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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive
USNS Cowanesque (T-AOT-79)
International Radio Call Sign:
USNS Cowanesque (AO-79) (1949)
Cowanesque (AO-79) (1948 - 1949)
USS Cowanesque (AO-79) (1943 - 1946)
November - Kilo - Hotel - Quebec
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (3 Jan 45) - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal - Philippines Liberation Medal
Purple Heart (2-KIA, 2WIA 3 January 1945)
Suamico Class Fleet Oiler:
Laid down as Fort Duquesne, a Maritime Commission type (T2-SE-A1) tanker hull under a Maritime Commission contract at Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock, Chester, PA.
Launched, 11 March 1943
Acquired by the Navy 25 March 1943
Commissioned USS Cowanesque (AO-79), 1 May 1943, CAPT. Lester S. McKenzie in command
During World War II USS Cowanesque was assigned to both the Europe-Africa-Middle East and Asiatic-Pacific Theaters and participated in the following campaigns;
Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
|Invasion of southern France, 15 August to 25 September 1944
||5th and 3d Fleet raids in support of Okinawa Gunto operation, 20 March to 11 June 1945
Following World War II USS Cowanesque was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 2 September to 28 October 1945
Decommissioned, 30 January 1946, at Richmond, CA.
Struck from the Naval Register, 25 February 1946
Transferred to the Maritime Commission for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., 30 June 1946
Reacquired and reinstated in the Naval Register, 18 January 1948
Placed in service with the Naval Transportation Service (NTS) as Cowanesque (AO-79)
Transferred to the custody of the Military Sea Transportation Service, 1 October 1949 and
placed in service as USNS Cowanesque (T-AO-79)
Reclassified Transport Oiler (T-AOT-79), date unknown
Placed out of service and struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
USS Cowanesque earned two battle stars for World War II service
Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 24 July 1972, while moored at Sasebo, Japan, to Great China Steel Enterprise, Ltd, Taiwan, under MARAD contract PD-X-941 for $275,000.00
Displacement 5,782 t.(lt) 22,380 t.(lim)
Draft 30' 10" (lim)
Speed 15.3 kts. (trial)
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
Largest boom capacity> 10 tons
Fuel Capacity 9,235 Bbls NSFO
Oil 120,000 Bbls
Gasoline 575.000 Gals
one General Electric turbo-electric engine
two Babcock & Wilcox header type boilers 450psi 730°
Ship's Service Generators
two turbo-drive 400Kw 450V A.C.
one turbo-drive 28Kw 120V D.C.
two turbo-drive 110Kw 120V D.C.
one turbo-drive 50Kw 120V D.C.
single screw. 8,000hp
|Click On Image |
For Full Size Image
|USS Cowanesque (AO-79)
||USS Cowanesque (AO-79) underway near Baltimore, MD., 6 May 1943, after completing conversion for naval service there.
US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo # 19-N-44409 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command,
||USS Cowanesque (AO-79) at anchor, date and location unknown.
US Navy photo
|Lee Yunker for her father Harold C. Smith
|USNS Cowanesque (T-AO-79)
||USS Cowanesque (T-AO-79) at anchor, date and location unknown.
U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. None, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
USS Cowanesque (AO-79)
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
|01||CAPT. McKenzie, Lester Sidell||1 May 1943 - August 1945 |
|02||LCDR. Turpin, Edward Allen||August 1945 - 20 December 1945|
|03||LT. Peeler, Herbet Thomas, USNR||20 December 1945 - 30 January 1946|
|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
Last Updated 5 October 2016
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|