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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USNS Potomac (T-AOT-181)
USNS Potomac (T-AO-181) (1964)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Bravo - Lima - Mike
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
National Defense Service Medal

Potomac Class Transport Oiler:
  • Laid down, 1 March 1964, as SS Shenandoah using the stern section of ex (AO-150) under Maritime Administration contract (MA hull 39) at Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, PA.
  • Launched, 10 October 1964
  • Renamed Potomac, date unknown
  • Acquired by the Navy, 1 December 1964
  • Assigned to the Military Sealift Command (MSC) and placed in service as USNS Potomac (T-AO-181);
  • Potomac could support logistics over the shore operation with 173,000 barrels of JP-5 fuel delivered through its integral OPDS system
  • Potomac was the first OPDS tanker delivered, and as such, has the prototype OPDS system equipment installed
  • Reclassified Transport Oiler (T-AOT-181), date unknown
  • Potomac was pre-positioned in Diego Garcia in 1991 as part of the Afloat Prepositioning Force and operated under contact by Bay Ship Management and owned by MARAD
  • Placed out of service in 2000
  • Returned to MARAD for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Beaumont, TX.
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 1 August 2012, for $1,135,726, to ESCO Marine, Brownsville, TX., removed, 19 September 2012
    Displacement 7,8163t.(lt), 34,700 t.(fl)
    Length 614' 5"
    Beam 83' 5"
    Draft 34' (max)
    Speed 15 kts.
    Complement 36
    Armament none
    Cargo Capacity 173,000-bbls
    two boilers
    two steam turbines
    twin propellers, 20,460shp
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USNS Potomac (T-AO-181)
    Potomac 140k USNS Potomac (T-AO-181) under way, circa 1959, location unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 92960, courtesy of William H. Davis, 1981
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    USNS Potomac (T-AOT-181)
    Potomac 33k USNS Potomac (T-AOT-181) under way, date and location unknown. Haze Gray and Underway web site

    There is no DANFS History available for Potomac (AO-181/AOT-181) at NavSource
    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
    National Register Eligibility Assessment
    Historic American Engineering Record

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 11 August 2017