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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USNS Monongahela (T-AO-42)
USS Monongahela (AO-42) (1942 - 1956)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Victor - Charlie

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, 16 April 1945) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (10)
Second Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal
Third Row - Korean Service Medal (2) - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Mattaponi Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down in 1942, for Keystone Tankship Corp. as SS Elkay, a Maritime Commission type (T2-A-MC-K) tanker hull under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 158) at Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, PA.
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 31 July 1942
  • Launched, 30 May 1942
  • Commissioned USS Monongahela (AO-42), 11 September 1942, at Norfolk, VA., CAPT. Thomas M. Dell in command
  • During World War II USS Monongahela was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Consolidation of Solomon Islands
    Consolidation of the southern Solomon Islands, 16 June 1943
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Assault on the Philippine Islands, 9 to 24 September 1944
    Hollandia operation (Aitape Humboldt Bay-Tanahmerah Bay), 21 to 24 April 1944 Leyte operation
    Luzon attacks, 18 to 19 October and 20 to 23 November 1944
    Asiatic-Pacific Raids - 1944
    Truk, Satawan, Ponape raid, 29 April to 1 May 1944
    Luzon operation
    Formosa attacks, 15 and 21 January 1945
    China Coast attacks, 16 January 1945
    Nansei Shoto attack, 22 January 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 29 April to 1 May 1944
    2d Bonins raid, 24 June 1944
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 12 July to 15 August 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 15 to 25 February 1945
    Tinian capture and occupation, 24 July to 1 August 1944 Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 24 March to 30 June 1945
    5th and 3d Fleet raids in support of Okinawa Gunto operation, 28 March to 22 May 1945

  • Between 1945 and 1954 USS Monongahela was assigned to Occupation service in both the Asiatic-Pacific and European areas for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    15 July to 14 August 19468 November 1951 to 6 May 1952
    23 April to 1 May 194721 November 1952 to 28 September 1953
    8 to 25 June 19479 May to 12 November 1954

  • Decommissioned, 9 June 1950, at San Diego, CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group
  • Recommissioned, 9 January 1951 and assigned to MSTS
  • During the Korean War USS Monongahela participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    First UN Counter Offensive, 19 to 20 March 1951 Communist China Spring Offensive, 24 to 27 May 1951

  • Decommissioned, 9 June 1955, at Philadelphia, PA.
  • Placed in service with the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) as USNS Monongahela (T-AO-42), 28 December 1956
  • Placed out of service, 22 August 1957
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Beaumont, TX., 13 September 1957
  • Custody transferred to the Maritime Commission, 10 December 1958
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 February 1959
  • USS Monongahela earned ten battle stars for World War II service and two battle stars for Korean War service
  • Final Disposition, on 19 March 1982 traded-out to Farrell Lines together with three other vessels for SS Export Banner, immediately resold to Andy Machinery Co., Brownsville, Tx. for scrapping in Brownsville. (Contract MA-10732 dated 19 March 1982) scrapping completed 12 May 1982
    Displacement 6,809 t.(lt) 22,325 t.(fl)
    Length 520'
    Beam 68'
    Draft 30' 9" (lim)
    Speed 17.t kts. (trial)
    Officers 23
    Enlisted 254
    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
    four twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity 15,000 DWT
    Oil 117,400 Bbls
    Gasoline 585,000 Gals
    Fuel Capacity
    9,800 Bbls NSFO
    one General Electric geared turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 742°
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 400Kw 230V A.C.
    one turbo-drive 50Kw 230V A.C.
    single propeller, 12,800shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Monongahela - The Monongahela River is a 130-mile-long river in north-central West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania. The river flows from the confluence of its west and east forks in north-central West Virginia northeasterly into southwestern Pennsylvania, then northerly to Pittsburgh and its confluence with the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River. (Wikipedia)
    Photo - The Monongahela River at Fairmont, West Virginia, 2006. ©Tim Kiser
    Map - Monongahela River basin ©Pfly (real name unknown)
    Tommy Trampp
    Monongahela 87k YTM-721 along with several smaller tugs are assisting Monongahela (AO-42) into her outfitting berth after launching at Sun Shipbuilding, Chester, PA., 30 May 1942. Monongahela is painted camouflage scheme 32/6AO.
    US Navy photo
    Ernest "Pops" Schram WT2/c USS Monongahela
    Monongahela 33k USS Monongahela (AO-42) at anchor, 24 September 1942, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Monongahela 83k USS Monongahela (AO-42) under way, circa 1952. Note the much-reduced armament of four 40mm twin and two 20mm twin AA mounts.
    US Navy Photo # Unknown, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Monongahela 116k USS Monongahela (AO-42) refueling USS Harrison (DD-573) and USS Hornet (CV-12), 4 April 1945, in TG58.1 during the Okinawa operation. Hornet is launching a Grumman TBF Avenger.
    Photo by T.J. McCann, USS Harrison (DD-573)
    John Chiquoine

    USS Monongahela (AO-42) / USNS Monongahela (T-AO-42)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Dell, Thomas Mediary11 September 1942 - 30 October 1943
    02CDR. Ilsemann, Frederick Joseph30 October 1943 - 1 August 1945
    03LT. Millar, Harold Francis. USNR1 August 1945 - 22 March 1946
    04CAPT. Wyatt, Joe Earle, USN (USNA 1928)22 March 1946 - 1947
    05CAPT. Mullaney, Baron Joseph, USN (USNA 1928) :RADM1947 - 1948
    06CAPT. Ambruster, Stephen Henry, USN (USNA 1930)1948 - ?
     Decommissioned9 June 1950 - 9 January 1951
    07CDR. Lowndes, Thomas Pinckney9 January 1951 - June 1952
    08LCDR. Bergeron, Ameda Joseph (acting)June 1952 - July 1952
    09CDR. Nelson Jr., Edward Robert, USN (USNA 1933)July 1952 - November 1952
    10CDR. Dusinberre, Henry WarnerNovember 1952 - December 1952
    11CDR. Nelson Jr., Edward RobertDecember 1952 - ?
    12CAPT. Veth, Kenneth LeRoy :RADMJuly 1954 - June 1955
    13CAPT. Nelson, Jr., Edward RobertJune 1955 - ?
    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 26 February 2021