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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USNS Chepachet (T-AOT-78)
USS Chepachet (AO-78) (1943 - 1946)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa- Middle East Campaign Medal
Second Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal (2) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
Third Row - Vietnam Service Medal - Philippines Liberation Medal (1)- Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Suamico Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 1 November 1942, as SS Eutaw Springs, a Maritime Commission type (T2-SE-A1) tanker hull under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 340) at Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock, Chester, PA.
  • Launched, 10 March 1943
  • Commissioned USS Chepachet (AO-78), 27 April 1943, LCDR. Hugh R. Adams in command
  • During WWII Chepachet was assigned to first the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and later the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 25 to 28 October 1944
    Borneo operation
    Balikpapan operation, 28 June to 7 July 1945

  • Following World War II USS Chepachet was assigned to Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    2 September to 10 December 19452 September to 10 December 1945
    28 January to 6 February 1946 

  • Decommissioned, 15 May 1946, at San Francisco. CA.
  • Reclassified as a Transport Oiler and placed in service, 1 November 1947 with the Military Sea Transportation Service MSTS as USNS Chepachet (T-AOT-78), operated under contract by American Pacific S.S. Co.
  • Reinstated in the Naval Register, 30 January 1948
  • Placed out of service in July 1950
  • Reactivated, date unknown
  • During the the Vietnam War USNS Chepachet (T-AOT-78) rotated with USNS Rincon (T-AOG-77) serving as station tanker at Danang, South Vietnam, circa 1970-71.
  • Laid up in the Maritime Administration (MARAD) National Defense Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Title transferred to MARAD, 13 March 1972
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 4 January 1980
  • USS Chepachet earned two battle stars for World War II service
  • Transferred, leased, to the Department of Energy, 9 November 1978, as a power plant for the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Project Honolulu, HI. Renamed S.S. Ocean Energy Converter
  • Transferred to the state of Hawaii in February 1982
  • Final Disposition, scrapped by Dillingham Corp. in 1982. Ships bell presented to Chepachet, R.I. city council
    Displacement 5,730 t.(lt) 22,380 t.(fl)
    Length 520'
    Beam 68'
    Draft 30' 10"
    Speed 15.3 kts.
    Officers 23
    Enlisted 209
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    one single 5"/38 cal. dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 cal. dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity 15,300 DWT
    Oil 120,400 Bbls
    Gasoline 575,000 Gals
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 9,235 Bbls
    one General Electric turbo-electric engine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 730°
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 400Kw 450V A.C.
    two turbo-drive 75Kw 120V D.C.
    two turbo-drive 55Kw 120V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 50Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 8,000shp

    US Navy photo courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Chepachet (AO-78)
    Chepachet 54k USS Chepachet (AO-78) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Andy Curtis
    Chepachet 93k USS Chepachet (AO-78) under way in San Francisco Bay after returning in February 1946 from the Pacific for decommissioning.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 77392, courtesy
    Mike Green
    USNS Chepachet (T-AOT-78)
    Chepachet 216k USNS Chepachet (T-AOT-78) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    William Zarkas, Retired MSC Boatswain
    President, MSC Retiree Association
    Chepachet 15k USNS Chepachet (T-AOT-78) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Robert Hurst
    Chepachet 56k
    Chepachet 139k USNS Chepachet (T-AOT-78) at anchor date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.

    USS Chepachet (AO-78)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Adams, Hugh Robert27 April 1943 - 11 November 1944
    02LCDR. Wallace, Henry Kevin11 November 1944 - 7 March 1946
    03LT. Lyberg, Robert Noren, USNR7 March 1946 - 15 May 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 Back To The Transport Oiler (AOT) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 1 April 2022