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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Chipola (AO-63)

Flag Hoist/International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - Delta - Quebec
NXDQ
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Bankside (K)ilo - 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
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (3) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Korean Service Medal
Fourth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (5-Vietnam, 8-Korea) - Vietnam Service Medal (13) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (12)
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal


Cimarron Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, date unknown, as a Maritime Commission type (T3-S2-A3) tanker hull, under Maritime Commission contract, (MC hull 729) at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Sparrows Point, MD.
  • Launched, 21 October 1944
  • Commissioned USS Chipola (AO-63), 30 November 1944, CDR. Elmore G. Genthner, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Chipola (AO-63) was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima Gunto, 15 February to 5 March 1945
    3rd Fleet operations against Japan 10 July to 3 August 1944 and 1 May to 30 June 1945
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    5th and 3rd Fleet raids in support of the Okinawa Gunto operation, 16 March to 13 June 1945
     

  • Following World War II and the Korean War USS Chipola was assigned to Occupation and China service for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    Asia - 13 September 1945 to 28 January 194629 January to 8 February 1946
    Asia - 9 to 12 February 19467 to 15 December 1946
    Asia - 27 March to 4 May 1946 
    Asia - 11 November to 6 December 1946 
    Asia - 17 December 1946 to 1 February 1947 
    Asia - 12 to 20 March 1947 
    Asia - 28 April to 3 May 1947 
    Asia - 28 July to 7 August 1948 
    Europe - 2 October to 20 November 1950 
    Europe - 14 June to 28 October 1954 

    During the Korean War USS Chipola operated in the Korean War zone supporting combat units on two different occasions:

    Korean War
    Dates
    20 to 22 November 1950 and 2 to 3 February 1951

  • Decommissioned, 1 August 1955, at Philadelphia, PA.
  • Recommissioned, 26 December 1956 for service with MSTS
  • Decommissioned, 7 November 1957, at Texas
  • Laid up, 4 December 1957, in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Beaumont, TX
  • Withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet for reactivation, 15 August 1960
  • Recommissioned, 17 December 1960
  • During the Vietnam War USS Chipola (AO-63) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Defense
    4 to 5 and 11 to 21 July 1965
    1 to 14 August 1965
    21 August to 3 September 1965
    17 to 23 September 1965
    7 to 18 October 1965
    30 October to 13 November 1965
    21 to 22 November 1965
    Tet/69 Counteroffensive
    23 February to 3 March 1969
    10 to 18 March 1969
    28 March to 6 April 1969
    9 to 17 and 22 to 29 April1969
    6 to 14 May 1969
    28 May to 4 June 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    8 to 15 and 21 to 27 June 1966
    Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970
    6 to 14 and 18 to 22 March 1970
    14 to 21 and 24 to 30 April 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    3 to 19 and 23 to 29 July 1966
    8 to 12 and 21 to 28 August 1966
    9 to 16 September 1966
    5 to 20 October 1966
    13 to 16 November 1966
    Sanctuary Counteroffensive
    1 May and 13 to 21 May 1970
    29 May to 6 June 1970
    14 to 24 June 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    27 November to 7 December 1967
    20 December 1967 to 1 January 1968
    5 to 14 January 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII
    6 to 14 July 1970
    11 to 21 and 23 to 29 May 1971
    3 to 17 and 30 June 1971
    Tet Counteroffensive
    20 to 29 February 1968
    5 to 14 and 18 to 27 March 1968
    Consolidation I
    1 to 7 July 1971
    1 to 5 and 11 to 21 August 1971
    11 to 19 October 1972
    26 October to 21 November 1972
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    4 to 11 and 21 to 28 April 1968
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    14 to 23 December 1972
    6 to 17 and 24 to 31 January 1973
    10 to 16 March 1973
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VI
    15 to 23 December 1968
    31 December 1968 to 9 January 1969
    13 to 21 January 1969
    28 January to 4 February 1969
    15 to 18 February 1969
     

