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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Tommy Trampp

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Canisteo (AO-99)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - Victor - Juliet
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Gaiety (X)ray - 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 Battle "E" Ribbon - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal
Second Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Europe clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Third Row - Antarctic Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Cuba, 1-Dominican Republic) - Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation (2)

Cimarron Class Fleet Oiler / Jumboized:
  • Laid down, 11 November 1945, as a Maritime Commission type (T3-S2-A3) tanker hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 2561) at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Sparrows Point, MD.
  • Launched, 6 July 1945
  • Commissioned USS Canisteo (AO-99), 3 December 1945, LCDR. E. L. Denton, USNR, in command
  • USS Canisteo was assigned to Occupation service in Europe for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    12 November 1945 to 17 January 1960
    24 January 1951 to 10 May 1952
    1 December 1953 to 13 March 1954

  • Decommissioned, 2 October 1989
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 31 August 1992
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA.
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping to Able UK, Hartlepool, Teeside, England, and removed from the Reserve Fleet, October 2003 under tow to the United Kingdom
    Displacement 7,236 t.(lt) 25,440 t.(fl)
    Length 553'
    Beam 75'
    Draft 32'
    Speed 18.3 kts.
    Officers 22
    Enlisted 282
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    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 15,000Bbls
    two Bethlehem Steel Shipbuilding steam turbines
    two Foster and Wheeler K-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double Falk Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 400Kw 230V A.C.
    one Diesel-drive 150Kw 230V A.C.
    two propellers, 13,500shp

    Jumboized Specifications:
    Displacement 10,847 t.(lt) 34,750 t.(fl)
    Length 644"
    Draft 34' 9"
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Canisteo 77k USS Canisteo (AO-99) under way with USS Mount Olympus (AGC-8) approaching for refueling at sea during the US Navy Antarctic Expedition, in 1946, "Operation Highjump."
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, issue dated February 1947
    David Merrill
    USS Canisteo (AO-99) Web Site
    Canisteo 21k USS Canisteo (AO-99) under way in the Mediterranean Sea in 1951. The picture was taken from the destroyer USS Allen M. Sumner (DD-692), by Don Marion, USN, USS Allen M. Sumner web site. Robert Hurst
    Canisteo 92k USS Canisteo (AO-99) under way, circa 1955.
    US Navy photo
    David Merrill
    USS Canisteo (AO-99) Web Site
    Canisteo 69k USS Canisteo (AO-99) under way, circa 1960s.
    US Navy photo
    David Merrill
    USS Canisteo (AO-99) Web Site
    Canisteo 52k USS Canisteo (AO-99) refueling USS Newport News (CA-148) during NATO exercise Riptide in July 1961.
    US Naval Institute Proceedings photo
    George Klos
    USS Newport News 1960-62 2nd Div.
    Canisteo 52k USS Canisteo (AO-99) under way, circa 1963.
    US Navy photo
    David Merrill
    USS Canisteo (AO-99) Web Site
    Canisteo 58k USS Canisteo (AO-99) at Naval Station Norfolk in July 1964. ©Richard Leonhardt
    Canisteo 76k USS Canisteo (AO-99) under way, circa 1969, location unknown.
    US Navy photo by PH3 J. S. Cahoon.
    Robert Hurst
    Canisteo 79k USS Canisteo (AO-99) under way, circa 1970.
    US Navy photo
    David Merrill
    USS Canisteo (AO-99) Web Site
    Canisteo 1055k USS Canisteo (AO-99) under way off Guantanamo Bay, Cuba 14 January 1975.
    Navy Photographic Center photo # NPC #1161501 by PH2 Walter R. Edwards, USN.
    DCC(SS/SW) David Johnston, USN
    Canisteo 73k USS Canisteo (AO-99) under way, in the Mediterranean Sea in May 1976. ©Richard Leonhardt
    Canisteo 447k USS Canisteo (AO-99) under way with the assistance of tugs, date and location unknown. Photo from the Chris Howell collection with copyright
    Canisteo 772k USS Canisteo (AO-99) comes alongside the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61) during an underway replenishment, 1 August 1986. Note Canisteo's appearance after her jumboization in the 1960s.
    US photo VIRIN: DN-SC-87-09426 by PH1 Jeff Hilton.
    Robert Hurst
    Canisteo 73k USS Canisteo (AO-99) commemorative pin from the mid-1980s. Matias Höhne
    Caloosahatchee 434k Aerial view of Unit 7 of the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA., 28 January 1999. From bottom to top;
    Santa Cruz
    Vulcan (AR-5),
    Redstone (T-AGM-20),
    2 unidentified APs,
    GEN. N.M. Walter (T-AP-125),
    GEN. Wm. O. Darby (IX-510),
    Waccamaw (T-AO-109),
    Canisteo (AO-99),
    Caloosahatchee (T-AO-98),
    Mississinewa (T-AO-144),
    Pawcatuck (T-AO-108),
    Truckee (T-AO-147),
    Neosho (T-AO-143),
    Benjamin Isherwood (T-AO-191) and
    Henry Eckford (T-AO-192). These two oilers were both lay-berthed incomplete.
    Caloosahatchee 45k "The Hartlepool Four" left to right;
    ex-USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98)
    ex-USS Canisteo (AO-99),
    ex-USS Canopus (AS-34), and
    ex-USS Compass Island (E-AG-153) awaiting the beginning of the end at Able UK, Hartlepool, Teeside, England, 4 March 2006. Scrapping is on hold due to environmental concerns.
    Photo by David Nixon

    For more photos and information about USS / USNS Canisteo, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • USS Canisteo (AO-99)
  • Commanding Officers

  • Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    Fleet Tankers Association
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

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    Last Updated 8 May 2015