Chiwawa class oiler

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Class overview
Builders:Bethlehem Sparrows Point Shipyard
Sparrows Point, Maryland
In commission:24 December 1942 - 12 November 1957
Active:2 in commercial service as lake freighters
General characteristics
Type: oiler
Length: 501 ft 8 in (152.91 m)
Beam: 68 ft (21 m)
Draft: 30 ft 8 in (9.35 m)
Propulsion: geared steam turbine
single screw
12,000 shp (8,900 kW)
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h)
Capacity: 134,000 bbl (~18,300 t)
Complement: 214–247
Armament: 1 × 5"/38 caliber gun mounts
4 × 3"/50 caliber gun mounts
8 × 40 mm AA gun mounts
8 × 20 mm AA gun mounts
2 × depth charge projectors

The Chiwawa-class oilers were United States Navy oilers of the T3-S-A1 design built during World War II at Bethlehem Sparrows Point Shipyard of Sparrows Point, Maryland. The class consisted of five ships, all of whom survived the war.

All of the ships of the class initially were to be built for private companies, but the outset of World War II, the ships were transferred to the United States Maritime Commission and given new names. Later, when allocated to the U.S. Navy, they were renamed again.[1]

Three of the ships — Chiwawa (AO-68), Escalante (AO-70), and Neshanic (AO-71) — were decommissioned at the end of the war. The remaining two — Enoree (AO-69) and Niobrara (AO-72) — were in and out of commission until late 1957.

Chiwawa (now Lee A. Tregurtha) and Neshanic (now American Victory) are still in commercial service on the Great Lakes.[1] Enoree[2] and Niobrara[3] were both eventually scrapped while Escalante, then known as George MacDonald, sank in 1960.[1]

Ships of the class

Name Original name Commissioned Final decommission Fate
USS Chiwawa (AO-68) Samoset 24 December 1942 6 May 1946 converted to laker, 1961; still in service
USS Enoree (AO-69) Sachem 23 January 1943 22 October 1957 scrapped, 1982
USS Escalante (AO-70) Shabonee 30 January 1943 12 December 1945 sunk, 1980
USS Neshanic (AO-71) Marquette 13 March 1943 19 December 1945 converted to laker; still in service
USS Niobrara (AO-72) Citadel 20 February 1943 12 November 1957 Scrapped after 1982


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wharton, George. "Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- Lee A. Tregurtha". Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  2. Priolo, Gary P. (2005). "AO-69 Enoree". NavSource Online. NavSource Naval History. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  3. Priolo, Gary P. (2007-06-29). "AO-72 Niobrara". NavSource Online. NavSource Naval History. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.