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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Nespelen (AOG-55)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Charlie - Zulu - Tango
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation
Second Row - Navy Expeditionary Medal (6-Cuba) - American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal - Antarctic Service Medal (4) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba)

Patapsco Class Gasoline Tanker:
  • Laid down, 28 August 1944, as a Maritime Commission type (T1-MT-M1) tanker hull, under a Maritime Commission contract, at Cargill, Inc., Savage, MN.
  • Launched, 10 April 1945
  • Commissioned USS Nespelen (AOG-55), 9 August 1945, at Naval Repair Base, Algiers, LA., LT. Thomas W. Purcell, USNR, in command
  • Decommissioned, 2 July 1975, at Navel Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia
  • Laid up in the Reserve Fleet
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 July 1975
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration custody at Portsmouth, VA., 24 March 1976
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping to Union Minerals & Alloys, 24 March, 1976 (PD-X-1005 dated 16 March 1976 for $79,917.00, Removed ,16 April 1976, to Riverfront Development Corp., Kearny N.J.
    Displacement 1,850 t.(lt) 4,335 t.(fl)
    Length 310' 9"
    Beam 48' 6"
    Draft 15' 8"
    Speed 14 kts.
    Officers - 8
    Enlisted - 116
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    four 3"/50 dual purpose guns
    twelve single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity
    Oils - 7,975 Bbls
    Gasoline - 410,500 Gals
    Fuel Capacity Diesel - 2,240 Bbls
    four 980 hp 12-278A General Motors Diesel-electric engines
    single Fairbanks Morse Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two Diesel-drive 225Kw 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
    Nespelen 419k Nespelen (AOG-55) on the builders ways at Cargill, Inc., Savage, MN. prior to launch on 12 April 1945.
    US Navy Bureau of Ships photos
    Jim Geldert
    Nespelen 39k
    Nespelen 373k Nespelen (AOG-55) heading downstream on the Mississippi River at Lock No. 15, 16 July 1945.
    US Army Corps of Engineers photo # 601-121-41
    John Fitzgerald
    Nespelen 48k USS Nespelen (AOG-55) under way, circa March 1955 Photo by Larry Bohn
    Nespelen 29k USS Nespelen (AOG-55) under way in Antarctica waters,circa 1955-56 during Operation Deep Freeze I or I.I
    US Navy photo from "US Navy Naval Aviation News" December 1955.
    Robert Hurst
    Nespelen 41k USS Nespelen (AOG-55) moored to the ice at Antarctica, circa 1955-56 during Operation Deep Freeze I or II. Note the Locheed P2V-2 patrol plane belonging to Air Development Squadron Six (VX-6) parked on the ice.
    US Navy photo, courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages.
    Robert Hurst
    Nespelen 92k USS Nespelen (AOG-55) underway, date and location unknown. Paul Gryniewicz
    Courtesy Larry Sullivan
    Nespelen 52k USS Nespelen (AOG-55) at anchor, Dockyard Creek, Malta in March 1970. Photo by Anthony Vella
    Nespelen 157k USS Nespelen (AOG-55) under way, date and location unknown. Paul Gryniewicz
    Courtesy Larry Sullivan
    Nespelen 47k USS Nespelen (AOG-55), date and location unknown. Paul Gryniewicz
    Courtesy Larry Sullivan
    Nespelen 144k USS Nespelen (AOG-55) under way, date and location unknown. Paul Gryniewicz
    Courtesy Larry Sullivan
    Nespelen 144k USS Nespelen (AOG-55) under way, date and location unknown. Paul Gryniewicz
    Courtesy Larry Sullivan
    Nespelen 308k USS Nespelen (AOG-55) under way, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Nespelen 469k USS Nespelen (AOG-55) departing La Spezia, Italy, 21 September 1971. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Nespelen 55k USS Nespelen (AOG-55) and USS Noxubee (AOG-56) moored at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, VA. for decommissioning, 1 July 1975. SFC Peter Messineo USS Nespelen 1974-75
    Nespelen 62k
    Nespelen 83k USS Nespelen (AOG-55) moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Tommy Trampp

    USS Nespelen (AOG-55)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Purcell Jr., Thomas Wilson, USNR9 August 1945 - 18 December 1945
    02LCDR. Connors, William J., USNR18 December 1945 - 25 February 1946
    03LT. Holly, David Chuncey, USNR25 February 1946 - 19 September 1946
    04LT. Chanik, Evan Martin (Marty), USN19 September 1946 - 10 April 1947
    05LT. Cadaret, James Jose, USN10 April 1947 - 9 November 1947
    06LT. Zehner, John Adolphus, USN9 November 1947 - 2 December 1947
    07LT. Anthony, Ronald, USNJune 1948 - June 1951
    08LT. Harris, William Frederick, USN (USNA 1939)June 1951 - June 1953
    09LT. Howard, William Meyer, USNJune 1953 - June 1955
    10LT. Sup, George Clarence, USNJune 1955 - July 1958
    11LT. Hibson Jr., Leo Anthony, USNJuly 1958 - July 1960
    12LT. Cotten Jr., Thomas Randolph, USN (USNA 1952)July 1960 - 1962
    13LCDR. Sutherland Jr., Paul Edward, USN (USNA 1955) :RADM1962 - 1963
    14LCDR. Sigmond, Arie Christiaan A., USNJuly 1963 - 30 December 1964
    15LT. Rivera, Daniel Ralph USN30 December 1964 - November 1966
    16LT. Rager, Richard Roland USNNovember 1966 - June 1968
    17LT. Boudreaux III, Numa A., USNJune 1968 - June 1969
    18LCDR. Greeson, Tommy Darell, USNJune 1969 - March 1971
    19LCDR. Bishop, Ronald Floyd, USN (USNA 1965)March 1973 - 2 July 1975
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information Web Sites
    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
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    Last Updated 2 June 2017