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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USNS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146)
USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) (1955 - 1978)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - November - Quebec - Delta
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Richard (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 Meritorious Unit Commendation
Second Row - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (3) - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Vietnam, Korea, Op Frequent Wind)
Third Row - Vietnam Service Medal (8) - Humanitarian Service Medal (1-Frequent Wind) - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Neosho Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 5 October 1953, at New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.
  • Launched, 11 December 1954
  • Commissioned USS Kawishiwi (AO-146), 6 July 1955, CAPT. Joseph B. Swain in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) participated in the following campaigns:

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnam Advisory Campaign
    29 December 1964 - 11 January 1965
    Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970
    1 to 3 November 1969
    9 to 14 November 1969
    4 to 19 December 1969
    23 December 1969 to 5 January 1970
    Vietnam Defense
    21 to 24 December 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII
    10 to 22 September 1970
    28 September to 11 October 1970
    18 to 24 October 1970
    2 to 3 November 1970
    15 to 29 November 1970
    1 to 3 January 1971
    7 to 14 January 1971
    20 to 27 January 1971
    10 to 13 February 1971
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    25 December 1965 to 2 January 1966
    13 to 27 January 1966
    14 to 15 February 1966
    2 to 9 April 1966
    14 to 24 April 1966
    7 to 19 May 1966
    15 to 21 June 1966
    Consolidation II
    11 to 15 February 1972
    23 February 1 March 1972
    7 to 16 March 1972
    27 to 29 March 1972
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    1 to 6 June 1967
    17 to 30 June 1967
    11 to 18 July 1967
    5 to 11 August 1967
    25 August to 4 September 1967
    26 September to 10 October 1967
    6 to 9 October 1968
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    30 March to 3 April 1972
    17 April to 1 May 1972
    19 to 31 May 1972
    10 to 17 June 1972
    26 June to 6 July 1972
    14 to 25 July 1972
    9 to 21 August 1972
    5 to 9 September 1972
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    18 July to 4 August 1969
    10 to 24 August 1969
    25 September to 10 October 1969
    19 to 28 October 1969

  • Decommissioned, 10 October 1979, at Oakland, CA.,
  • Assigned to the Military Sealift Command (MSC) and placed in service as USNS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146)
  • Placed out of service, 15 September 1992, for lay up at the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 7 November 1994
  • USS Kawishiwi earned eight campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Title transfer to MARAD, 1 May 1999, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Cleared for Disposal, 21 June 2005
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping in April 2014 to International Shipbreaking LTD. (ESCO), Brownsville, TX.
  • Removed to Mare Island for cleaning in May 2014
  • Removed from Mare Island, 27 June 2014, for towing by M/V Capt. Latham
  • Arrived, 6 August 2014, International Shipbreaking LTD. (ESCO), Brownsville, TX. Dismantling completed, 28 March 2015
    Displacement 11,600 t.(lt), 38,000 t.(fl)
    Length 655'
    Beam 86'
    Draft 35'
    Speed 20 kts.
    Cargo Capacity 180,000 bbls
    Commissioned USS 324
    In Service USNS 106 Civilian Mariners, 21 Navy
    two single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts
    six twin 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    two geared turbines
    two boilers
    two propellers, 28,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Kawishiwi (AO-146)
    Rochester 165k USS Rochester (CA-124) moving in to refuel from USS Kawishiwi (AO-146), August 1956 Dale C. Haskin
    Kawishiwi 34k USS Taluga (AO-62), bottom USS Kawishiwi (AO-146), center, and USS Hassayampa (AO-145) top, underway off the Philippines in 1957.
    US Navy photo # 80-G-1013403
    Robert Hurst
    Kawishiwi 1050k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) underway off Oahu, T.H., 29 October 1958 while refueling USS Fessenden (DER-142).
    US Navy BuAer photo # 039077, Altitude 50', Date 10-28-58, Camera F56, 8.25 F.L. Time 2200z.
    David Buell
    165k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) conducting an underway replenishment (UNREP) with USSRogers (DD-876) and USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) Robert M. Cieri
    Kawishiwi 88k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) at Naval Station Subic Bay, PI, January 1965. USS Archerfish (AGSS-311) is in the foreground Allen R. Vaughan QM2(SS) USS Archerfish (SS-AGSS-311)
    474k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) moored astern of USCGSS Pathfinder (OSS-30) at Pearl Harbor in April 1962. In the foreground Pathfinder's crew is standing in formation.
    NOAA Image pers0245, April 1962, by Bernard Mayo Rivera, Credit the Family of Captain David M. Whipp, C&GS.
    Bill Gonyo
    Kawishiwi 122k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) near NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, 29 July 1963.
    US Navy photo
    Tommy Trampp
    Rochester 266k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146)refueling USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) and USS Hollister (DD-788), 5 December 1963.
    Courtesy US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.488.038.050
    Mike Green
    Kawishiwi 83k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) refueling USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and USS Turner Joy (DD-951), 23 April 1964.
    US Navy photo USN 1097351 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center
    US Naval Historical Center
    Kawishiwi 1238k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) refueling USS Floyd B. Parks (DD-884) and USS Orleck (DD-886), date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo USN 1039817.
    David Buell
    Kawishiwi 268k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) drops away after refueling USS Evans (DE-1023) during a WESTPAC deployment in July 1967. Photo taken from USS Evans. Photo by Darryl Baker
    Kawishiwi 82k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) at Pearl Harbor, HI, October 1968 © Richard Leonhardt
    Kawishiwi 359k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) simultaneously servicing USS America (CVA-66) from her port side and USS England (DLG-22) from her starboard side in the Gulf of Tonkin, late summer 1968, after the bombing halt. John Spivey
    Kawishiwi 148k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) refueling USS Bennington (CVS-20), circa 1960s, location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.<
    Kawishiwi 83k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) at Pier H, Pearl Harbor, HI, 17 May 1969. © Richard Leonhardt
    Kawishiwi 116k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) underway, in 1971, off Pearl Harbor, HI.. Robert M. Cieri in honor of his brother CWO3 Harry Michael Cieri, USN Ret. USS Kawishiwi December 1968 to January 1972
    63k USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) refueling a Missouri class battleship, date and location unknown.
    DOD photos # DNSN9304062 and DNSN9304061
    Defense News Service
    Kawishiwi 178k USS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146) refueling an unidentified aircraft carrier during an underway replenishment, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Tommy Trampp
    Kawishiwi 111k USS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146) refueling either USS Bon Homme Richard, (CVA-31) or USS Oriskany (CVA-34) during an underway replenishment in the Tonkin Gulf, date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    USNS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146)
    Kawishiwi 66k USNS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146) underway, date and location unknown. Photo by Richard Miller BMCS USN Ret.
    Kawishiwi 70k USNS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146) stern fueling station hose rig. Photo by Richard Miller BMCS USN Ret.
    Kawishiwi 89k USNS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146) in bound from sea in San Diego Bay, looking forward from the bridge, date unknown. Photo by Richard Miller BMCS USN Ret.
    Kawishiwi 1635k A port bow view of USNS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146) with fuel lines extended to the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) during underway replenishment (UNREP), 1 October 1986. The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Lewis B. Puller (FFG-23) can be seen outboard.
    DOD photo # DN-SC-85-06871 PACIFIC OCEAN (1 October 1983) a US Navy photo by PHAN B. Collins. now in the collections of Defense
    Robert M. Cieri
    Kawishiwi 1446k An aerial view of USNS Kawishiwi (T-AO-146), center, the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63), left, and the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) participating in an underway replenishment (UNREP), 25 July 1986. The guided missile frigate USS Ramsey (FFG-2) is in the background.
    DOD photo # DN-SC-87-09275 PACIFIC OCEAN (25 July 1986) a US Navy photo by PH3 Hensley now in the collections of Defense
    Robert M. Cieri
    1968k Overhead and surface views of USNS Kawishiwi (AO-146) refueling USS Ranger (CV-61), 19 July 1990, off the coast of California
    DOD photos, # DN-SC-93-05045, DN-SC-93-05042, DN-SC-93-05047 and DN-SC-93-05048, US Navy photos by PH3 Bos, now in the collections of Defense
    Defense News Service
    Kawishiwi 272k Pilot house USNS Kawishiwi (AO-146), date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR (Ret)
    MARAD Suisun Bay Group Reserve Fleet
    Kawishiwi 174k Ex-USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) laid up in reserve in the Maritime Administration National Defense Reserve Fleet Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
    US Maritime Administration photos
    Ron Reeves
    Mispillion 305k
    Kawishiwi 208k Ex-USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) being towed as a dead ship from the Suisun Bay bound for sea rounding Pt. Blunt, San Francisco Bay, 27 June 2012. Photos by CAPT. Jack C. Goldthorpe, USCG Ret.
    Kawishiwi 207k
    Kawishiwi 187k

