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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Nitro AE-2 AE-23 Association

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Nitro (AE-23)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Golf - Mike - November
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Test Run (L)ima - 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 Unit Commendation - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - National Defense Service Medal
Bottom Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba, Lebanon) - Vietnam Service Medal (1) - Southwest Asia Service Medal

Nitro Class Ammunition Ship:
  • Laid down, 20 March 1957, at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Inc, Sparrow Point, MD.
  • Launched, 25 June 1958
  • Commissioned, USS Nitro (AE-23), 1 May 1959, CAPT. Warren C. Hall in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Nitro participated in the following campaign:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    30 May to 13 June 1972
    26 to 30 June 1972
    15 to 27 July
    2 to 15 August 1972
    30 August to 9 September 1972
    1 to 10 and 19 to 29 October 1972
    14 November to 3 December 1972
    17 to 28 December 1972
    2 to 4, 13 to 19 and 26 to 29 January 1973
  • Decommissioned, 28 April 1995
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Portsmouth, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 14 August 1995
  • USS Nitro earned one campaign star for Vietnam War service
  • Turned over to the Maritime Administration, 31 March 2000, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 22 June 2008, to Esco Marine, Brownsville TX for $446,726, towed from the James River Reserve Fleet, 23 July 2008
    Displacement 9,050 t.(lt) 15,688 t.(fl)
    Length 512'
    Beam 72'
    Draft 27'
    Speed 19 kts. Complement
    28 officers
    331 enlisted
    Armament four twin 3"/50 gun mounts
    steam turbine
    single propeller, 16,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Nitro 248k USS Nitro (AE-23) at anchor in the Mediterranean Sea with USS Torsk (AGSS-423) alongside, in 1960.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Nitro 9k USS Nitro (AE-23) replenishing USS Intrepid (CV-11), circa 1960-62, location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Andy Faltum
    Nitro 131k USS Nitro (AE-23) under way, date and location unknown. Stephen Essex
    Nitro 177k USS Nitro (AE-23) under way in 1964, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Nitro 273k USS Nitro (AE-23) at sea after departing Davisville, R.I., in 1965.
    US Navy photo.
    Mike Smolinski
    Nitro 104k USS Nitro (AE-23) entering port at Curacao, in August 1965. Barry Smith GMG3 USS Nitro and Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Nitro 116k
    Nitro 214k USS Nitro (AE-23) under way in 1965, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Nitro 196k USS Nitro (AE-23) at right conducts an underway replenishment of ammunition with USS Forrestal (CV-59) while USS Altair (AKS-32) at left simultaneously conducts an underway replenishment of general stores, Tyrrhenian Sea, 8 January 1965.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine July 1965.
    (Thanks to Ken Killmeyer, USS Forrestal Association Historian, who found out where and when the photo had been taken.)
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Nitro 274k USS Nitro (AE-23) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    222k USS Nitro (AE-23) colliding with USS Oriskany (CVA-34) the night of 28 June 1972 off Da Nang, South Vietnam. Neither ship was seriously damaged. Visible damage to Nitro included her port bow holed and damage to her forward port side 40mm gun mount. There were no casualties.
    US Navy photos from the USS Oriskany 1972-73 Cruisebook
    Bob Canchola
    Nitro 576k Overhead view of USS Nitro (AE-23) under way during her 1976 Mediterranean Cruise. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Nitro 69k USS Nitro (AE-23) at Naples, Italy, June 1976 © Richard Leonhardt
    Nitro 66k USS Nitro (AE-23) during a westbound UNREP in the Atlantic in early 1979. Photo taken from USS Canisteo (AO-99) by Stephen P. Swierczek CDR, USNR Ret. USS Nitro DCA 1977-80 Bill Toohey ETC USN Ret. USS Nitro
    Nitro 75k USS Nitro (AE-23) under way in 1978, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Nitro 279k USS Nitro (AE-23) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Nitro 1092k USS Nitro (AE-23) anchored at Genoa, Italy, 9 November 1979 Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Nitro 68k USS Nitro (AE-23) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Nitro 255k USS Nitro (AE-23) underway, 1 January 1983, location unknown
    US DefenseImagery photo # DN-SC-84-00632, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center.
    Robert Hurst
    341k Aerial view of USS Nitro (AE-23) underway off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon. May 2, 1987.
    US National Archives Identifier 6422430, a US Navy photo by PH2 Davis now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Bob Canchola
    400k Aerial view of USS Nitro (AE-23) at anchor, 18 March 1988.
    US National Archives Identifier 6433355, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Bob Canchola
    238k Aerial view of USS Nitro (AE-23) underway off Norfolk, VA., date unknown.
    ©Nobe Smith
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Nitro 153k Ex-USS Nitro (AE-23) being scrapped at Esco Marine, Brownsville TX., date unknown William Toohey
    Nitro 1703k
    Nitro 191k

    For more photos and information about USS Nitro, see:
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)

  • Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Hall Jr., Warren Collamore, USN (USNA 1937)1 May 1959 - April 1960
    02CAPT. Walker III, Thomas Jackson (Tom) :VADMApril 1960 - 24 October 1960
    03CAPT. Cone, Davis24 October 1960 - 15 December 1961
    04CAPT. Dashiell Jr., Edward Lawrence, USN (USNA 1939)15 December 1961 - 7 December 1962
    05CAPT. Hyde, Richard Webster, USN7 December 1962 - 2 December 1963
    06CAPT. Cassell, George L., USN :RADM2 December 1963 - 2 July 1964
    07CAPT. Stickles II, Albert Louis, USN (USNA 1944)28 September 1964 - 14 May 1966
    08LCDR. Hatcher, George Martin, USN (USNA 1952)14 May 1966 - 1 September 1967
    09CAPT. Snyder Jr., Joseph Mitchell, USN (USNA 1945)1 September 1967 - 10 February 1969
    10CAPT. Smith, Rush Spencer :RADM10 February 1969 - 17 April 1970
    11CAPT. Howe, Thomas17 April 1970 - 6 August 1971
    12CDR. Davis, Harry Leland6 August 1971 - 15 January 1973
    13CAPT. Bassett, Charles Gordon15 January 1973 - 7 September 1974
    14CDR. Jenkins Jr., George Joseph7 September 1974 - 30 July 1976
    15CDR. Doolittle, John Beecher30 July 1976 - 9 August 1978
    16CDR. Jockel Jr., Joseph Andrew9 August 1978 - August 1980
    17CAPT. Loving Jr., Howard HaydenAugust 1980 - 3 September 1982
    18CAPT. Millis Jr., Archibald Edward, USN3 September 1982 - 20 June 1985
    19CDR. Stillmaker, William James20 June 1985 - 27 July 1987
    20CDR. Jennings, David Bailey, USN (USNA 1969)27 July 1987 - 11 May 1990
    21CDR. Ward, William Howard11 May 1990 - February 1992
    22LCDR. Wright, William ArthurFebruary 1992 - February 1992
    23CDR. Moore, David Charles February 1992 - 1 November 1993
    24CDR. Huber, Craig M.1 November 1993 - 28 April 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 15 July 2022