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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Detroit (AOE-4)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Delta - Whiskey - Quebec
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Secretary of the Navy Letter of Commendation
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation (2)
Second Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendations (2) - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (4) - Navy Expeditionary Medal (1-Iran/Indian Ocean, 1-Libya)
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Bosnia, Lebanon) - Southwest Asia Service Medal
Fourth Row - Armed Forces Service Medal (2) - Coast Guard SOS Ribbon - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Sacramento Class Fast Combat Support Ship:
  • Laid down, 29 November 1966, at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA.
  • Launched, 21 June 1969
  • Commissioned USS Detroit (AOE-4), 28 March 1970
  • Detroit was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and was home ported at Weapons Station Earle N.J.
  • Decommissioned, 17 February 2005
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 17 February 2005
  • Laid up at the NAVSEA Inactive Ships On-site Maintenance Office, Philadelphia, PA. awaiting disposal
  • Final Disposition, contract awarded for scrapping in September 2005 to ESCO Marine, Inc., Brownsville, TX. officially transferred to ESCO Marine, 17 October 2005, scrapping completed, 3 November 2006
    Displacement 18,884 t.(lt) 49,956 t.(fl)
    Length 793'
    Beam 107'
    Draft 38' (max.)
    Speed 26 kts.
    24 Officers
    576 Enlisted Aircraft two CH46E Sea Knight helicopters
    NATO Sparrow missiles
    two Phalanx CIWS
    two geared steam turbines
    four boilers
    two propellers, 100,000shp

    Click On Image
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    Size Image Description Source
    Detroit 292k Detroit (AOE-4) keel laying, showing the first section of the keel in place, at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, 29 November 1966.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo # NH 78711
    Mike Green
    Arctic 85k Left to Right; USS Arctic (AOE-8)
    USS Seattle (AOE-3),
    USS Supply (AOE-6) and
    USS Detroit (AOE-4) moored at Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J., date unknown.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Detroit 109k USS Detroit (AOE-4) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "NAVSEA Journal"
    Bob Bush
    Detroit 89k USS Detroit (AOE-4) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Detroit 88k USS Detroit (AOE-4) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    237k USS Detroit (AOE-4) underway off Norfolk, VA. date unknown.
    ©Nobe Smith
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Detroit 105k USS Detroit (AOE-4) underway off Popham Beach, ME. as she heads overhaul at Bath Iron Works, Bath ME. in July 1976. Peter E. Doane
    Detroit 136k
    Detroit 152k USS Detroit (AOE-4) moored at NOB Norfolk, VA., circa 1978.
    Photo by Karsten Petersen
    Robert Hurst
    Detroit 278k USS Detroit (AOE-4) underway in the harbor at Genoa, Italy, 1 October 1979. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    CV-62 Independence 41k Aerial view of the Independence (CV-62) battle group in the Atlantic Ocean, 12 December 1979, as it heads home from deployment in the Mediterranean Sea. The ships are, clockwise from top, USS Farragut (DDG-37), USS McCandless (FF-1084), USS Independence (CV-62), USS Detroit (AOE-4), USS Garcia (FF-1040), USS Mahan (DDG-42), USS Caron (DD-970) and USS Peterson (DD-969).
    US Navy photo by PHC C. Pedrick (DVIC id: DNSC8200297).
    Defense Visual Information Center
    366k USS Detroit (AOE-4) refueling the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal (CV-59) and the guided missile cruiser USS Josephus Daniels (CG-27), in 1981. The Forrestal, with assigned Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW-17), was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea from 2 March to 15 September 1981.
    U.S. Navy photo from the USS Forrestal (CV-59) 1981 cruise book
    Robert Hurst
    Detroit 90k USS Detroit (AOE 4) anchored at San Remo, Italy 1986 Photo submitted by Tom Kermen, courtesy of Michael Hughes, USS Detroit
    Detroit 19k USS Detroit (AOE-4) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    USS Detroit (AOE-4) web site
    Detroit 75k USS Detroit (AOE-4) underway, date and location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Detroit 1746k USS Detroit (AOE-4) conducts an underway replenishment (UNREP) with the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) and the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG-56) during Operation Desert Storm..
    Department of Defense photo # DN-SC-91-05321 PERSIAN GULF Feb. 9, 1991, a US Navy photo by PH3 Chester O. Falkenhainer III, now in the collections of Defense
    USS Detroit (AOE-4) web site
    Detroit 37k USS Detroit (AOE-4) replenishing two destroyers, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Detroit 77k USS Detroit (AOE-4) in port, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Detroit 49k USS Ford (FFG 54) moves off after replenishing from USS Detroit (AOE 4) while conducting operations in the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch, 6 January 1998. Photo by PH3 Joseph Hendricks
    US Navy photo 980106-N-2302H-001
    Detroit 66k USS Detroit (AOE-4) and USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) during underway replenishment operations, 23 February 1999. The ships are in the Adriatic Sea supporting NATO air strikes in Kosovo.
    US Navy photo
    Detroit 62k USS Detroit (AOE 4) during an underway replenishment of USS Peterson (DD-969), date and location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Detroit 107k USS Detroit (AOE-4) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) conduct a replenishment at sea (RAS) while underway in the Arabian Sea supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, 6 December 2001.
    US Navy photo # 011206-N-2003S-503 by PH2(AW) Jason Scarborough.
    USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) web site
    Detroit 1753k A CH-46 “Sea Knight” helicopter assigned to the “Dragon Whales” of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Eight (HC-8) attached to USS Detroit (AOE-4) assists in the turn over between USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) in the Red Sea. The two ships are conducting weapons transfer operations while turning over deployment responsibilities. Theodore Roosevelt is returning to her homeport of Norfolk.
    US Navy photo # 020306-N-1328C-008 At sea aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Mar. 6, 2002 by PHC Eric A. Clement.
    Robert M. Cieri
    CVN-65 Enterprise 107k The guided missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG-64), top, and the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65), bottom, underway alongside USS Detroit (AOE-4) during a replenishment at sea, 11 November 2003, in the Arabian Sea. The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) was on a scheduled deployment conducting missions in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
    US Navy photo # 031111-N-6259P
    US Navy NewsStand
    Detroit 95k USS Detroit (AOE-4) steams alongside USS Enterprise (CVN-65) while conducting an early morning Replenishment at Sea (RAS) in the Arabian Sea, 10 January 2004. Both ships were conducting missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
    US Navy photo #040110-N-5405H-001 by PHAN Joshua E. Helgeson.
    US Navy NewsStand
    CVN-65 Enterprise 116k The nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS USS Enterprise (CVN-65), USS Detroit (AOE-4), and the guided missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG-64) perform a replenishment at sea, 27 January 2004, in the Persian Gulf. The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) was nearing the end of a scheduled deployment in the region. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Joshua E. Helgeson (# 040127-N-5405H-002).

