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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

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

USS Housatonic (AO-35)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Foxtrot - Whiskey
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1)
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (4) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)

Chicopee Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 30 April 1941, as SS Esso Albany for Standard Oil of New Jersey, at Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, PA.
  • Launched, 7 September 1941
  • Delivered to Standard Oil of New Jersey, 10 October 1941
  • Acquired by the US Navy and converted to a Fleet Oiler
  • Commissioned, USS Housatonic (AO-35), 9 January 1942, LCDR. Robinson Almerian Boileau, in command
  • During World War II USS Housatonic was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and later to Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    North Africa occupation
    Algeria-Morocco landings, 8 to 11 November 1942
    Luzon operation
    Formosa attacks, 15 January 1945
      Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 23 February to 7 March 1945
      Okinawa operation
    5th and 3d Fleet raids in support of Okinawa Gunto operation, 8 April to 11 June 1945
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 12 to 21 June 1945
      3d Fleet operations against Japan, 11 July to 3 August 1945

  • Following World War II USS Housatonic was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 2 September to 13 November 1945
  • Decommissioned 11 March 1946, at San Francisco, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 28 March 1946
  • USS Housatonic earned five battle stars for World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 22 October 1946
  • Merchant History
    Sold to her former owners, Standard Oil of New Jersey, 15 October 1947, renamed SS Esso Bethlehem
    Sold, 15 June 1962, to Sea-Land Ships Inc., renamed SS Los Angeles
    Sold, 29 March 1963, to Beauregard Inc., converted to a containership in 1963, SS Los Angeles was fitted with a new mid-section
    Sold. 13 November 1964, to Litton Industries Leasing Corp.
    Sold, 28 February 1975, to Reynolds Leasing Corp.
    Sold, 23 March 1978, to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., for scrapping of bow and stern. A new bow and stern were fitted to the1962 mid-section
    Sold, 1 August 1978, to Reynolds Leasing Corp., renamed Maersk-Sealand SS Sea Pioneer
    Re-flagged Bahamian, 18 June 1989
    Sold, 14 July 1989, to Intersea Operations Ltd., Inc.
  • Final Disposition, scrapped, date unknown
    Displacement 5,375 t.(lt) 22,430 t.(fl)
    Length 520'
    Beam 68'
    Draft 30' 9" (lim)
    Speed 17 kts. (trial)
    Officers 20
    Enlisted 219
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    two twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity
    NSFO 116,700Bbls
    Gasoline 788,000Gals
    Fuel Capacity 9,960Bbls
    one General Electric geared turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox D-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 400Kw 240V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 50Kw 240V D.C.
    single propeller, 9,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Pre WWII Merchant Service Standard Oil of New Jersey
    Housatonic 94k SS Esso Albany underway in light condition, circa late-1941, location unknown.
    Photo courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages
    Robert Hurst
    Housatonic 107k
    Housatonic 126k SS Esso Albany underway, circa late-1941, location unknown.
    US National Archives 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
    USS Housatonic (AO-35)
    Housatonic 176k USS Housatonic (AO-35) at anchor, in early 1942, location unknown. Photographed from USS Wasp (CV-7).
    US National Archives, Photo No. 80-G-K-430a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green
    Housatonic 94k USS Housatonic (AO-35) off Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA., 12 September 1942. Her camouflage is measure 12(modified).
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, photo # 19-N-34862 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Housatonic 34k USS Housatonic (AO-35) underway, 21 October 1942, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Housatonic 95k USS Housatonic (AO-35) near the Norfolk Navy Yard, 26 May 1942.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo No. 19-N-30649, courtesy
    Mike Green
    99k USS Housatonic (AO-35) near the Norfolk Navy Yard, 6 June 1943.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo No.'s 19-N-47637 and 19-N-47635, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Housatonic 27k USS Housatonic (AO-35) coming alongside USS Ranger (CV-4) to begin a Replenishment at Sea, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    Housatonic 150k Housatonic (AO-35) refueling Ranger (CV-4), date and location unknown. Auke Visserīs ESSO Tanker web site
    Housatonic 890k USS Housatonic (AO-35) refueling USS Wilkes (DD-441) date and location unknown.
    From the collection of William J. Mosher located at the National Destroyermens Museum housed aboard the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850).
    Ed Zajkowski.
    Housatonic 51k USS Housatonic (AO-35) in light condition, date and location unknown.
    Photo courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages
    Robert Hurst
    Post WWII Merchant Service Standard Oil of New Jersey Maersk-Sealand Lines
    Housatonic 401k Ex-USS Housatonic (AO-35) as the Esso tanker SS Esso Bethlehem in port, location unknown, circa early 1950s. ©World Ship Society (W.S.S.) Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Housatonic 347k Ex-USS Housatonic (AO-35) as the Sea-Land container ship SS Los Angeles, location unknown, circa mid to late 1960s.
    ©the late Alex Duncan.
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Housatonic 48k Maersk-Sealand"s containership SS Sea Pioneer under way, date and location unknown.
    Photo courtesy uke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Housatonic (AO-35)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Boileau, Almerian Robinson9 January 1942- 10 June 1944
    02LCDR. Jacobs Jr., George R., USNR 10 June 1944 - 9 November 1944
    03LT. Jones, Enoch David9 November 1944 - 16 November 1944
    04LCDR. Ducat, John Reginald16 November 1944 - December 1945
    05CDR. Mather, Paul Luker :RADMDecember 1945 - 11 March 1946
    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 5 January 2018