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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Neshanic (AO-71)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - Mike - Quebec
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, 18 June 1944) - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (9) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)

Purple Hearts (33-WIA-18 June 1944)

Chiwawa Class Fleet Oiler
  • Laid down, 11 June 1942, as SS Marquette, a Maritime Commission type (T2-SE-A1) tanker hull, under Maritime Commission (MC hull 519) at Bethlehem Sparrow's Point Shipyard, Inc., Sparrow's Point, MD.
  • Launched, 31 October 1942
  • Commissioned USS Neshanic (AO-71), 20 February 1943, CDR. Albert C. Allen, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Neshanic was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following actions/campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Gilbert Islands operation, 26 November to 3 December 1943 Tinian capture and occupation, 20 July to 10 August 1944
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 29 January to 8 February 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 1 to 5 March 1945
    Asiatic-Pacific Raids
    Palau, Yap, Ulithi, Woleai raid, 30 March to 1 April 1944
    Truk, Satawan, Ponape raid, 29 April to 1 May 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    3d and 5th Fleet raids in support of Okinawa Gunto operations, 17 March to 11 June 1945
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 12 to 30 June 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 11 June to 10 August 1944
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 12 July to 15 August 1944
    3d Fleet operations against Japan, 17 July to 3 August 1945
    Hollandia operation, 21 to 24 April 1944  

  • Decommissioned, 19 December 1945, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 8 January 1946
  • Neshanic earned nine battle stars for World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 28 June 1946, for disposal
    Merchant Service
    Sold for merchant service, 21 November 1946, to Gulf Oil Corporation, Philadelphia, PA., renamed SS Gulfoil
    Resold in 1958, to Pioneer Steamship Co., renamed SS Pioneer Challenge and converted to a straight deck bulk carrier
    Resold in 1962 to the Oglebay Norton Company, renamed SS Middletown; converted to a self-unloader in 1982 at Bay Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay
    Sold in 2007 to American Steamship Co., renamed SS American Victory
    Sold, 21 December 2017, to Canadian shipping firm Algoma Central Corp., reflagged Canada
    Final Disposition, renamed SS Victo in early June 2018, stripped of usable parts, towed to Montreal in preparation for tow to Aliaga, Turkey for scrapping

    (AO) Specifications
    Displacement 5,650 t.(lt) 22,030 t.(fl)
    Length 501' 8"
    Beam 68'
    Draft 30' 8" (lim)
    Speed 15.3 kts.
    27 officers
    213 enlisted
    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
    six twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity 15,200 t
    Oil 100,000 Bbls
    Gasoline738,000 Gals
    Fuel Capacity NSFO 11,050 Bbls
    one Bethlehem Steel turbine
    two Foster Wheeler "D" boilers, 420psi 730°
    double Falk Main Reduction Gears
    two turbo-drive 300Kw 240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 7,000shp

    Bulk Carrier Specifications
    Length 730'
    Beam 75'
    Draft 39' 3"
    Capacity (tons) 26,300
    Unloading boom 260'

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    USS Neshanic (AO-71)
    Neshanic 333k USS Neshanic (AO-71) inbound in San Francisco Bay passing under the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, date unknown.. Edward Link for his father-in-law CEM William G. Birkel USS Neshanic
    Neshanic 23k USS Neshanic (AO-71) refueling the destroyer, USS Norman Scott (DD-690) off Saipan in June 1944. Wayne VanDerVoort
    Seranic 77k View from USS Saugatuck (AO-75) during a horizontal bombing attack at 1641 on 18 June 1944 off Saipan. Oilers and escorts were on station as TU 16.7.1. USS Saranac (AO-74) has just been hit off to port beyond USS Neshanic (AO-71). Moments after this photo was snapped Neshanic and Saugatuck are attacked. Neshanic is painted in camouflage Measure 32 Design 3AO. Photo from the collection of Al DeSantis. Carmen Costa and John Chiquoine
    Neshanac 180k Close-up view of USS Neshanic (AO-71) 's bridge taken from USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) during operations in the Saipan area, 11 July 1944. Note Neshanic's insignia on bridge wing. This emblem is the earliest yet seen for an AO. It appears to feature a life ring basic shape, with an anchor and stork carrying an oil drum in its center. Inscription reads (top): "Service to the fleet" and (bottom): "AO-71". Also note: big dent in plating possibly from her bomb hit of 18 June 1944, while off Saipan; the whaleboat, the typical bridge structure for an AO-68 class oiler (T3-S-A1). Also note scoreboard crediting her with two Japanese planes shot down on 18 June 1944. Source: United States National Archives, Photo No. 80-G-243860 Mike Green
    Neshanac 109k USS Neshanic (AO-71) at San Francisco in November 1945 during her voyage from the Western Pacific to Norfolk for disposal.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 78578, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Merchant Service Gulf Oil Corporation Oglebay Norton Marine Service Co.
    Neshanic 46k Ex- USS Neshanic (AO-71) under way while in merchant service as the Gulf Oil Corporation tanker SS Gulfoil, date and location unknown.
    Photo courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages.
    Robert Hurst
    Neshanic 39k Ex- USS Neshanic (AO-71) in merchant service as the Oglebay Norton Company's SS Middletown Great Lakes Fleet Photo Gallery
    Neshanic 1260k SS Middletown arrives at Duluth, Minnesota, at dusk, 22 April 2004.
    Photo taken by Randen Pederson.
    Robert Hurst
    Neshanic 20k SS Middletown under way on the Great Lakes, date and location unknown.
    Photo courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages.
    Robert Hurst
    Neshanic 50k SS American Victory (ex- USS Neshanic (AO-71) under way on the Detroit River, 22 July 2007.
    Photo by Keith Grant-Davie while serving aboard her sister ship SS Lee A Tregurtha, courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages.
    Robert Hurst
    Neshanic 50k SS American Victory leaving the locks at Saulte Ste.Marie, 22 July 2007.
    Photo by Keith Grant-Davie while serving aboard her sister ship SS Lee A Tregurtha, courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages.
    Robert Hurst
    Neshanic 46k SS American Victory under way in Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior, 22 July 2007.
    Photo by Keith Grant-Davie while serving aboard her sister ship SS Lee A Tregurtha, courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages.
    Robert Hurst
    Neshanic 241k SS American Victory moored pierside at Duluth, MN., summer 2013. The ship appears to be out of service and laid up in these photos. Photos by Robert Hall
    Neshanic 154k
    Neshanic 206k
    Neshanic 768k SS Victo being towed out of Duluth, MI.,17 June 2018, in the St. Clair River MI., by Canadian tugs Tim McKeil (bow) and Cheyenne (stern) bound for Montreal to be prepared for her overseas tow to Aliaga, Turkey where she will be dismantled. Photos by Jon A. Ottman
    Neshanic 464k

    USS Neshanic (AO-71)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Allen, Albert Clarence, USNR20 February 1943 - 19 December 1945
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    Fleet Tankers Association

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Duluth News Tribune "Sailor reflects as freighter American Victory nears its end"
    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 29 March 2019