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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26)
USS Kilauea (AE-26) (1968 - 1980)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Sierra - Hotel - India
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top row - Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Second Row - Navy Unit Commendation (5) - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (5) - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (3)
Third Row - Navy Expeditionary Medal (Iran/Indian Ocean) - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Persian Gulf, Bosnia)
Fourth Row - Vietnam Service Medal (4) - Southwest Asia Service Medal - Humanitarian Service Medal (Boat People)
Fifth Row - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)

Kilauea Class Ammunition Ship:
  • Laid down, 10 March 1966, at General Dynamics, Quincy, MA.
  • Launched, 9 August 1967
  • Commissioned, USS Kilauea (AE-26), 10 August 1968, CAPT. William L. McGonagle in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Kilauea (AE-26) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaign
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII
    7 to 23 August 1970
    1 to 25 September 1970
    1 to 2 October 1970
    12 to 24 October 1970
    2 to 11 November 1970
    30 November to 11 December 1970
    5 January to 26 January 1971
    Consolidation II
    1 to 8 December 1971
    25 December 1971 to 3 January 1972
    12 to 21 January 1972
    28 January to 22 February 1972
    5 to 29 March 1972
    Consolidation I
    3 to 11 September 1971
    22 to 30 September 1971
    19 to 26 October 1971
    5 to 24 November 1971
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    30 March to 15 April 1972
    21 April to 6 May 1972
    13 to 23 May 1972
    30 May to 12 June 1972

  • Decommissioned. and placed in service with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) as USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26), 1 October 1980
  • Kilauea was towed from San Francisco, 28 March 2008, bound for Point Hueneme and ultimately for lay up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Pearl Harbor in August 2008
  • Placed out of service and struck from the Naval Register, 15 September 2008
  • USS Kilauea earned four campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Final Disposition, disposed of as a target, 27 July 2012
    Displacement 9,340 t.(lt) 19,940 t.(fl)
    Length 564'
    Beam 81'
    Draft 29'
    Speed 20 kts.
    MSC 125 -133 Civilian Mariners
    Naval Detachment 30
    Cargo Capacity 60,000 cu ft 6,000DWT
    USS - four twin 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    USNS - none
    Aircraft two MH60S Seahawk helicopters
    one General Electric turbine
    three Foster-Wheeler 600psi boilers
    single six blade fixed propeller, 22,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Kilauea (AE-26)
    Kilauea 47k
    Kilauea is an active shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, and the most active of the five volcanos that together form the island of Hawaii. Located along the southern shore of the island, the volcano is between 210,000 and 280,000 years old and emerged above sea level about 100,000 years ago.
    Tommy Trampp
    12k This detailed maritime art print of USS Kilauea (AE-26) was created by former RAF aircrew officer Wg. Cdr Ian Hall from his mixed media original. Tommy Trampp
    Kilauea 387k Kilauea (AE-26) Keel laying, 10 March 1966, at General Dynamics, Quincy, MA. Dale Hargrave
    Kilauea 326k Kilauea (AE-26), foreground, and Butte (AE 27), background, christening ceremonies, 9 August 1967, at General Dynamics, Quincy, MA. Dale Hargrave
    Kilauea 109k USS Kilauea (AE-26) getting under way for the first time, circa-August 1968, Quincy, MA.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine September 1968
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Kilauea 178k USS Kilauea (AE-26) under way in 1968, location unknown.
    Photo courtesy Laurence Lowry/General Dynamics.
    Robert Hurst
    Kilauea 33k
    Kilauea 246k USS Kilauea (AE-26) under way near Boston, MA., 25 September 1969. Aerial photo from a navy aircraft stationed at NAS Quonset Point, R.I.
    Photo from the files on the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Kilauea 89k USS Kilauea (AE-26) under way, date and place unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine June 1970
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Wichita 98k USS Wichita (AOR-1) steams in company with USS Kilauea (AE-26) in 1970.
    Photo courtesy General Dynamics (Quincy).
    Robert Hurst
    Wichita 70k USS Kilauea (AE-26) and USS Wichita (AOR-1) exchange provisions during a training exercise, date and place unknown..
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, October 1970.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Kilauea 179k USS Kilauea (AE-26) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Mike Smolinski
    Kilauea 67k USS Kilauea (AE-26) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Kilauea 72k USS Kilauea (AE-26) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Kilauea 92k USS Kilauea (AE-26) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Kilauea 62k USS Kilauea (AE-26) and an unidentified destroyer during a replenishment at sea in 1972. Photo by Tom Sparkman
    Kilauea 70k USS Kilauea (AE-26) under way, date and location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Kilauea 89k USS Kilauea (AE-26) conducts and underway replenishment with USS John Paul Jones (DDG-32), date and location unknown. Dan Ninedorf
    21k USS Kilauea (AE-26) underway entering San Francisco Bay having passed under the Golden Bridge, date unknown. Nicholas Tiberio
    USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26)
    Kilauea 1118k USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Robert Hurst
    Kilauea 68k USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Military Sealift Command
    CV-41 Midway

