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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Tippecanoe (AO-21)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Uniform - Golf - Victor
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 - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)

Patoka Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 1 October 1919, under United States Shipping Board (USSB contract # 1660) for the Emergency Fleet Corp., at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock, Co., Newport News, VA.
  • Launched, 5 June 1920
  • Acquired by the Navy at Mare Island Navy Yard, 6 March 1922. (Note: Official yard logs indicated she actually arrived on the 7th.)
  • Held in Reserve at Navy Yard Mare Island until 1940
  • Commissioned, USS Tippecanoe (AO-21), 6 March 1940, CDR. Hugh W. Olds USN in command
  • During World War II USS Tippecanoe was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Following World War II USS Tippecanoe was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 8 September to 28 November 1945
  • Decommissioned, 6 March 1946 at Mare Island, Vallejo, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 12 April 1946
  • Transferred to Maritime Commission, 7 Oct 1946 for disposal
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 8 August 1946, to National Metal Steel Co. for $35,000.00 in a three ship sale (PD-X-194), withdrawn 20 November 1946
    Displacement 5,400 t.(lt) 17,820 t.(fl)
    Length 447'
    Beam 60' 3"
    Draft 29'
    Speed 11 kts.
    Officers 15
    Enlisted 193
    Largest Boom Capacity10 t.
    two single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity Oil 7,940 Bbls, 11,100 DWT.
    Fuel Capacity. 4,780 Bbls
    one Newport News-Curtis geared turbine
    three Scotch boilers 220psi, Sat
    single Newport News Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 50Kw 120V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 50Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 2,600hp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Tippecanoe - The Tippecanoe River is a 182-mile-long river in northern Indiana. It flows from Big Lake in Noble County to the Wabash River near what is now Battle Ground, IN, about 12 miles northeast of Lafayette, IN. The name "Tippecanoe" was derived from a Miami-Illinois word for buffalo fish. (Wikipedia)
    Photo - Wabash River in Limberlost Recreation Area, south of Berne, Indiana.©Chris Light
    Map - Wabash River watershed with the Tippecanoe River in Indiana highlighted.©Kmusser
    Tommy Trampp
    Tippecanoe 342k USS Tippecanoe (AO-21) forward of USS Sepulga (AO 20) in reserve at the south end of Mare Island in 1930.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 467, 1930
    Darryl Baker
    Tippecanoe 339k USS Tippecanoe (AO-21) forward of USS Sepulga (AO 20) in reserve at the south end of Mare Island in 1930.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 466, 1930
    Darryl Baker
    Tippecanoe 224k USS Tippecanoe (AO-21) forward of USS Sepulga (AO 20) in reserve at the south end of Mare Island in 1930.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 465, 1930
    Darryl Baker
    226k USS Tippecanoe (AO-21) coming alongside USS Wasp (CV-7), 11 July 1942. The ships were steaming with a convoy of transports taking the 2nd Marine Regiment from San Diego to the Tonga Islands.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-12234, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Tommy Trampp
    Tippecanoe 92k Broadside view of USS Tippecanoe (AO-21) off Mare Island, 14 November 1942. Tippecanoe was at Mare Island for repairs from 12 October to 12 November 1942.
    Mare Island Navy Yard photo # 7069-11-42
    Darryl Baker
    Tippecanoe 92k USS Tippecanoe (AO-21) with new 5"/38 guns fore and aft. She was one of four ships of the class to receive this dual-purpose weapon.
    US National Archives Photo # 80-G-177788, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Tippecanoe 29k USS Tippecanoe (AO-21), center, at anchor in Ominato Bay, Japan. USS Hughes (DD-410) and USS Anderson (DD-411) had escorted a force built around USS Panamint (AGC-13) to get the surrender of Japanese forces in Northern Honshu in September, 1945. At far distant left is USS Xanthus (AR-19).
    Photo by Chester Bradley, USS Hughes.
    John Chiquoine and Dave Schroeder

    USS Tippecanoe (AO-21)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Olds, Hugh Wilson, USN (USNA 1919)6 March 1940 - 16 January 1941
    02CDR. Couble, Alexander John, USN (USNA 1920)16 January 1941 - 19 April 1941
    03CDR. MacOndray Jr., Atherton, USN :RADM19 April 1941 - 21 September 1942
    04CDR. Myers, Ralph Orsen, USN (USNA 1921A)21 September 1942 - 30 September 1943
    05CDR. Vensel Jr., Frank Ernest, USN30 September 1943 - 22 March 1944
    06CDR. Arntz, George Donald, USNR22 March 1944 - 12 February 1945
    07LCDR. Banister, Harold Robert, USN 12 February 1945 - 6 March 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
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 26 February 2021