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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Ed Brynes

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Savannah (AOR-4)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Foxtrot - Uniform - Foxtrot
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Joint Meritorious Unit Award - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon
Second Row - Navy Expeditionary Service Medal (Lebanon) - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Op. Uphold Democracy Haiti)
Third Row - Vietnam Service Medal (1) - Southwest Asia Service Medal - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Wichita Class Replenishment Oiler:
  • Laid down, 22 January 1969, at General Dynamics Corp., Quincy, MA.
  • Launched, 23 April 1970
  • Commissioned USS Savannah (AOR-4), 5 December 1970, CAPT. Bernard P. Williams, Jr. USN in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Savannah (AOR-4) participated in the following campaign:

    Vietnam War Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    27 May to 13 June 1972
    22 June to 7 July 1972
    16 July to 10 August 1972
    24 August to 4 September 1972
    13 to 30 September 1972
    16 October to 1 November 1972

  • Decommissioned, 28 July 1995, at Naval Station Norfolk, VA.
  • Laid up in the reserve at National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 29 October 1998
  • USS Savannah (AOR-4) earned one campaign star for Vietnam War service
  • Title transferred to the Maritime Administration for disposal
  • Final Disposition, 27 January, 2009, Department of Transportation signed a fee for service contract worth $515,726 with ESCO Marine of Brownsville TX., to scrap ex-Savannah
    Displacement 14,048 t.(lt) 39,790 t.(fl)
    Length 659'
    Beam 96'
    Draft 37' (max.)
    Speed 20 kts.
    Officers 34
    Enlisted 463
    two Phalanx Close-In-Weapons System (CIWS)
    Sparrow Missile System (NSSMS)
    two CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters
    Propulsion three boilers
    twin propellers, 32,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Savannah 194k Savannah (AOR-4) under way off the Massachusetts coast during preliminary acceptance trials, 24 November 1970.
    UPI Telephoto.
    Tommy Trampp
    Savannah 75k USS Savannah (AOR-4) moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from the collections of the US Navy Memorial.
    Stan Svec
    198k Savannah (AOR-4) underway off San Diego, cA., date unknown.
    *copy Nobe Smith
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Savannah 35k USS Savannah (AOR-4) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Savannah 45k USS Savannah (AOR-4) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Courtesy Chuck Zendner Via
    Ed Brynes DCC(SW) USNR
    USS Savannah (AOR-4) web site
    CV-62 Independence 202k USS Savannah (AOR-4) steams alongside the aircraft carrier USS Independence (CV-62) during a replenishment at sea, circa 1982.
    Scanned from the 1986 USS Independence Change of Command Ceremony booklet.

    Tom Armstrong
    Savannah 50k USS Savannah (AOR-4) under way in the Indian Ocean closing to top off RFA Plumleaf (A78), February 1983.
    Photo George Mortimore.
    Robert Hurst
    Savannah 883k Stern view of USS Savannah (AOR-4) moored pierside at Marseille, France, date unknown. Photo by Philippe Gonzales
    Kalamazoo 1454k A starboard view of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) and the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and their escorts underway off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon, 5 February 1987. The escorts are, from front to back: the frigate USS W.S. Sims (FF-1059) replenishment oilers USS Savannah (AOR-4) and USS Kalamazoo (AOR-6) and the guided missile destroyer USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23).
    Defense Visual Information Center photo # DN-ST-87-04835, by PH1 Ron Beno.
    Bill Gonyo
    Savannah 21k USS Savannah (AOR-4) under way in the Suez Canal, 22 February 1992.
    US Navy photo
    Ed Brynes DCC(SW) USNR
    USS Savannah (AOR-4) web site
    Savannah 82k USS Savannah (AOR-4) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Savannah 128k USS Savannah (AOR-4) moored, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    200k Savannah (AOR-4) underway off San Diego, cA., date unknown.
    *copy Nobe Smith
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Iwo Jima 1088k
    An aerial view of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard looking west/northwest, 30 October 1995. The shipyard closed, 30 September 1995, but the Navy Intermediate Ship Maintenance Facility (NISMF) continues to store decommissioned ships. Vessels visible , left to right: the battleships USS Iowa (BB-61), and USS Wisconsin (BB-64) at the DD wharf; USS Sylvania (AFS-2), USS Milwaukee (AOR-2) and USS Savannah (AOR-4) at pier 5; the aircraft carriers USS Forrestal (CV-59) and USS Saratoga (CV-60); at pier 4; the amphibious assault ships USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) and USS Guadalcanal (LPH-7) at pier 2. In the back pool is the heavy cruiser USS Des Moines (CA-134) and numerous destroyers and frigates.DOD photo # DN-SC-97-00422 PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (30 October 1995), a US Navy photo by Robert J. Sitar, now in the collections of Defense
    Robert M. Cieri
    Savannah 96k USS Savannah (AOR-4) ship's plaque Tommy Trampp
    30k USS Savannah (AOR-4) Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 6 (HELSUPPRON 6) HC-6 'Chargers' Det-5 1986-1987 Mediterranean deployment patch. Tommy Trampp

    For more photos and information about USS Savannah, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • U.S.S. Savannah (AOR-4)
  • MARAD Vessel History Data Base

  • Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Williams Jr., Bernard Parke, USN (USNA 1948-A)5 December 1970 - 3 March1972
    02CAPT. Moore, Donald Edsel3 March 1972 - 26 September 1973
    03CAPT. Hardisty, Huntington :ADM26 September 1973 - 4 December 1974
    04CAPT. Bordone, Richard Peter (Deke)4 December 1974 - 15 April 1976
    05CAPT. Clemens, Eugene Matthew15 April 1976 - 14 February 1978
    06CAPT. Jones Jr., Howard Richard14 February 1978 - 9 February 1980
    07CAPT. Breast, Jerry Creighton (Felter) :RADM9 February 1980 - 18 May 1981
    08CAPT. Conner, Eugene Davidson, USN (USNA 1957) :RADM18 May 1981 - 24 January 1983
    09CAPT. McGowen, William Rankin :RADM24 January 1983 - 30 June 1984
    10CAPT. Bremner, Bruce Barton :RADM30 June 1984 - 29 January 1986
    11CAPT. Pieno Jr., John Anthony29 January 1986 - 6 July 1987
    12CAPT. Rainey Jr., Daniel Lawrence6 July 1987 - 12 January 1989
    13CAPT. Hill Jr., Theodore Drummond12 January 1989 - 17 July 1990
    14CAPT. Kappel, Leslie George17 July 1990 - 17 December 1992
    15CAPT. Vtipil, Donald Sheridan, USN (USNA 1968)17 December 1992 - 30 April 1993
    16CAPT. Besal, Robert Eugene :RADM30 April 1993 - 28 July 1995
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 19 August 2022