USS Rio Grande (AOG-3)

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Name: USS Rio Grande
Ordered: as T1-MT-M1 tanker hull
Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down: 30 June 1942
Launched: 23 September 1942
Commissioned: 10 April 1943
Decommissioned: 28 June 1946
In service: 12 October 1950
Out of service: 6 January 1956
Struck: 1 July 1960
Fate: Sold for scrapping, 7 February 1972
General characteristics
Class and type: Patapsco-class gasoline tanker
Displacement: 1,850 long tons (1,880 t) light
4,130 long tons (4,196 t) full load
Length: 310 ft 9 in (94.72 m)
Beam: 48 ft 6 in (14.78 m)
Draft: 15 ft 8 in (4.78 m)
Propulsion: 4 × General Electric diesel-electric engines, twin shafts, 3,300 hp (2,461 kW)
Speed: 15.5 knots (17.8 mph; 28.7 km/h)
Capacity: 2,210 long tons deadweight (DWT)
Complement: 131
Armament: • 4 × 3"/50 caliber guns
• 12 × 20 mm AA
Service record
Operations: World War II, Korean War

USS Rio Grande (AOG-3) was a Patapsco-class gasoline tanker acquired by the U.S. Navy for the dangerous task of transporting gasoline to warships in the fleet, and to remote Navy stations.

Gasoline tanker Rio Grande was laid down 30 June 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation, Seattle, Washington; launched 23 September 1942; sponsored by Mrs. R. D. Kirkpatrick; and commissioned 10 April 1943, Lt. Comdr. Lawrence J. Hasse, USNR, in command.

World War II service

Following shakedown Rio Grande was assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet as a unit of the mobile support group and carried petroleum products to help provide the lifeline of fuel for the fighting ships of the fleet in their advance toward Japan. After the end of World War II, she continued to operate with Service Force, Pacific Fleet until she decommissioned 28 June 1946.

Post-war activity

In April 1948, she was transferred to Norfolk, Virginia, and placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

Reactivated during the Korean crisis

Rio Grande recommissioned 12 October 1950, Lt. Milton L. Elchinger in command. Early the next year she resumed her mission of providing petroleum logistic support in the mid-Pacific. In September 1952 she began seven months of service in the western Pacific, supplying gasoline and diesel oil to United Nations forces in Japan and Korea, with an occasional run to French Indochina. She returned to Pearl Harbor in May 1953 and resumed her fueling duties there. The following March she sailed for Alaskan waters and seven weeks of service transporting fuel between Shemya Island and the Alaskan mainland before returning to the mid-Pacific.


Rio Grande decommissioned at San Diego, California, 6 January 1956. On 30 June 1960 she entered the Maritime Administration Reserve Fleet at Puget Sound, Olympia, Washington, where she remained until sold for scrapping on 7 February 1972 to General Metals, Tacoma, Washington.

Military awards and honors

Rio Grande’s Navy crew members were eligible for the following medals:


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here

External links