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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Kern (AOG-2)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Uniform - Lima - Charlie
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
Bottom Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal

Patapsco Class Gasoline Tanker:
  • Laid down, 25 May 1942, as SS Rappahannock, a Maritime Commission type (T1-MT-M1) tanker hull, under a Maritime Commission contract at Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co., Seattle, WA.
  • Renamed Kern, date unknown
  • Launched, 7 September 1942
  • Commissioned USS Kern (AOG-2), 9 March 1943, LCDR. Lewis Williams in command
  • During World War II USS Kern was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Following World War II USS Kern was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 20 September 1945 to 6 August 1946
  • Decommissioned, 6 August 1946, at Yokosuka, Japan and transferred to the Army Transportation Service
  • Returned to US Navy custody and assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), 1 July 1950
  • Placed in service as USNS Kern (T-AOG-2), 1 July 1950
  • Placed out of service in 28 September 1956 and laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Reactivated and assigned to MSTS, placed in service, 30 April 1957
  • Placed out of service, 1 October 1957 and laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Reactivated by the US Navy, date unknown
  • Placed out of service, 13 March 1958 and laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • Permanent custody transferred to MARAD, 9 April 1958
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 2 December 1975, to National Metal and Steel Corp., delivered 16 December 1975
    Displacement 1,783 t.(lt) 4,335 t.(lim)
    Length 310' 9"
    Beam 48' 6"
    Draft 15' 8" (lim)
    Speed 14 kts. (trial speed)
    Officers 9
    Enlisted 124
    Largest Boom Capacity 3 t.
    four single 3"/50 cal. dual purpose gun mounts
    twelve 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity 2,010 DWT
    Navy Standard Fuel Oil 1,000 Bbls
    Gasoline 667,000 Gals
    Fuel Capacity
    Diesel 2,240 Bbls
    four GE 12-278A Diesel engines
    single Farrel-Birmingham Main Reduction Gears Ship's Service Generators
    two Diesel-drive 225Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 60Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 10Kw 240V D.C.
    two propellers, 3,300shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Kern 35k Launch and Christening of USS Kern (AOG-2). Kern was one of more than 150 vessels being launched or having their keels laid on Labor Day nationwide, 7 September 1942. The christening of a new ship always drew a large crowd but the addition of actors Joan Leslie, Walter Pidgeon and Adolphe Menjou who were on a war bond tour, swelled the population of onlookers at the Seattle Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation yard in Tacoma even more then usual. The group of dignitaries for the launching included (left to right) Mrs. L.A. Odlin, unidentified little girl, Miss Leslie, Mr. Pidgeon, Mr. Menjou, unidentified Naval officer. Mrs. Odlin, holding a bouquet of red roses, was the ship's sponsor and the wife of the commanding officer of the Navy Supply depot in Seattle. Joe Radigan
    Kern 121k USS Kern (AOG-2) underway, date and location unknown.
    US navy photo from the collections of the US Navy Memorial.
    Stan Svec and Robert Hurst
    Kern 32k USS Kern (AOG-2) at anchor, date and location unknown. Larry Sullivan

    USS Kern (AOG-2)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Williams, Lewis, USNR9 March 1943 - 7 November 1943
    02LCDR. Popkins, Albert George, USNR7 November 1943 - 15 June 1944
    03LT. Johnson, Godfrey B., USNR15 June 1944 - 1 April 1945
    04LTjg. Molin, Robert G., USNR1 April 1945 - 15 March 1946
    05LTjg. McGrath, William Howard, USNR15 March 1946 - 6 August 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 Gasoline Tanker (AOG) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 2 December 2016