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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Neosho (AO-48)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Uniform - Bravo - Xray
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (13) - World War II Victory Medal
Bottom Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)

Kennebec Class Fleet Oiler
  • Laid down, February 1942, for the Socony Vacuum Co. as SS Catawba, a Maritime Commission type (T3-S2-A1) tanker hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 145) at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Sparrows Point, MD.
  • Launched, 23 December 1941
  • Renamed Neosho 18 July 1942
  • Acquired by the Navy, 4 August 1942
  • Converted Naval service at Bethlehem Steel Co., Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA.
  • Commissioned USS Neosho (AO-48), 16 September 1942, CDR. Frank L. Worden in command
  • During World War II USS Neosho (AO-48) was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theaters and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Aleutians operation
    Attu occupation, 15 to 17 May and 27 to 28 May 1943
    Leyte operations
    Luzon attacks, 18 to 19 October and 20 to 23 November 1944
    Gilbert Islands operation, 26 November to 7 December 1943 Luzon operations
    Formosa attacks, 15 and 21 January 1945
    China Coast attacks 22 January 1945
    Marshall Islands operations
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 29 January to 8 February 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Attack and occupation of Iwo Jima, 16 February to 2 March 1945
    Asia-Pacific Raids-1944
    Palau, Yap, Ulithi, Woleai raid, 30 March to 1 April 1944
    Truk, Satawan, Ponape raid, 29 April to 1 May 1944
    Hollandia operation
    Aitape, Humboldt Bay-Tanahmerah Bay, 21 to 24 April 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 11 June to 10 August 1944
    2nd Bonins raid, 24 June 1944
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 12 July to 15 August 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Attack and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 23 to 30 June 1945
    Tinian capture and occupation, 29 June to 10 August 1944 3rd Fleet operations against Japan, 17 July to 4 August 1945
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, 6 September to 14 October 1944
    Assault of Philippine Islands, 9 to 14 September 1944

  • Decommissioned, 13 December 1945
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 3 January 1946
  • USS Neosho earned 13 battle stars for World War II service
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 30 June 1946, at the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Merchant Service
    Sold by the Maritime Commission, 23 June 1947, renamed SS Tascalusa returned to the Socony Vacuum Oil Co.
    Sold, foreign (Panama) June 1958
    Sold, in 1963 renamed SS Ascalusa
  • Final Disposition, scrapped at Hamburg, Germany, February, 1964
    Displacement 5,580 t.(lt) 21,580 t.(fl)
    Length 501' 5"
    Beam 68'
    Draft 30' 9"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Officers 24
    Enlisted 230
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity 14,750 DWT
    Oil 109,600 Bbls
    Gasoline 689,000 Gals
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 9,860 Bbls
    one Westinghouse turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 742°
    double Westinghouse Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 300Kw 240V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 59Kw 240V D.C.
    single propeller, 12,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Neosho - The Neosho River is a tributary of the Arkansas River in eastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma. Its tributaries also drain portions of Missouri and Arkansas. The river is about 463 miles. Via the Arkansas, it is part of the Mississippi River watershed. Its name is an Osage word meaning "clear water." The lower section is also known as the Grand River. (Wikipedia)
    Photo - Neosho River at Neosho Falls, (USGC)
    Map - Neosho River watershed, ©Kmusser.
    Tommy Trampp
    091904804 (BS 120965)
    165k USS Neosho (AO-48) at anchor, date and location unknown. Her camouflage scheme is MS32/6AO.
    US National Archives Bureau of Shipping, Catalog No.s BS 120965 and BS 120764.
    Mike Green
    091904805 (BS 120764)
    Neosho 117k USS Neosho (AO-48) "Seamanship -- Grind & Hard Work - Bering Sea May '43". USS Neosho (AO-48) refueling USS Balch (DD-363) -- on the opposite side -- and USS Wichita (CA-45) during operations in the Bering Sea in May 1943. Photographed from Wichita. The quoted title is that penned on the original print by VADM. Giffen. Collection of Vice Admiral Robert C. Giffen.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 94643.
    Robert Hurst
    Neosho 48k USS Neosho (AO-48) under way, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    Neosho 36k USS Neosho (AO-48) under way, date and location unknown. Robert Hurst

    USS Neosho (AO-48)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Worden, Frank Lyman 16 September 1942 - 25 August 1943
    02CDR. McMillan, Douthey Gear, USN (USNA 1926)25 August 1943 - 2 July 1944
    03LCDR. Parkinson, Francis Paul2 July 1944 - 13 December 1945
    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 19 March 2021