    For more photos and information about USS / USNS Kawishiwi, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • USS Kawishiwi AO-146
  • USS Kawishiwi AO-146 Memorial Page
  • Welcome Aboard Pamphlet
  • Cold War Neosho Class Oilers

  • Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Swain, Joseph Blount, USN (USNA 1931)6 July 1955 - 31 August 1956
    02CAPT. Hydeman, Earl Twining, USN (USNA 1932)31 August 1956 - 24 August 1957
    03CAPT. Gebelin, Albert Louis, USN (USNA 1934)24 August 1957 - 21 August 1958
    04CAPT. Gardner Jr., Earle Grace, USN (USNA 1935)21 August 1958 - 1959
    05CDR. Evans Jr., Griffith Conrad, USN1959 - 11 June 1959
    06CAPT. Joyce, Gerald Patrick (Gerry), USN (USNA 1937)11 June 1959 - 11 July 1960
    07CAPT. Seymour, Harry Augustus, USN (USNA 1939)11 July 1960 - 19 July 1961
    08CAPT. Vasey, Lloyd Roland (Joe), USN (USNA 1939) :RADM19 July 1961 - 9 August 1962
    09CAPT. Cooper, Francis Taylor, USN (USNA 1939)9 August 1962 - 14 December 1963
    10CAPT. Pitts, Raymond Leslie, USN 14 December 1963 - 10 November 1964
    11CAPT. Tanner, Charles Sayers, USN10 November 1964 - 28 November 1965
    12CAPT. Carpenter, Melvin James, USN28 November 1965 - 27 January 1967
    13CAPT. Edge, Donald Brown, USN (USNA 1944)27 January 1967 - 19 February 1968
    14CAPT. Cady, Joseph, USN19 February 1968 - 6 May 1969
    15CAPT. Meyer Jr., Joseph John, USN6 May 1969 - 28 May 1970
    16CAPT. Wyand, Donald McKay, USN28 May 1970 - 8 September 1971
    17CAPT. Bilderback, Oral John, USN (USNA 1948-B)8 September 1971 - 10 August 1973
    18CAPT. Nicholson Jr., John Lewis, USN 10 August 1973 - 23 September 1974
    19CAPT. Hogan Jr., Edward Joseph (Ned), USN (USNA 1954) :RADM23 September 1974 - 23 January 1976
    20CAPT. Teague, Foster Schuler (Tooter), USN 23 January 1976 - 16 April 1977
    21CAPT. Finley, John Lawrence, USN (USNA 1957)16 April 1977 - 10 April 1979
    22CAPT. Presley, Jack Cole10 April 1979 - 7 September 1979
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 26 June 2020