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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Merrimack (AO-179)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Delta - Kilo - Hotel
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2) - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (2)
Second Row - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (3-Lebanon) - Southwest Asia Service Medal
Third Row - Armed Forces Service Medal - Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation - Coast Guard SOS Ribbon

Cimarron Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 16 July 1979, at Avondale Shipyards, New Orleans, LA.
  • Launched, 17 May 1980
  • Commissioned USS Merrimack (AO-179), 14 November 1981, CDR. Steven M. Mondul, in command
  • Decommissioned, 18 December 1998
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 18 December 1998
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD), 21 December 1998, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA..
  • Title transfer to the Maritime Administration (MARAD), 29 November 2001
  • Sold for scrapping, 1 May 2013 to Southern Recycling, Amelia, LA. Withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet, 21 May 2013
    Displacement 11,645 t.(lt) 37,840 t.(fl)
    Length 708'
    Beam 88'
    Draft 32' (max.)
    Speed 20 kts.
    Complement 15 Officers, 318 Enlisted
    Armament Phalanx CIWS
    Cargo Capacity 180,000 barrels petroleum products, 600 tons ammunition
    Propulsion two boilers, one steam turbine, single shaft, 24,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Merrimack - The Merrimack River (or Merrimack an occasional earlier spelling) is a 117-mile-long river in the northeastern United States. It rises at the confluence of the Pemigewasset and Winnipesaukee rivers in Franklin, New Hampshire, flows southward into Massachusetts, and then flows northeast until it empties into the Gulf of Maine at Newburyport.
    The Merrimack River at Pembroke, New Hampshire
    Map of the Merrimack River watershed. created based on USGS data by ©Karl Musser.
    Tommy Trampp
    Merrimack 43k USS Merrimack (AO-179) underway in the North Atlantic, circa 1997. Photo taken from RFA Grey Rover by George Mortimore. Robert Hurst
    Merrimack 1382k USS Merrimack (AO-179) completing an underway replenishment with the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61), 11 January 1985.
    US Defenseimagery photo # DN-SC-87-05147, US Navy photo by PH2 Jeff Elliott., now in the collections of Defenseimagery
    Robert Hurst
    Merrimack 1241k USS Merrimack (AO-179) underway off the Virginia Capes (USA), 1 July 1985, prior to jumboization.
    US Defenseimagery photo # DN-SC-86-04649, US Navy photo by HM2 Robert E. Wilson, now in the collections of Defenseimagery
    Robert Hurst
    228k USS Merrimack (AO-179) underway off Norfolk, VA., date unknown.
    ©Nobe Smith
    Nicholas Tiberio
    "> Merrimack
    226k The guided missile frigate USS Pharris (FF-1094) approaches the fleet oiler USS Merrimack (AO-179) as it replenishes the British destroyer HMS Liverpool (D92), 1 October 1985 during the NATO Exercise BALTOPS '85.
    Department of Defense photo # DN-SN-86-07360 by JOCS Russ Egnor, USNR
    Robert Hurst
    Pharris 158k USS Merrimack (AO-179) refueling USS Pharris (FF-1094), 1 October 1985, during NATO Exercise "BALTOPS '85".
    DVIC photo, DNST8604965, a US Navy photo by PH1 Jeff Hilton, now in the collections of the Defense Visual Information Center
    Defense Visual Information Center
    301k USS Merrimack (AO-179), center, refueling the guided missile frigate USS Halyburton (FFG-40), right, and the frigate USS Aylwin (FF-1081), while underway in the Atlantic Ocean, 1 November 1985.
    U.S National Archives, Identifier: 6417277, a US Navy photo by PH2 Jeff Elliott now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives, College Park.
    Robert Hurst
    173k USS Merrimack (AO-179) comes alongside USS Iowa (BB-61) to refuel the battleship during an underway replenishment in heavy seas, 1 November 1985.
    U.S. National Archives Identifier: 6409783 A U.S. Navy photo by PH1 Jeff Hilton now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park MD.
    Robert Hurst
    184k USS Merrimack (AO-179) refuels USS Iowa (BB-61) during an underway replenishment in heavy seas, 1 November 1985.
    U.S. National Archives Identifier: 6409835 A U.S. Navy photo by PH1 Jeff Hilton now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park MD.
    Robert Hurst
    Merrimack 4469k USS Merrimack (AO-179) underway, circa 1997, location unknown.
    Photo ©Atlantic Fleet Sales, Norfolk, VA. Available on line at Atlantic Fleet Sales web site
    Robert M. Cieri
    Merrimack 101k USS Merrimack (AO-179) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Merrimack 11k USS Merrimack (AO-179) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Stout 92k USS Merrimack (AO-179) and USS Stout (DDG-55) during an UNREP viewed from USS George Washington (CVN-73) in the Atlantic, November 1995. Wendell R McLaughlin Jr
    Trenton 268k The amphibious transport dock USS Trenton (LPD-14) (front) and USS Merrimack (AO-179) (astern) steaming in formation, 17 July 1996. Both ships were part of the George Washington Battle Group. The "GW" battle group returned to homeport 23 July after completing a scheduled six-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, which included sustained operations in support of the NATO-led peacekeeping in Bosnia and UN sanctions against Iraq in the Arabian Gulf.
    US Navy photo # 960717-N-9975P-001 ATLANTIC OCEAN (17 July 1996) by PH1 (AW) Greg Pinkley.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Merrimack 658k Ex-USS Merrimack (AO-179) at anchor off Key West FL., 30 May 2013, while enroute under tow to Southern Recycling at Amelia, LA. Vern Bouwman
    Merrimack 300k
    Merrimack 209k Ex-USS Merrimack (AO-179) being scrapped at Southern Recycling facility at Amelia, LA. in August 2013 Photo by Christopher Holley

    There is no DANFS history available for USS Merrimack (AO-179) at NavSource
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Mondul, Steven Michael14 November 1981 - 14 February 1984
    02CDR. Edwards, Michael Bruce14 February 1984 - 16 May 1986
    03CDR. Danaher, Thomas Paul16 May 1986 - 1 July 1988
    04CDR. Stratton, Larry Rodger1 July 1988 - 28 June 1990
    05CDR. Williams, Robbie Lyn28 June 1990 - 17 April 1992
    06CDR. Miller, Jeanne Marlene17 April 1992 - 3 December 1993
    07CDR. Jackson, Robert Charles3 December 1993 - 5 October 1995
    08CDR. Spillane, Roberta5 October 1995 - 20 June 1997
    09CDR. Cooper, Garrat Emmanuel20 June 1997 - 18 December 1998
    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
    Cimmarron-Class Booklet of General Plans

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 17 March 2023