Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USNS Tomahawk (T-AO-88)
USS Tomahawk (AO-88) (1949 - 1961)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - India - Quebec
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (6) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (2)

Escambia Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 1 June 1943, as a Maritime Commission type (T2-SE-A2) tanker hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1267) at Marinship Corp., Sausalito, CA.
  • Launched, 10 October 1943
  • Commissioned USS Tomahawk (AO-88), 16 April 1944, at Portland, OR., CDR. Benjamin W. Cloud in command
  • During World War II USS Tomahawk was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 11 June to 10 August 1944
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 12 July to 15 August 1944
    Luzon operation
    Formosa attacks, 3 to 4 and 15 and 21 January 1945
    Luzon attacks, 6 to 7 January 1945
    China Coast attacks, 16 January 1945
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of the southern Palau Islands, 6 September to 14 October 1944
    Assaults on the Philippine Islands, 9 to 24 September 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 23 February to 4 March 1945
    Leyte operation
    North Luzon and Formosa attacks, 11 to 14 October 1944
    Luzon attacks, 15 and 18 to 19 October and 20 to 23 November 1944
    Battle of Surigao Strait, 24 to 26 October 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    5th and 3d Fleet raids on support of Okinawa Gunto, 23 March to 30 April 1945

  • Following World War II USS Tomahawk was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    2 to 24 September 1945
    1 to 20 October 1945

  • Decommissioned, 6 January 1946, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 21 January 1946
  • Laid up, 28 June 1946, in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Leased to American Petroleum Transportation Corp, 17 October 1947
  • Title transferred to the US Navy 28 February 1948
  • Placed in service, date unknown, by the Military Sea Transportation Service as USNS Tomahawk (T-AO-88)
  • Placed out of service, date unknown
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • Laid up, 13 December 1959 in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • USS Tomahawk earned six battle stars for World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 1 September 1961, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Merchant Service
    Sold to Hudson Waterways Corp., 21 July 1966
    Converted to a container ship in May 1967 at Baltimore. Her forepart became part of SS Seatrain Washington, the midship section became part of SS Seatrain Ohio and the aft machinery section was retained as SS Seatrain Maine
    Renamed SS Maine, 8 August 1978
    Assigned to the Maritime Administration Ready Reserve Fleet (RRF), 21 March 1978
    Renamed SS Maine, 8 August 1978 Reactivated during Desert Storm / Desert Shield, 28 August 1990
    Laid up, 24 May 1991, in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Beaumont, TX.
    Downgraded to National Defense Reserve Fleet status, 12 June 1991
    Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 13 March 2008, to ESCO Marine, Brownsville, TX.

    Specifications (as built):
    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
    SS Tomahawk (War Shipping Administration)
    Tomahawk 73k SS Tomahawk being moved into her fitting out berth after launching on 10 October 1943 at Marinship Corp., Sausalito, CA. At left is SS Mission San Jose is also in the process of fitting out.
    US Maritime Commission photo courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages
    Robert Hurst
    USS Tomahawk (AO-88)
    Tomahawk 66k USS Tomahawk (AO-88) at anchor in San Bay soon after conversion for Naval service. She has been newly painted in camouflage scheme Measure 32 Design 3AO. Robert Hurst
    Tomahawk 77k USS Tomahawk (AO-88) at anchor, circa 1945, location unknown. Chris Albright
    McKee 129k USS Tomahawk (AO-88) refueling USS McKee (DD-575) at sea in the western Pacific, 4 March 1945. Photographed from on board McKee, whose starboard waist 40mm twin gun mount is visible on the right. Tomahawk's camouflage is Measure 32, Design 3AO.
    US National Archives photos # 80-G-K-3507, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    Tony Cowart
    Merchant Service Seatrain Corp.
    Tomahawk 40k Ex-USS Tomahawk (AO-88) while in service as the Sea-Land container carrier SS Seatrain Maine, at anchor, date and location unknown.
    Photo copyright W. Schell, courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages.
    Robert Hurst
    Tomahawk 77k SS Seatrain Maine, moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    Photo copyright W. Schell, courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages.
    Robert Hurst
    MARAD National Defense Reserve Fleet
    Tomahawk 35k Ex-USS Tomahawk (AO-88) laid up in reserve as the containership SS Maine in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Beaumont, TX., circa 1990s. Chris Albright

    USS Tomahawk (AO-88)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Cloud, Benjamin Watkins16 April 1944- 1 November 1944
    02LCDR. Eagleton, William Lester1 November 1944 - 5 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
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Fleet Oiler (AO) Photo Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 7 August 2015