    US Navy NewsStand
    Detroit 2764k USS Detroit (AOE-4) during a double underway replenishment in the Arabian Gulf, 27 January 2004. Note the MH-60S Knighthawk assigned to the “Chargers” of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Six (HC-6) (redesignated HSC-26 in 2005), lifts cargo from the flight deck of Detroit for transfer to the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) during a vertical replenishment.
    US Navy photo # 040127-N-5405H-008 by PHAN Joshua E. Helgeson.
    Robert Hurst
    Detroit 161k USS Detroit (AOE-4) breaks away following an underway replenishment with nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in the North Sea, 1 July 2004. Enterprise is one of seven aircraft carriers participating in Summer Pulse 2004. Summer Pulse 2004 is the simultaneous deployment of seven aircraft carrier strike groups (CSGs), demonstrating the ability of the Navy to provide credible combat power across the globe, in five theaters with other U.S., allied, and coalition military forces. Summer Pulse is the Navy's first deployment under its new Fleet Response Plan (FRP).
    US Navy photo # 040701-N-5952R-083 by PHAN Alex J. Recalde Jr.
    Robert Hurst
    Detroit 141k Overhead view of USS Detroit (AOE-4) underway, date and location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Detroit 178k Overhead view of USS Detroit (AOE-4) underway, date and location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Detroit 116k Ex-USS Detroit (AOE-4) starts her final trip from the NAVSEA Inactive Ships On-site Maintenance Office, Philadelphia, PA, 21 October 2005. She is being pulled away from the pier, under the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard drawbridge, heading to the Delaware River and Brownsville, Texas for scrapping at ESCO Marine, Inc., Brownsville, TX. Photos by Ed Zajkowski
    Detroit 99k
    Detroit 101k
    Detroit 98k
    Detroit 82k
    Detroit 47k USS Detroit (AOE-4) Mediterranean Cruise patch Tommy Trampp

    There is no history available for Detroit (AOE-4) at NavSource
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. McClinton, Robert Brock, USN (USNA 1948A) :RADM28 March 1970 - 13 August 1971
    02CAPT. Smith Jr., Charles Ross, USN (USNA 1949)13 August 1971 - 18 October 1972
    03CAPT. Kaufman, Norman Lewis, USN18 October 1972 - 6 August 1974
    04CAPT. Fuller, Robert Byron (By), USN (USNA 1951) :RADM6 August 1974 - 19 November 1975
    05CAPT. Cane, Guy, USN (USNA 1954)19 November1975 - 30 June 1977
    06CAPT. Hope Jr., Herbert Arthur, USN (USNA 1954)30 June 1977 - 9 March 1979
    07CAPT. Watson, Jerome Francis9 March 1979 - 20 August 1980
    08CAPT. Boyle, Ronald Raymone20 August 1980 - 20 June 1981
    09CAPT. Metz, Francis John :RADM20 June 1981 - 15 July 1981
    10CAPT. Calhoun, John Franklin, USN (USNA 1958) :RADM15 July 1981 - 8 March 1983
    11CAPT. Allen, Richard Charles, USN :VADM08 March 1983 - 14 July 1984
    12CAPT. Wellborn, Raymond Burke, USN (USNA 1959)14 July 1984 - 26 April 1986
    13CAPT. Rothrauff, Bruce Benedict, USN26 April 1986 - 15 May 1986
    14CAPT. Norton, James Larry, USN15 May 1986 - 11 June 1988
    15CAPT. Findley Jr., Joseph Herbert11 June 1988 - 22 January 1990
    16CAPT. Edwards, Michael Bruce, USN22 January 1990 - 12 January 1992
    17CAPT. Scrapper, John Christopher, USN (USNA 1969)12 January 1992 - 26 July 1993
    18CAPT. Erwin, Richard Arthur, USN26 July 1993 - 20 July 1995
    19CAPT. James, Brent Snyder, USN (USNA 1974)20 July 1995 - 20 November 1996
    20CAPT. O'Neill Jr., John H., USN (USNA 1968)20 November 1996 - 29 January 1997
    21CAPT. McCarthy, William John, USN :RADM29 January 1997 - 2 July 1998
    22CAPT. McNally, Mark Thomas, USN2 July 1998 - 12 November 1999
    23CAPT. Pitts, Andrew Joseph, USN12 November 1999 - 20 July 2001
    24CAPT. Reed, Nori Ann, USN 20 July 2001 - 11 July 2003
    25CAPT. Grant, James Stephen, USN (USNA 1980)11 July 2003 - 17 February 2004
    26CDR. Blackburn, Daniel S., USN17 February 2004 - 22 October 2004
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 10 February 2023