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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Caliente (AO-53)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Zulu - Foxtrot - Uniform
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Ageless (Y)ankee - 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 - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (10) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Korean Service Medal (4) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Vietnam)
Fourth Row - Vietnam Service Medal (8) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippine Liberation Medal
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Cimarron Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down as a Maritime Commission type (T3-S2-A3) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 719), at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Sparrows Point, MD.
  • Launched, 25 August 1943
  • Commissioned USS Caliente (AO-53), 12 October 1943, CDR. E. G. Genthner, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Caliente was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 29 January to 8 February 1944
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Raids on Volcano-Bonin Islands and Yap Island, 31 August to 8 September
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, 6 September to 14 October 1944
    Assaults on the Philippine Islands, 9 to 24 September 1944
    Asiatic-Pacific Raids - 1944
    Palau, Yap, Ulithi, Woleai raid, 30 March to 1 April 1944
    Truk, Satawan, Ponape raid, 29 April to 1 May 1944
    Leyte operations
    Northern Luzon and Formosa attacks, 11 to 14 October 1944
    Luzon attacks, 15, 18 to 19, October, 20 to 23 November, 14 to 16 December 1944
    Battle of Surigao Strait, 24 to 26 October 1944
    Hollandia operation, 21 to 24 April 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, 11 June to 10 August 1944
    3d Bonins rain, 3 to 4 July 1944
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 12 July to 15 August 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    5th and 3d Fleet raids in support of Okinawa Gunto, 31 May to 11 June 1945
    Tinian capture and occupation, 20 July to 1 August 1944 3d Fleet operations against Japan, 11 July to 14 August 1945

  • Following World War II USS Caliente was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    2 September 1945 to 16 March 19462 September 1945 to 16 March 1946
    26 April to 12 July 194626 April to 12 July 1946
    25 to 30 August 194611 to 12 July 1948
    4 to 6 October 19468 to 12 August 1948
     10 September to 18 October 1950
    17 to 23 May 194727 July to 28 August 1951
     22 August to 28 September 1952
    25 July to 11 August 194713 October to 19 November 1953
    3 to 23 March 194821 June to 4 July 1954
    17 July to 6 August 194821 September to 22 October 1954
     29 June to 20 July 1955
     2 to 16 September 1955

  • During the Korean War USS Caliente (AO-53) participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Communist China Spring Offensive
    25 June to 2 July 1951
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    1 to 12 May 1952
    19 May to 4 June 1952
    16 June to 8 July 1952
    19 to 30 July 1952
    3 to 14 August 1952
    16 to 23 October 1952
    27 October to 4 November 1952
    UN Summer-Fall Offensive
    18 to 20 July 1951
    30 to 31 August 1951
    4 to 23 September 1951
    14 to 23 October 1951
    6 to 15 November 1951
    Korea, Summer-Fall 1953
    24 June to 1 July 1953
    16 to 26 July 1953

  • During the Vietnam War USS Caliente (AO-53) participated in the following campaigns:

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Advisory Campaign
    20 to 23 March 1962
    14 to 17 April 196
    27 to 30 April 1962
    8 to 12 May 1962
    18 May 1962
    Tet/69 Counteroffensive
    7 to 16 March 1969
    22 to 30 March 1969
    3 to 11 April 1969
    17 to 24 April 1969
    3 to 11 May 1969
    15-to 23 May 1969
    2 to 8 June 1969
    Vietnam Defense
    17 July to 1 August 1965
    8 to 19 August 1965
    25 August to 3 September1965
    12 to 23 September 1965
    1 to 19 October 1965
    1 to 10 November 1965
    23 to 29 November 1965
    11 to 21 December 1965
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    9 to 11 June 1969
    30 June to 9 July 1969
    Tet Counteroffensive
    1 to 10 March 1968
    16 March to 7 April 1968
    Sanctuary Counteroffensive
    3 to 12 June 1970
    18 to 26 June 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    23 April to 1 May 1968
    10 to 12 May 1968
    19 May to 6 June 1968
    Vietnamese Ceasefire
    1 to 3 July 1972
    13 to 22 July 1972
    18 to 23 February 1973
    2 to 10 March 1973
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
    2 July 1968

