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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Salamonie (AO-26)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Echo - Sierra - Kilo
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Admiral (M)ike - Section 6A of JANAP 119(F) 1968

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, 5 January 1945) China Service Medal (extended) - American Defense Service Medal (with "A" device)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2)
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia and Europe clasps) - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Fourth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Cuba, 1-Dominican Republic) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)

Cimarron Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 5 February 1940, as SS Esso Columbia, a Maritime Commission type (T3-S2-A1) tanker hull, under Maritime Commission contract, (MC hull 13), at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.
  • Launched, 18 September 1940
  • Acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission, 20 November 1940
  • Commissioned USS Salamonie (AO-26), 28 April 1941, CDR. T. M. Waldschmidt, in command
  • During World War II USS Salamonie was first assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and then to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 25 to 28 October 1944
    Luzon operation
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 4 January 1945

  • Following World War II USS Salamonie was assigned to Occupation and China service for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    Asia - 8 September to 26 October 194528 June to 24 July 1947
    Asia - 7 August to 10 October 19463 to 5 September 1947
    Asia - 9 to 21 January 194721 to 30 September 1947
    Asia - 8 to 30 March 194714 to 17 May 1948
    Asia - 16 May to 27 June 19471 to 8 July 1948
    Asia - 30 August to 2 September 194719 July to 8 August 1948
    Asia - 6 to 20 September 194720 October to 27 November 1948
    Asia - 20 May to 18 June 1948 
    Asia - 10 to 16 July 1948 
    Asia - 4 to 24 October 1948 
    Europe - 5 March to 15 May 1950 
    Europe - 8 April to 20 June 1951 
    Europe - 17 November 1952 to 21 February 1953 
    Europe - 3 to 10 August 1953 
    Europe - 21 September 1954 to 18 January 1955 
    Europe - 7 to 17 August 1955 

  • Decommissioned, 20 December 1968
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 2 September 1969
  • USS Salamonie earned two battle stars for World War II service
  • Delivered to the Maritime Administration at the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Lee Hall, VA., for disposal, 25 September 1969
  • Moved to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet St Helena Annex, Portsmouth, VA. for demilitarization, 12 June 1970
  • Returned to the National Defense Reserve Fleet after demilitarization, 22 June 1970,
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 24 July 1970, to N. V. Intershitra of Rotterdam, Netherlands for $298,001
  • Physically delivered to N. V. Intershitra,, 26 August 1970, at Lee Hall, VA.
    Displacement 7,470 t.(lt) 25,440 t.(fl)
    Length 553'
    Beam 75'
    Draft 32' 4"
    Speed 18.3 kts. (trial)
    Officers 22
    Enlisted 295
    Largest Boom Capacity10 t.
    four single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity
    Oil - 123,700 Bbs
    Gasoline - 788,000 Gals
    Fuel Capacity NSFO - 15,000 Bbls
    two Newport News Parsons-type geared turbines
    four Foster and Wheeler Express boilers, 450psi 750°
    double De Laval Main Reduction Gears
    two turbo-drive 400Kw 230V A.C. Ship's Service Generators
    twin propellers 13,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Maritime Commission
    88k The ship's sponsor Mrs. Eugene Holman breaks the traditional bottle of Champagne across the bow of SS ESSO Columbia during the tankers launching ceremony, 18 September 1940, at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA. Dale Hargrave
    USS Salamonie (AO-26)
    Salamonie 343k USS Salamonie (AO-26) at anchor, 7 November 1941, location unknown.
    US National Archives Photo # 80-G-466214, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives (NARA Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S).
    Robert Hurst
    Salamonie 76k USS Salamonie (AO-26) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Tommy Trampp
    BB-56 Washington 167k USS Salamonie (AO-26) refueling USS Washington (BB-56) while underway, 1 September 1942, location unknown. Note Salamonie's MK.37 director still has to be installed. Pieter Bakels
    Salamonie 35k USS Salamonie (AO-26) at anchor, 18 October 1942, location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Salamonie 145k USS Salamonie (AO-26) at anchor in October 1942, location unknown. Her camouflage is measure 32 design 10AO.
    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
    Salamonie 28k USS Salamonie (AO-26) refueling USS Bush (DD-529), 14 October 1944. USS Bush (DD-529 web site
    Salamonie 212k USS Salamonie (AO-26) alongside USS Newport News (CA-148) during an underway refueling.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, September 1950
    CDR. John Dowd USNR Ret.
    Newport News 181k USS Salamonie (AO-26) refuels USS Power (DD-839), USS Newport News (CA-148), and USS Hanson (DD-832). in the Mediterranean in 1950: Note the helicopter on Newport News' fantail. When completed she had seaplane catapults on her stern, but they were removed shortly after she was commissioned. George Klos
    CVL-48 Saipan 161k USS Salamonie (AO-26) refuels USS Saipan (CVL-48) in the summer of 1952. Saipan was among 26 Atlantic Fleet ships that took 3,600 Naval Academy and Naval Reserve Midshipmen on their training courses, to eight ports in Western Europe and then to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Tom Pendergast,
    USS Saipan CVL-48 Association
    CVL-48 Saipan 109k
    Salamonie 21k USS Salamonie (AO-26) at anchor, date and location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Salamonie 26k USS Salamonie (AO-26) refueling USS Cotten (DD-669), Mediterranean Sea, 1955. Photo by Bill Shukis, USN Ret. Christine M Shukis
    Salamonie 109k USS Salamonie (AO-26) under way, late 1940s, location unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # Unknown, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Salamonie 546k USS Salamonie (AO-26) alongside USS Randolph (CVA-15) while refueling USS Newman K. Perry (DDR-883), Mediterranean Sea, 8 December 1958. CDR. John Dowd USNR Ret.
    Pieter Bakel
    Salamonie 1960k USS Salamonie (AO-26) at anchor in the harbor at Genoa, Italy, 30 May 1964. Photos by Carlo Martinelli
    Salamonie 2420k
    Salamonie 255k USS Salamonie (AO-26) conducting a replenishment at sea with USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42), date and location unknown Mike Smolinski

