Tommy Trampp
    Cuyama 182k USS Cuyama (AO-3) at anchor with four destroyers alongside, circa 1920s, location unknown. Photo from an unknown crewmember. Tommy Trampp
    Cuyama 246k USS Cuyama (AO-3) looking forward and down from the forward crows next, circa 1920s, location unknown. Photo from an unknown crewmember. Tommy Trampp
    Cuyama 68k Forward deck of USS Cuyama (AO-3) drydocked at Mare Island Navy Yard, circa 1920s. Photos from an unknown crewmember. Tommy Trampp
    Cuyama 61k
    Cuyama 189k USS Cuyama (AO-3) fueling the destroyer USS Sumner (DD-333) while under way circa 1925. The fueling gear appears to have been jury-rigged by securing the hose to the oiling boom. Note how close the ships are to one another as they steam side by side separated by only 20 feet or so. This type of operation could only be conducted in smooth seas as indicated from the photograph.
    US Navy photo from "Gray Steel and Black Oil: Fast Tankers and Replenishment at Sea in the U.S. Navy 1912-1992", by Thomas Wildenburg.
    Robert Hurst
    Cuyama 95k USS Cuyama (AO-3) at anchor, circa 1935 location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "Gray Steel and Black Oil: Fast Tankers and Replenishment at Sea in the U.S. Navy 1912 - 1992", by Thomas Wildenburg.
    Robert Hurst
    Cuyama 96k USS Cuyama (AO-3) near Mare Island Navy Yard, 30 June 1941, partially repainted. The many alterations made at around this time included the addition of two 3-inch AA gun platforms amidships and the replacement of her 5"/50 guns with the newer 5"/51 model.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM. Photo # 19-N-25670 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Cuyama 32k USS Cuyama (AO-3) underway, 1943
    US Navy photo.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Cuyama 131k USS Cuyama (AO-3) off US Naval Station, Seattle, WA., 25 May 1944. Her updated armament includes 5"/38 guns forward and aft.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM. Photo # 19-N-65587 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green

    USS Cuyama (Fuel Ship #15 / AO-3)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Taylor, Karl A., LT USNR 27.11.1945 12.04.1946 LDC
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Smith, Irving Dibbie4 February 1917 - 9 January 1918
    02CDR. Blackburn, John HallJune 1922 - 15 December 1923
    03CDR. Moses, Charles Clifton15 December 1923 - 3 November 1924
    04CDR. McClintic, William Stanley3 November 1924 - 10 June 1926
    05CDR. Reilhmuth, Ferdinand Louis; VADM10 June 1926 - 15 July 1927
    06CAPT. Davis, Louis Poisson15 July 1927- 22 May 1928
    07CDR. Toaz, William Hamilton22 May 1928 - 16 September 1929
    08CDR. Shipp, Earl Roof16 September 1929 - 15 May 1931
    09CDR. Coffman, Richard Boush15 May 1931 - ?
    10CDR. Fuller, Douglas Wardwell1933 - ?
    11CAPT. Lewis, John William1933
    12CDR. Purnell, William Reynolds :RADMAugust 1934- April 1936
    13CDR. Overesch, Harvey Edward :VADMApril 1936 - January 1937
    14CDR. Thompson, Robert RoweJanuary 1937 - July 1937
    15CDR. Sullivan, John RaymondJuly 1937 - 14 June 1938
    16CDR. Crawford, John Graybill, USN (18) :RADM14 June 1938 - 1 October 1939
    17CDR. Rees, John Frank1940 - 1941
    18CAPT. Coloney, Paul Rowe1941 - 21 May 1943
    19LCDR. Glines, Earl William21 May 1943 - 22 May 1944
    20LT. Taylor, Karl A., USNR27 November 1945 - 12 April 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves, Photos courtesy Bill Gonyo

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

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    Last Updated 16 September 2016