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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Aucilla (AO-56)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Zulu - Lima - Quebec
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Elbow (B)ravo - 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 - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (2-Lebanon 1-Dominican Republic)

Ashtabula Class Fleet Oiler
  • Laid down, 25 May 1943, as a Maritime Commission type (T3-S2-A3) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 722), at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Sparrows Point, MD.
  • Launched, 20 November 1943
  • Commissioned USS Aucilla (AO-56), 22 December 1943, CDR. Cornelius M. Sullivan USN in command
  • During World War II USS Aucilla was assigned first to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and lastly to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Leyte operation
    Luzon attacks, 14 to 16 December 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    5th and 3rd Fleet operations in support of Okinawa Gunto, 16 March to 4 May 1945
    Luzon operation
    Luzon attacks, 6 and 7 January 1945
    Formosa attacks, 9 and 15 January 1945
    China Coast attacks, 12 and 16 January 1945
    3rd Fleet operations against Japan
    11 July to 3 August and 9 to 15 August 1945
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 15 to 26 February 1945

  • Following World War II USS Aucilla performed Occupation duty and China Service for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    Asia - 2 September to 25 November 19456 to 19 March 1947
    Asia - 31 July to 12 August 1946 
    Asia - 29 September to 25 December 1946 
    Asia - 10 February to 3 March 1947 
    Asia - 17 to 19 April 1947 
    Asia - 15 to 25 July 1947 
    Asia - 18 to 20 June 1948 
    Asia - 22 to 25 August 1948 
    Europe - 4 to 7 November 1948 
    Europe - 15 to 22 January 1949 
    Asia - 25 to 28 April 1949 
    Europe - 6 October 1953 to 24 January 1954 
    Europe - 10 June to 31 July 1955 
    Europe - 1 August to 25 October 1955 

  • Decommissioned, 18 December 1970, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Transferred, 7 October 1971, to MARAD for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 December 1976
  • Title transferred to MARAD, 1 July 1973
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
  • USS Aucilla earned five battle stars for her World War II service
    Displacement 7,236 t.(lt) 25,440 t.(fl)
    Length 553'
    Beam 73'
    Draft 32' 4"
    Speed 18 kts.
    Officers 22
    Enlisted 291
    Largest Boom Capacity 15 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 16,350 DWT
    Oil 123,700 Bbls
    Gasoline 780,000 Gals
    Fuel Capacity 15,000 Bbls
    two Bethlehem Ship Building geared turbines
    four Foster 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.
    two propellers, 13,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Aucilla 57k USS Aucilla (AO-56) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, February 1957.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Aucilla 49k USS Aucilla (AO-56) underway, date and location unknown. Her camouflage scheme is 32/3AO in this photo. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII web site
    Aucilla 178k USS Aucilla (AO-56) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Aucilla 43k USS Aucilla (AO-56) refueling USS Newman K Perry (DD-883) and USS Forrestal (CVA-59), 25 March 1960, location unknown.
    US Navy photo # (USN 1047741.
    Aucilla 113k USS Aucilla (AO-56) underway, date and location unknown. © Richard Leonhardt
    Aucilla 94k USS Aucilla (AO-56) underway during refueling operations with an unidentified aircraft carrier, date and location unknown. © Richard Leonhardt
    Aucilla 78k USS Aucilla (AO-56) underway, date and location unknown. © Richard Leonhardt
    CVA-38 Shangri-La

    USS Shangri-La (CVA-38) refueling from USS Aucilla (AO-56), circa 1967.

    Format: Audio Video Interleave (.AVI)  Duration: 1' 46"  Size: 720 x 480

    Howie Houserman, VA-81 (1966–1969)
    Aucilla 207k USS Aucilla (AO-56) underway in 1968, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    David Buell

    For more photos and information about USS Aucilla, see:
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • Commanding Officers

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

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 4 October 2014