    For more photos and information about USS Salamonie, see:
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • MARAD Vessel History Data Base
  • USS Salamonie (AO-26)

  • Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Waldschmidt, Theodore Max28 April 1941 to 25 May 1942
    02CDR. Von Heimburg, Ernest Herman, USN (1919) :VADM25 May 1942 - 24 June 1943
    03CDR. Johns, Llewellyn James, USN (USNA 1921-a)24 June 1943 - 7 February 1945
    04CDR. Holbrook, John Ames, USN (USNA 1924)7 February 1945 - 15 September 1946
    05CAPT. Stover, Earl B., USNR15 September 1946 - 21 April 1947
    06CDR. Miller, Edwin Swain, USN (USNA 1933-a) :RADM21 April 1947 - 13 December 1947
    07CAPT. Osborn, Philip Ransom, USN (USNA 1929)13 December 1947 - 19 December 1948
    08CAPT. Wallis, Adelbert Vernon, USN (USNA 1922)19 December 1948 - 13 October 1949
    09CAPT. Hardin, James Thomas, USN (USNA 1929)13 October 1949 - 17 November 1950
    10CDR. Todd, Donald Whiley, USN (USNA 1931)17 November 1950 - 25 July 1952
    11CAPT. Deregon, William Nolin, USN (USNA 1934)25 July 1952 - 10 September 1953
    12CAPT. Craighill, Richard Starr, USN (USNA 1932) :RADM10 September 1953 - 4 September 1954
    13CAPT. Fleck Jr., Francis Edward, USN (USNA 1934) :RADM4 September 1954 - 1 February 1956
    14CAPT. Neville, Lawrence Robert, USN (USNA 1933)1 Feburay1956 - 15 March 1957
    15CAPT. Beach Jr., Edward Latimer (Red Lead Ned), USN (USNA 1939)15 March 1957 - 10 January 1958
    16CAPT. Woodville, Jonathon Leopold Warren, USN (USNA 1936) :RADM10 January 1958 - 9 June 1959
    17CAPT. Leonard, William Nicholas (Bill), USN (USNA 1938) :RADM9 June 1959 - 3 June 1960
    18CAPT. Beshany, Philip Arthur, USN (USNA 1938) :VADM3 June 1960 - 22 July 1961
    19CAPT. Powell Jr., Lucien Cletus, USN (USNA 1939)22 July 1961 - 26 June 1962
    20CAPT. Redmayne, Richard Banks, USN26 June 1962 - 15 July 1963
    21CAPT. James, Jack Milton, USN (USNA 1942) :RADM15 July 1963 - 2 August 1964
    22CAPT. Johnson, Earl Banks, USN (USNA 1943)2 August 1964 - 23 July 1965
    23CAPT. Hay, Lorin William, USN (USNA 1944)23 July 1965 - 9 September 1966
    24CAPT. Murray Jr., William Booth, USN9 September 1966 - 15 December 1967
    25CAPT. Seiberlich, Carl Joseph, USN :RADM15 December 1967 - 20 December 1968
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 30 April 2021