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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USNS Pamanset (T-AO-85)
USS Pamanset (AO-85) (1944 - 1949)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - Uniform - Golf
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5)
Second Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal
Third Row - Korean Service Medal - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Suamico Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 30 March 1943, as a Maritime Commission type (T2-SE-A2) tanker hull under Maritime Commission contract (MC Hull 1264) at Marinship, Sausalito, CA.
  • Launched, 25 June 1943
  • Commissioned USS Pamanset (AO-85), 30 April 1944, CDR. Donald J. Houle USNR in command
  • During WWII USS Pamanset was assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, 6 September to 14 October
    Assault on the Philippine Islands, 9 to 24 September 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 26 February to 2 March 1945
    Leyte operation
    Northern Luzon and Formosa attacks, 11 to 14 October 1944
    Luzon attacks, 15 October and 18 to 19 October 1944
    3rd Fleet operations against Japan, 11 to 23 July and 9 to 15 August 1945
    Luzon operation
    Formosa attacks, 15 and 21 January 1945
    China Coast attacks, 16 January 1945
    Nansei Shoto attack, 22 January 1945

  • Following World War II USS Pamanset was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 2 September to 9 November 1945
  • Decommissioned, 18 March 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 28 March 1946
  • USS Pamanset earned five battle stars during World War II
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 11 October 1946, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay Group, Benecia, CA.
  • Leased, 24 October 1947, to Pacific Tankers
  • Title transferred to the US Navy, 10 February 1948
  • Placed in service by the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) as USNS Pamanset (T-AO-85), 1 October 1949
  • During the Korean War USNS Pamanset operated in the war zone during various periods between March 1951 and February 1954
  • Placed out of service, 24 February 1956 and transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Olympia, WA. Group
  • Reacquired by the US Navy, 26 June 1956, and placed in service by the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) as USNS Pamanset (T-AO-85),
  • Placed out of service and struck from the Naval Register, 26 September 1957, and transferred to MARAD for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Beaumont, TX.
  • Merchant Service
    Title transferred, 3 May 1966 to Hudson Waterways Corp. (MARAD Exchange Program), renamed SS Seatrain Florida
    Operated by Seatrain Lines, New York, N.Y.
    Converted to a heavy lift ship in March 1967
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD Trade-in Program) and laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA., assigned to the Maritime Administration Ready Reserve Force (RRF)
  • Renamed SS Florida, 8 August 1978
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 12 March 1986
    Displacement 5,782 t.(lt) 22,380 t.(fl)
    Length 523' 6"
    Beam 68'
    Draft 30' 10"
    Speed 15.1 kts,
    Officers 22
    Enlisted 245
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    one single 5"/38 cal. dual purpose gun mount
    four 3"/50 cal. dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity 15,300 DWT
    Oil 120,400 Bbls
    Gasoline 575,000 Gals
    Fuel Capacity 9,235 Bbls
    one General Electric turbo-electric engine
    two Babcock & Wilcox D-type boilers, 600psi, 825°
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 400Kw 450V A.C.
    two turbo-drive 85Kw 120V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 55Kw 120V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 50Kw 450V A.C.
    single propeller, 10,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Pamanset (War Shipping Administration)
    Pamanset 48k Pamanset being moved by tugs to her fitting out berth after launching, 25 June 1943, at Marinship, Sausalito, CA.
    US Maritime Commission photo courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages
    Robert Hurst
    Pamanset 56k Pamanset entering her her fitting out berth Marinship, Sausalito, CA., 25 June 1943.
    US Maritime Commission photo courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages
    Robert Hurst
    USS Pamanset (AO-85)
    Pamanset 53k USS Pamanset (AO-85) at anchor probably off her conversion yard, Kaiser Swan Island Yard, Portland, OR., soon after completion as a Fleet Tanker. She is painted in camouflage Measure 32 Design 3AO.
    US Maritime Commission photo courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages
    Robert Hurst
    572k USS Pamanset (AO-85) was at anchor in Ulithi Atoll, 20 November 1944 when USS Mississinewa (AO-59) was attacked by a Japanese "Kaiten" human torpedo which caused the oiler to burn and sink.
    US Navy photo.
    Tommy Trampp
    141k USS Pamanset (AO-85) struggles through an East China sea storm to refuel Task Force 38, 13 January 1945. USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) is in the distance. Photographed from USS Essex (CV-9).
    US National Archives, Photo No. 80-G-373716, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green
    Robert Hurst
    Pamanset 45k
    Pamanset 146k USS Pamanset (AO-85) under way, date and location unknown..
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 78580. Courtesy James Russell.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Merchant Service Seatrain Corp.
    Pamanset 399k Ex-USS Pamanset (AO-85) working cargo at Subic Bay, Philippines, as the Seatrain Lines heavy-lift ship SS Seatrain Florida, circa 1971.
    Photo ©William Schell
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus, with permission

    USS Pamanset (AO-85)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Houle, Donald James, USNR30 April 1944 - 2 December 1944
    02LCDR. Gjedsted, Charles Byron, USNR2 December 1944 - 18 March 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    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 24 July2020