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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Chicopee (AO-34)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Delta - Mike
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Second Row - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (4) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (1)

Chicopee Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 14 May 1941 as SS Esso Trenton for Standard Oil of New Jersey at Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, PA.
  • Launched, 6 September 1941
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 3 January 1942
  • Commissioned USS Chicopee (AO-34), 9 February 1942, CDR. Graeme Bannerman in command
  • During World War II USS Chicopee was first assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and later to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Luzon operation
    Formosa attacks, 3 to 4, 15 and 21 January 1945
    Luzon attacks, 6 to 7 January 1945
    China Coast attacks, 16 January 1945
    Nansei Shoto attack, 22 January 1945
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    5th and 3d Fleet raids in support of Okinawa Gunto operation, 16 March to 21 June 1945
    Attack and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 24 March to 30 June 1945
    Iwo Jima operation
    Attack and occupation of Iwo Jima, 16 February to 2 March 1945
    3d Fleet operations against Japan, 31 July to 15 August 1945

  • Following World War II USS Chicopee was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 2 September to 29 October 1945
  • Decommissioned 14 February 1946
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 26 February 1946
  • Chicopee earned four battle stars for World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for return to her owners, Standard Oil of New Jersey, 1 July 1946
  • Merchant Service
    1946 - Reverted to SS ESSO Trenton
    1947 - Renamed SS ESSO Chattanooga
    1963 - Bought by Sea-Land for conversion to a container ship, using the fore and aft ends of SS ESSO Chattanooga coupled to a new midship body built by Blohm & Voss and fitted at Bethlehem Steel, Baltimore, emerging as SS San Francisco (16401grt, 607ft x 78ft).
    1978 - Bow and stern replaced by Mitsubishi, Kobe retaining the 1963 mid-body.
    1978 - Renamed SS Sea-Land Adventurer (17618grt)
    1989 - Renamed SS Sea Adventure
    1999 - Renamed SS Maersk Constanza
    2000 - Renamed SS Sea Adventure
    2002 - Renamed SS Maersk Koper
    Current Disposition, active in merchant service

    Displacement 5,375 t.(lt) 22,325 t.(fl)
    Length 520'
    Beam 68'
    Draft 30' 9"
    Speed 18 kts.
    Enlisted 252
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    Cargo Capacity 15,800 DWT
    Oil 115,700 Bbls
    Gasoline 667,000 Gals
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity 131,600 barrels
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 9,900 Bbls
    one General Electric geared turbine
    two Babcock & Wilcox "D"-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double General Electric Main reduction gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 400Kw 240V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 50Kw 240V D.C.
    single propeller 9,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Chicopee (AO-34)
    Chicopee - The Chicopee River is an 18.0-mile-long tributary of the Connecticut River in Metropolitan Springfield, MA.
    Tommy Trampp
    Chicopee 117k USS Chicopee (AO-34) near Norfolk Navy Yard, 16 August 1942. Markings indicate alterations made in the latest overhaul.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM. Photo # 19-N-32722, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    241k USS Chicopee (AO-34) off Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA., 16 August 1942. Markings indicate alterations made in the latest overhaul.
    Norfolk Navy Yard photo serial 3521(42), Norfolk Navy Yard photo serial 3520(42) and Norfolk Navy Yard photo serial 3524(42)
    Robert Hurst
    70k USS Chevalier (DD-451) is refueled by USS Chicopee (AO-34) in convoy Convoy GUF2 returning from Casablanca between 29 November and 11 December 1942 to Hampton Roads. The two midship 20mm, two vertical floats under the bridge platform, and 36 inch lights on the aft funnel are uniquely configured to Chevalier for Chicopee's convoy. Best estimate of the actual date is 3 December 1942. John Chiquoine
    50k USS Chicopee (AO-34) refueling USS Mayo (DD-422) (Benson class, from original group of six, has a single quad 1.1-in mount on the aft deckhouse where the former 53 mount was located) in Convoy GUF2 returning from Casablanca between 29 November and 11 December 1942 to Hampton Roads. Best estimate of the actual date is 3 December 1942. Rick DAvis
    Group of ten U.S. National Archives Record Group 80 photos (U.S. Navy photos now in the collection of the US National archives)
    of USS Chicopee (AO-34) refueling the heavy cruiser USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37) mid-Atlantic, 5 March 1943, contributed by Rick Davis.

    NA 80-G-50134

    NA 80-G-50135

    NA 80-G-50137

    NA 80-G-50138

    NA 80-G-50139

    NA 80-G-50141

    NA 80-G-50142

    NA 80-G-50143

    NA 80-G-50164

    NA 80-G-50165
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Chicopee 146k USS Chicopee (AO-34) coming alongside USS Ranger (CV-4) during February 1943. Ranger was enroute to North Africa to deliver US Army fighters.
    US National Archives Photo # 80-G-52828, a US Navy now in the collection of the US National Archives at College Park.
    Tracy White
    Chicopee 54k USS Chicopee (AO-34) at Bizerte, Tunisia, 14 May 1944. Stanley C. Svec
    Chicopee 132k USS Chicopee (AO-34) at Oran, Algeria, 24 May 1944. Stanley C. Svec
    Chicopee 164k USS Chicopee (AO-34) conducts a replenishment at sea with USS Wasp (CV-18), circa sometime in late 1944-early 1945.
    Courtesy US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum. Photo No. 1977.031.074.098, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Chicopee 583k USS Chicopee (AO-34) refueling USS Intrepid (CV-11) to port while simultaneously refueling USS Norman Scott (DD-690) to starboard, Pacific Ocean, 10 April 1945 Pieter Bakels
    Chicopee 125k USS Chicopee (AO-34) serving with Service Squadron Six in the Okinawa area in May 1945.
    US National Archives, RG-80-G. Photo # 80-G-350838, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Chicopee 63k USS Chicopee (AO-34) under way, date and location unknown. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Merchant Service
    Standard Oil of New Jersey Sea-Land Services Inc.
    / Maersk Lines
    Chicopee 39k Ex-USS Chicopee (AO-34) under way as the Standard Oil of New Jersey tanker SS ESSO Chattanooga, date and location unknown.
    Photos courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages
    Robert Hurst
    Chicopee 18k
    Chicopee 42k
    Chicopee 167k Ex-USS Chicopee (AO-34) under way as the Sea-Land Service Inc. containership SS San Francisco approaching her berth, date and location unknown. Originally copyrighted by Alex Duncan Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Chicopee 225k SS San Francisco under way in the Malacca Strait, early 1970s.
    Photo copyright Airfoto Malacca.
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Chicopee 43k Ex-USS Chicopee (AO-34) under way as the Sea-Land Service Inc. containership SS Sea-Land Adventurer, date and location unknown.
    Photo courtesy Auke Vissar's Famous T-Tanker Pages
    Robert Hurst
    Chicopee 78k Ex-USS Chicopee (AO-34) under way as SS Maersk Koper at Heraklion, Greece on 20 March 2006. David Nixon

    Chicopee (AO-34)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Bannerman, Graeme9 February 1942 - 12 August 1943
    02CDR. Brandt, Buell Fromern12 August 1943 - 18 December 1943
    04LCDR. Peak, Charles Oscar18 December 1943 - 6 August 1945
    04LCDR. Lehland, Trygve MasonAugust 1945 - 14 February 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    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 Fleet Oiler (AO) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 22 April 2022