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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Ed Brynes

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Savannah (AOR-4)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Foxtrot - Uniform - Foxtrot
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Joint Meritorious Unit Award - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon
Second Row - Navy Expeditionary Service Medal (Lebanon) - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Op. Uphold Democracy Haiti)
Third Row - Vietnam Service Medal (1) - Southwest Asia Service Medal - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Wichita Class Replenishment Oiler:
  • Laid down, 22 January 1969, at General Dynamics Corp., Quincy, MA.
  • Launched, 23 April 1970
  • Commissioned USS Savannah (AOR-4), 5 December 1970, CAPT. Bernard P. Williams, Jr. USN in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Savannah (AOR-4) participated in the following campaign:

    Vietnam War Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    27 May to 13 June 1972
    22 June to 7 July 1972
    16 July to 10 August 1972
    24 August to 4 September 1972
    13 to 30 September 1972
    16 October to 1 November 1972

  • Decommissioned, 28 July 1995, at Naval Station Norfolk, VA.
  • Laid up in the reserve at National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 29 October 1998
  • USS Savannah (AOR-4) earned one campaign star for Vietnam War service
  • Title transferred to the Maritime Administration for disposal
  • Final Disposition, 27 January, 2009, Department of Transportation signed a fee for service contract worth $515,726 with ESCO Marine of Brownsville TX., to scrap ex-Savannah
    Displacement 14,048 t.(lt) 39,790 t.(fl)
    Length 659'
    Beam 96'
    Draft 37' (max.)
    Speed 20 kts.
    Officers 34
    Enlisted 463
    two Phalanx Close-In-Weapons System (CIWS)
    Sparrow Missile System (NSSMS)
    two CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters
    Propulsion three boilers
    twin propellers, 32,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Savannah is the oldest city in the state of Georgia. Established in 1733 on the Savannah River, the city of Savannah became the British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. A strategic port city in the American Revolution and during the American Civil War, Savannah is today an industrial center and an important Atlantic seaport.
    City of Savannah flag and Forsyth Park fountain - CC BY-SA 3.0">, Fgrammen, via Wikimedia Commons
    Tommy Trampp
    98k Mrs. Ralph Shifley christens Savannah (AOR-4) during the ship's launching ceremony, 23 April 1070, at General Dynamics Corp., Quincy, MA. Dale Hargrave
    Savannah 194k Savannah (AOR-4) under way off the Massachusetts coast during preliminary acceptance trials, 24 November 1970.
    UPI Telephoto.
    Tommy Trampp
    Savannah 75k USS Savannah (AOR-4) moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from the collections of the US Navy Memorial.
    Stan Svec
    198k Savannah (AOR-4) underway off San Diego, CA., date unknown.
    © Nobe Smith
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Savannah 35k USS Savannah (AOR-4) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Savannah 45k USS Savannah (AOR-4) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Courtesy Chuck Zendner Via
    Ed Brynes DCC(SW) USNR
    USS Savannah (AOR-4) web site
    CV-62 Independence 202k USS Savannah (AOR-4) steams alongside the aircraft carrier USS Independence (CV-62) during a replenishment at sea, circa 1982.
    Scanned from the 1986 USS Independence Change of Command Ceremony booklet.

    Tom Armstrong
    Savannah 50k USS Savannah (AOR-4) under way in the Indian Ocean closing to top off RFA Plumleaf (A78), February 1983.
    Photo George Mortimore.
    Robert Hurst
    Savannah 883k Stern view of USS Savannah (AOR-4) moored pierside at Marseille, France, date unknown. Photo by Philippe Gonzales
    Kalamazoo 1454k A starboard view of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) and the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and their escorts underway off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon, 5 February 1987. The escorts are, from front to back: the frigate USS W.S. Sims (FF-1059) replenishment oilers USS Savannah (AOR-4) and USS Kalamazoo (AOR-6) and the guided missile destroyer USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23).
    Defense Visual Information Center photo # DN-ST-87-04835, by PH1 Ron Beno.
    Bill Gonyo
    Savannah 21k USS Savannah (AOR-4) under way in the Suez Canal, 22 February 1992.
    US Navy photo
    Ed Brynes DCC(SW) USNR
    USS Savannah (AOR-4) web site
    Savannah 82k USS Savannah (AOR-4) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Savannah 128k USS Savannah (AOR-4) moored, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    200k Savannah (AOR-4) underway off San Diego, cA., date unknown.
    *copy Nobe Smith
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Iwo Jima 1088k
    An aerial view of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard looking west/northwest, 30 October 1995. The shipyard closed, 30 September 1995, but the Navy Intermediate Ship Maintenance Facility (NISMF) continues to store decommissioned ships. Vessels visible , left to right: the battleships USS Iowa (BB-61), and USS Wisconsin (BB-64) at the DD wharf; USS Sylvania (AFS-2), USS Milwaukee (AOR-2) and USS Savannah (AOR-4) at pier 5; the aircraft carriers USS Forrestal (CV-59) and USS Saratoga (CV-60); at pier 4; the amphibious assault ships USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) and USS Guadalcanal (LPH-7) at pier 2. In the back pool is the heavy cruiser USS Des Moines (CA-134) and numerous destroyers and frigates.DOD photo # DN-SC-97-00422 PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (30 October 1995), a US Navy photo by Robert J. Sitar, now in the collections of Defense
    Robert M. Cieri
    Savannah 96k USS Savannah (AOR-4) ship's plaque Tommy Trampp
    30k USS Savannah (AOR-4) Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 6 (HELSUPPRON 6) HC-6 'Chargers' Det-5 1986-1987 Mediterranean deployment patch. Tommy Trampp

    For more photos and information about USS Savannah, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • U.S.S. Savannah (AOR-4)
  • MARAD Vessel History Data Base

  • Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Williams Jr., Bernard Parke, USN (USNA 1948-A)5 December 1970 - 3 March1972
    02CAPT. Moore, Donald Edsel3 March 1972 - 26 September 1973
    03CAPT. Hardisty, Huntington :ADM26 September 1973 - 4 December 1974
    04CAPT. Bordone, Richard Peter (Deke)4 December 1974 - 15 April 1976
    05CAPT. Clemens, Eugene Matthew15 April 1976 - 14 February 1978
    06CAPT. Jones Jr., Howard Richard14 February 1978 - 9 February 1980
    07CAPT. Breast, Jerry Creighton (Felter) :RADM9 February 1980 - 18 May 1981
    08CAPT. Conner, Eugene Davidson, USN (USNA 1957) :RADM18 May 1981 - 24 January 1983
    09CAPT. McGowen, William Rankin :RADM24 January 1983 - 30 June 1984
    10CAPT. Bremner, Bruce Barton :RADM30 June 1984 - 29 January 1986
    11CAPT. Pieno Jr., John Anthony29 January 1986 - 6 July 1987
    12CAPT. Rainey Jr., Daniel Lawrence6 July 1987 - 12 January 1989
    13CAPT. Hill Jr., Theodore Drummond12 January 1989 - 17 July 1990
    14CAPT. Kappel, Leslie George17 July 1990 - 17 December 1992
    15CAPT. Vtipil, Donald Sheridan, USN (USNA 1968)17 December 1992 - 30 April 1993
    16CAPT. Besal, Robert Eugene :RADM30 April 1993 - 28 July 1995
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

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    Last Updated 7 April 2023