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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Mauna Loa (AE-8)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Whiskey - Hotel

JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Elbow (U)niform - 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 Meritorious Unit Citation
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (3) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Quemoy-Matsu, Korea)
Third Row - Vietnam Service Medal (3) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Lassen Class Ammunition Ship:
  • Laid down, 10 December 1942, as a Maritime Commission (C2 Cargo) hull, under a Maritime Commission contract at Tampa Shipbuilding Corp., Tampa, FL.
  • Launched, 14 April 1943
  • Commissioned, USS Mauna Loa (AE-8), 27 October 1943, CDR. George D. Martin in command
  • During World War II USS Mauna Loa was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, 6 September to 14 October 1944
    3 Fleet operations against Japan, 10 July to 3 August 1945
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    5th and 3d Fleet operations in support of Okinawa Gunto operation, 16 March to 11 June 1945

  • Following World War II USS Mauna Loa was assigned to Occupation service from 2 September to 2 October 1945
  • Decommissioned, 2 June 1947, at Bremerton, WA. and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Bremerton Group
  • Recommissioned, 31 January 1955, at San Diego, CA., CAPT. Elgin B. Hurlbert USN in command
  • Decommissioned, 16 December 1958, at Orange, TX., laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Texas Group, Orange
  • Towed to the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia, 12 November 1960
  • Re-acquired and recommissioned, 27 November 1961, CAPT. Vernon P. O’Neil USN in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    29 November to 18 December 1967
    30 December 1967 to 17 January 1968
    29 January 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    5 to 11 April 1968
    Tet Counteroffensive
    30 January to 9 February 1968
    17 to 29 February 1968
    9 to 16 March1968

  • Decommissioned, date unknown
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 October 1976
  • Mauna Loa earned three battle stars for World War II service and three campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Laid up in reserve at the Portsmouth VA. Interactive Ship Maintenance Facility
  • Administrative custody transfer to the Maritime Administration, 20 March 1984
  • Final Disposition, sold 20 March 1984 for scrapping in Spain. Withdrawn from the reserve fleet and delivered to her buyers, 11 June 1984. Scrapping completed, 24 September 1984
    Displacement 6,350 t.(lt) 14,225 t.(fl)
    Length 459'
    Beam 63'
    Draft 25' 11"
    Speed 15.3 kts (trial)
    Officers 21
    Enlisted 260
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    eight twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity 7,485 DWT
    non-refrigerated 425,000 Cu ft.
    Fuel Capacity
    Diesel 8,425 Bbls
    two Nordberg Diesel, TSM219 Diesel engine
    single Fairbanks Morse Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two Diesel-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 150Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 6,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Mauna Loa
    Mauna Loa is one of five volcano's that form the Island of Hawaii in the U.S. state of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. The largest subaerial volcano in both mass and volume, it is an active shield volcano. Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are silica-poor and very fluid, and they tend to be non-explosive
    Tommy Trampp
    Mauna Loa 46k Mauna Loa (AE-8) launching, 14 April 1943 at Tampa Shipbuilding Corp., Tampa, FL.
    Photo from Hampton Dunn Collection.
    J.D. Smith
    Mauna Loa 188k Mauna Loa (AE-8) as seen from USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) with USS Chauncey (DD-667) in the background, 22 March 1945. Chauncey was reported by Mauna Loa as unable to maintain her station due to heavy weather.
    US National Archives Photo # 80-G-316353 a US Navy photo now in the collection of the US National Archives, College Park, Maryland.
    Tracy White
    Mauna Loa
    316k USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) rearming ships of Fast Carrier Task Force Thirty-eight (TF38), seen here hi-lining main battery ammunition to USS Alabama (BB-60), 20 July 1945. USS Black (DD-666) is to starboard of Mauna Loa.
    Photos from collection of Roy Gunnels
    John Chiquoine
    Mauna Loa
    Mauna Loa 74k USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) at anchor, date and location unknown.  
    Newport News 118k From left to right Sixth Fleet ships moored at Barcelona, Spain in April 1956: USS Cassin Young (DD-793), USS Albany (CA-123), USS Newport News (CA-148), USS Mercury (AKS-20), and USS Mauna Loa (AE-8). Newport News had just taken over as Flagship for Vice Admiral Harry D. Felt, Commander Sixth Fleet, when this photo was taken. George Klos
    Mauna Loa 53k USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) at anchor in Gravesend Bay, N.Y., 26 July 1957. Mauna Loa caught fire on this date near the entrance to New York Harbor and for 75 minutes endangered large parts of the New York and New Jersey waterfront before the fire was brought under control by the ships' crew. The Mauna Loa was headed for NAD Earle, N.J.
    US Navy photo from a United Press photo.
    Tommy Tramp
    Mauna Loa 108k USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, July 1959.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Mauna Loa 243k Port and Starboard bow views of USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) under way, 19 November 1961, near Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Mike Smolinski
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Mauna Loa 93k
    CVA-59 Forrestal 146k

    USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) replenishes USS Forrestal (CVA-59) in the Virginia Capes area, 7 July 1962. Forrestal had Carrier Air Group (CVG-8), tail code "AJ," embarked.
    US Navy photo # USN (CVA-59-21510-L-7-62), by PH2 Caswell

    Robert M. Cieri
    Springfield 227k USS Springfield (CLG-7) breaking away from USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) after completing a replenishment at sea while in the Mediterranean Sea, circa 1965. William C. Swisher
    Mauna Loa 128k USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) offloading ammunition while at anchor at San Juan, Puerto Rico, circa 1964-1975. The service craft alongside includes Waukegan (YTM-755) amidships and YC-1369 forward.
    US Navy photo # USN 1111131 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Mauna Loa 128k USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) under way, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Mauna Loa 99k USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) under way, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Mauna Loa 91k USS Mauna Loa (AE-8) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.

    For more photos and information about USS Mauna Loa, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • ©New York Times, 27 July 1957 - "FIRE ON ARMS SHIP SCARES CITY AREA"

  • Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Martin, George Dewey27 October 1943 - 19 June 1945
    02LCDR. Rawson, Kenneth L.19 June 1945 - 30 October 1945
    03CDR. Stuart, Alexander Lunde30 October 1945 - 13 March 1946
    04CDR. Matthiesen, Hans Olaf, USNR13 March 1946 - 15 May 1946
    05LT. Shingler, Stanley M.15 May 1946 - 30 August 1946
      Decommissioned30 August1946 - 31 January 1955
    06CAPT. Hurlbert, Elgin Blaine31 January 1955 - 10 April 1956
    07CAPT. Gerwick, John Day10 April 1956 - 10 May 1957
    08CAPT. Harlfinger II, Frederick Joseph :VADM10 May 1957 - 18 July 1958
    09CAPT. Gray Jr., James Seton18 July 1958 - 22 September 1958
    10CDR. Ragsdale, Charles Clifton22 September 1958 - 16 December 1958
      Decommissioned16 December 1958 - 27 November 1961
    11CAPT. O'Neil, Vernon Patrick27 November 1961 - 19 March 1963
    12CAPT. Alexander, Robert Hoitt19 March 1963 - 7 February 1964
    13CAPT. Houser, William Douglas (Bill) USN (USNA 1941) :VADM7 February 1964 - 16 January 1965
    14CAPT. Aldrich, James Hunter USN (USNA 1944)16 January 1965 - 21 December 1965
    15CAPT. Cooke, Henry Jonathan Hosmer, USN (USNA 1943)21 December 1965 - 3 December 1966
    16CAPT. Spenser, Ray Arden3 December 1966 - 26 June 1968
    17CAPT. Bogan, Lewis Frederick, USN (USNA 1944)26 June 1968 - 10 August 1969
    18CAPT. McKeever, Eugene V.10 August 1969 - 15 December 1970
    19LCDR. Mahon Jr., Edward Joseph, USN (USNA 1957)15 December 1970 - 26 February 1971
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves. Photos courtesy Bill Gonyo

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

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    Last Updated 17 June 2022