  • Decommissioned, date unknown
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 15 December 1973
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet
  • Final Disposition, disposed of by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) sale, 5 April 1974, fate unknown
  • USS Caliente earned ten battle stars for World War II service, four battle stars for Korean War service, an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal with eight campaign stars for Vietnam War service
    Displacement 7,236 t.(lt) 25,440 t.(fl)
    Length 553'
    Beam 75'
    Draft 32'
    Speed 18.3 kts. (trial)
    Officers 20
    Enlisted 272
    Largest Boom Capacity 10t.
    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
    NSFO 123,700Bbls
    Gasoline 788,000Gals
    Fuel Capacity 15,000Bbls
    two Bethlehem geared turbines
    four Foster and Wheeler K-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double Falk Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 400Kw 230V A.C.
    one Diesel-drive 150Kw 230V A.C.
    twin propellers, 13,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description contributed
    Caliente 30k USS Caliente (AO-53) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Caliente 58k USS Russell (DD-414) coming alongside USS Caliente (AO-53), date and location unknown. Photo from the collection of LTjg Edwin H. Klump Jr. USS Russell, courtesy Mrs. Rebecca Klump Cottrell. James Madson
    Caliente 112k USS Caliente (AO-53) refueling USS Russell (DD-414) in the South Pacific, date and location unknown. Photo from the collection of LTjg Edwin H. Klump Jr. USS Russell, courtesy Mrs. Rebecca Klump Cottrell. James Madson
    Caliente 105k USS Caliente (AO-53) at anchor alongside USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13) in 1961 in Davao Gulf, Mindanao, Philippine Islands.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, November 1961
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Caliente 67k USS Caliente (AO-53) refueling USS Midway (CVA-41) 1961 USS Midway 1961 Cruise Book
    Caliente 48k USS Caliente (AO-53) alongside USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) while conducting an underway replenishment in WestPac, circa 3 January to 15 July 1963 Sal Vacca, AE2, VAW-11 Detachment Bravo, USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14)
    Caliente 56k USS Caliente (AO-53) conducting an underway replenishment alongside USS Galveston (CLG-3) WestPac, mid 1960s. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Cimarron 42k USS Caliente (AO-53) and USS Cimarron (AO-53) moored pierside at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Caliente 78k USS Caliente (AO-53) riding at anchor at Naval Base Subic Bay, Philippines Islands in 1967.
    Photo taken from USS Bausell (DD-845)
    Photo by Lee Noland STGC, USN Ret. USS Bausell.
    Caliente 109k USS Caliente (AO-53) receiving oil from USS Sacramento (AOE-1), 5 April 1968, mid-Pacific. Photo by Rein Lindner USS Sacramento
    Caliente 139k USS Caliente (AO-53) underway, outbound to sea from Aukland, New Zealand, 29 July 1968.
    Photo from the Chris Howell collection
    Chris Howell
    Caliente 27k USS Caliente (AO-53) underway in the Pacific Ocean in 1969
    US Navy photo from the USS Caliente 1969 cruise book.
    Robert Hurst
    Caliente 108k USS Caliente (AO-53), in the Gulf of Tonkin, circa 1969-70.
    Taken from USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3)
    William P Jones MD USS Niagara Falls
    Caliente 66k USS Caliente (AO-53), circa 1969, off the coast of Vietnam while refueling USS Boston (CAG-1). Taken from USS Boston Photo by John Jazdzewski
    Caliente 100k USS Caliente (AO-53), circa 1969, off the coast of Vietnam while refueling USS Boston (CAG-1). Taken from Boston Photo by John Jazdzewski
    Caliente 137k USS Caliente (AO-53) during refueling operations, circa 1970, place unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Caliente 285k USS Caliente (AO-53) conducting an underway replenishment with USS Denver (LPD-9) on her starboard side. Photo was taken from USS Durham (LKA-114) (not shown) as Durham was approaching Caliente's port side for refueling off the coast of Vietnam in June 1970. Photo by CAPT. Rex Settlemoir, USN, Ret.
    Caliente 21k USS Caliente (AO-53), date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Edward H. Cleary
    Caliente 82k USS Caliente (AO-53) pulling away from USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) after completing an underway refueling, April 1973 Photo by Dr. Kenneth Hartman
    Additional Ships Patches
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski

    For more photos and information about USS Caliente, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • USS Caliente AO-53
  • Commanding Officers

  • Crew Contact And Reunion Information Web Sites
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

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    Last Updated 3 June 2016