    Crew members pose for a photo on the bow of USS Midway(CV-41), 16 December 1987, in the Arabian Sea. The photo was taken during the carrier's deployment to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean, 15 October 1987–12 April 1988. Various aircraft of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 are visible on deck.

    Ships in the battle group pictured are, left to right the ammunition ship USS Kilauea (T-AE-26), USS Midway (CVA-41), the combat stores ship USS White Plains (AFS-4), the fleet oiler USNS Mispillion (T-AO-105), and the frigate USS Knox (FF-1052).

    Photo by PH3 William Holck, USN. US Defense Imagery photo VIRIN: DN-ST-88-02563

    Bob Canchola, BT, USS Oriskany 1971–73
    Kilauea 52k USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26) moored pierside, Naval Station San Diego, January 2003. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Kilauea 827k USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26) outbound, approaching the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay, outbound for sea, 28 July 2007. Photo by CAPT. Jack C. Goldthorpe, USCG Ret.
    Kilauea 90k USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26) under flat tow, 24 March 2008. She was being towed alongside by commercial tugs from her berth to anchorage 7 east of Treasure Island. There she was picked up by USNS Navajo (T-ATF-169) and towed to sea Photos by CAPT. Jack C. Goldthorpe, USCG Ret.
    Kilauea 99k
    Kilauea 73k
    Kilauea 54k
    Kilauea 54k
    Navajo 149k USNS Navajo (T-ATF-169) under way, 24 March 2008, with flat tow USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26) outbound to sea. Charles Tompkins
    Navajo 94k
    Navajo 57k USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26) hand-off from commercial tugs to USNS Navajo (T-ATF-169) off Treasure Island and passing under the Golden Gate Bridge as see from Navajo, 24 March 2008. Fred Woody
    Navajo 55k
    Navajo 52k
    Navajo 55k
    Navajo 54k
    Kilauea 911k USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52) with ex-USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26) in tow outbound from Pearl Harbor, 18 July 2012. Kilauea was sunk as a RIMPAC 2012 off Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii on the morning of 20 July 2012. Captain Wade Armstrong Pearl Harbor Pilots
    Kilauea 616k A live-fire exercise, part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012, sank the ex-USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26) in waters 15,480 feet deep, 63 miles off the coast of Kauai at 9:32 a.m. June 22. A sink exercise (SINKEX) benefits the U.S. Navy and participating allies and partners by providing crews the opportunity to gain proficiency in tactics, targeting and live firing against surface targets, which enhances combat readiness of deployable units. Ex-USS Kilauea was an ammunition ship commissioned in August 1968, decommissioned and transferred to MSC in October 1980 and deactivated in September 2008. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 29 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime exercise.
    US Navy photo # 120622-N-ZZ999-001 PACIFIC OCEAN (June 22, 2012).
    Robert M. Cieri
    Kilauea 95k Photos and video of ex-USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26) being sunk as a target during RIMPAC 2012 in position 23-00 N 159 55 W (60 miles NNW of Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii) on the morning of 20 July 2012. Ron Reeves
    Kilauea 62k
    Kilauea 42k
    Kilauea 62k

    USS Kilauea (AE-26) / USNS Kilauea T-AE-26)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01*CAPT. McGonagle, William Loren, USN10 August 1968 - 19 July 1969
    02CDR. Shipman, James Lee, USN19 July 1969 - 10 September 1970
    03CAPT. Anderson, Charles Raymond, USN (USNA 1947)10 September 1970 - 28 December 1971
    04CAPT. Salin, Robert Sven28 December 1971 - 30 May 1973
    05CAPT. Sutphen, Harold John30 May 1973 - 15 August 1975
    06CDR. Glickman, Thomas Walter15 August 1975 - 2 July 1977
    07CDR. Verona, Francis Michael2 July 1977 - 12 October 1979
    08CDR. Balian, Alexander George, USN12 October 1979 - 1 October 1980
    *Captain McGonagle received the Medal of Honor as Commanding Officer, USS Liberty (AGTR-5).
    Courtesy CAPT. Tom Glickman USN Ret. / Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    AE/AOE Sailors Association

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    Last Updated 15 December 2023