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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Rapidan (AO-18)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Uniform - Golf - Quebec
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

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

Patoka Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 2 February 1919, under USSB contract, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock, Co., Newport News, VA.
  • Launched, 29 October 1919
  • Transferred to the Navy, 29 October 1921
  • Commissioned USS Rapidan (AO-18), 1 January 1922, CDR. Malcolm P. Nash, USNRF, in command
  • Decommissioned, 22 June 1922
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, James River, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Recommissioned, 22 January 1940, LCDR. John B. Mallard in command
  • Decommissioned, 17 September 1946, at Portsmouth, VA.
  • Laid up, 18 September 1946, in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, James River, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 29 October 1946
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 4 September 1947, to Northern Metals Co. for $73,373.73 (PD-X-377 dated 14 July 1947), withdrawn 10 September 1947
    Displacement 5,400 t.(lt) 16,800 t.(fl), 17,820 t.(lim)
    Length 447' 10"
    Beam 60' 3"
    Draft 27' 8"(lim)
    Speed 11.2 kts.
    Officers 22
    Enlisted 291
    Largest boom capacity 7.5 t.
    Cargo Capacity 11,100 DWT
    NSFO 70,600 bbls
    Gasoline 267,000 gals
    two single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity 4,780 bbls.
    one Newport News vertical quadruple expansion engine
    two Yarrow boilers, 265psi Sat°
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 75Kw 120V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 60Kw 120V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 60Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 2,800 shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Rapidan 277k Line drawing of USS Rapidan (AO-18) by Navy Ship Historian, Vern Bouwman. Vern Bouwman
    Rapidan 45k USS Rapidan (AO-18) under way, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII web site
    Rapidan 188k USS Rapidan (AO-18) refueling USS Redwing (AM-48), 3 July 1942.
    US Navy photo credited to FAB (Forward Air Base) Iceland.
    Tracy White
    Rapidan 133k USS Rapidan (AO-18) near the Boston Navy Yard, 5 September 1942. She is carrying the initial wartime armament of the class of two 5"/51 and two 3"/50. Her 3" guns are at the after end of the bridge island.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM. Photo # 19-N-33182 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Robert Hurst

    USS Rapidan (AO-18)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Nash, Malcolm P. USNRF1 January 1922 - 22 June 1922
     Decommissioned22 June 1922 - 22 January 1940
    02CDR. Mallard, John Boyd :RADM22 January 1940 - 1941
    03CDR. Bunting, Sydney Serrill1941 - 18 December 1941
    04LCDR. McIntosh, Howard Douglas18 December 1941 - 26 February 1943
    05LCDR. Mullen Sr., Merritt David26 February 1943 - 3 December 1943
    06LCDR. Hassell, Hubert Louis3 December 1943 - 25 September 1945
    07LT. Kurtenacker, Karl Siegfried25 September 1945 - 1946
    08CDR. Moriarty, Thomas Harris1946 - 4 February 1946
    09CDR. O'Toole, James Matthew, USNR4 February 1946 - 17 September 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Back to the Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To the Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Fleet Oiler (AO) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 18 November 2016