  • Decommissioned, date unknown, 14 August 1973, at Pearl Harbor, HI.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 14 August 1973
  • Title transferred to the Maritime Administration for disposal and simultaneously sold for scrapping, 15 July 1974, to Zidell Explorations Inc.,
  • Final Disposition, delivered to Zidell Explorations Inc., 2 October 1974, at Pearl Harbor, HI.
  • USS Chipola received three battle stars for World War II service and thirteen campaign stars for Vietnam War service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 7,236 t.(lt) 25,440 t.(fl)
    Length 553'
    Beam 75'
    Draft 32'
    Speed 18.3 kts (trial)
    Complement
    Officers 20
    Enlisted 310
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    Armament
    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 16,500 DWT
    Oil 123,700 Bbls
    Gasoline 788,000 Gals
    Fuel Capacity NSFO 15,000 Bbls
    Propulsion
    two Bethlehem Shipbuilding geared turbines
    four Foster-Wheeler K-type boilers, 450psi 730°
    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
    By
    Chipola 75k USS Chipola (AO-63) refueling USS Wasp (CV-18), late January 1945. Chipola is wearing camouflage scheme 32/5AO in this photo. Steve Whitby
    Chipola 56k USS Chipola (AO-63) enroute from Norfolk, VA. to Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1952. Photo from USS Putnam (DD-757) Photo by Stan Cochran USS Putnam
    Chipola 96k USS Chipola (AO-63) with USS Deuel (APA-160) alongside, circa 1952, at Thule, Greenland during "Operation Blue Jay". Note the hole in Chipola's bow. George Panos, QMS2C USS Earle B. Hall
    Chipola 935k USS Chipola (AO-63) alongside USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) during an underway replenishment in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo was taken during Coral Sea's 1954 Med Cruise (7 July to 20 December 1954). Note USS Benner (DDR-807) in the third picture astern of Chipola JP. MTC(SS) for his father-in-law Joseph A. Wolfe USN Ret. USS Coral Sea
    Chipola 977k
    Chipola 953k
    Chipola 209k USS Chipola (AO-63) at anchor at Hong Kong in 1962. It looks like she may have gotten her hull painted while there. Ron Reeves
    Chipola 145k USS Chipola (AO-63) underway, 17 April 1964, location unknown.
    US Navy photo # KN 9500.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Chipola 160k USS Chipola (AO-63) underway, circa 1965, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Ron Reeves
    Chipola 207k USS Chipola (AO-63) delivers NSFO to USS Bennington (CVS-20) and USS O'Brien (DD-725) while underway in Pacific Ocean in the spring of 1964. Photo was taken from USS Eversole (DD-789). The destroyer on the extreme right is unknown. Photo by Travis Moffat ETR2, submitted by Larry Backus USS Bausell
    Chipola 440k USS Eversole (DD-789) comes alongside USS Chipola (AO-63) to receive fuel while underway in the Pacific Ocean in the spring of 1964. Photo by Travis Moffat ETR2 USS Eversole, submitted by Larry Backus USS Bausell
    Chipola 205k USS Chipola (AO-63) delivers NSFO to USS Bennington (CVS-20) while underway in the Pacific Ocean in the spring of 1964. Photo by Travis Moffat ETR2 USS Eversole, submitted by Larry Backus USS Bausell
    Chipola 228k USS Chipola (AO-63) delivers NSFO to USS Bennington (CVS-20) while underway in the Pacific Ocean in the spring of 1964. Photo by Travis Moffat ETR2 USS Eversole, submitted by Larry Backus USS Bausell
    Chipola 72k USS Chipola (AO-63) delivers NSFO to USS Bausell (DD-845) while a helo delivers the mail during an UNREP in the Gulf of Tonkin in February 1966. Photo by Larry Backus USS Bausell
    Chipola 45k USS Chipola (AO-63) at Pearl Harbor, March 1968 Photo by Jim McCoy
    Princeton/Chipola 92k USS Chipola (AO-63) refueling USS Princeton (LPH-5) during operations in the Pacific, 25 June 1968.
    US Navy photo #USN 1142529 by PH3 Carty, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center
    US Naval Historical Center
    Chipola 96k USS Chipola (AO-63) delivers fuel, supplies, movies and mail to USS Eversole (DD-789) in the Pacific Ocean, circa late-1968s-early 1970s Steve Beech USS Bausell
    Chipola 104k USS Chipola (AO-63) in bound from sea to the Port of Wellington New Zealand, 19 November 1972. Photo from the Chris Howell collection with copyright
    Chipola 165k USS Chipola (AO-63) moored pierside in the Port of Wellington New Zealand, 19 November 1972. Photo from the Chris Howell collection with copyright
    Chipola 2381k USS Chipola (AO-63) outbound to sea from Wellington, New Zealand, 20 November 1972. Photo from the Chris Howell collection with copyright
    Chipola 48k USS Chipola (AO-63) underway, date and location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Chipola 70k USS Chipola (AO-63) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Paul L. Adkisson MMCM USN Ret.
    Chipola 164k Command Master Chief Paul L. Adkisson MMCM USN presents the USS Chipola (AO-63) Commissioning Pennant to the ship's last commanding officer CDR. Terry G. Caston USN during decommissioning ceremonies, 14 August 1973, at Pearl Harbor, HI. Paul L. Adkisson MMCM USN Ret.

    Crossing the Equator
    Chipola
    Polliwogs
    Chipola
    Shellback
    Chipola
    Initiation
    Chipola
    Initiation
    Chipola
    Beauty Queens Contestants
    Chipola
    Beauty Queens Contestants
    Chipola
    Beauty Queen Winner


    For more photos and information about USS Chipola, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • Oregon Atomic Veterans
  • Welcome Aboard circa 1971-73
    Contributed by the USS Chipola's last Command Master Chief Paul L. Adkisson MMCM USN Ret.
  • Commanding Officers

  • Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    Fleet Tankers Association
    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