USNS Henry Eckford (T-AO-192)

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USNS Henry Eckford (T-AO-192)
USNS Henry Eckford (T-AO-192) (left) and USNS Benjamin Isherwood (T-AO-191) preparing for long-term storage.
Career (United States)
Name: USNS Henry Eckford
Namesake: Henry Eckford (1775-1832), naval architect and shipbuilder
Awarded: 6 May 1985
Builder: Pennsylania Shipbuilding Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Tampa Shipbuilding Company, Tampa, Florida
Laid down: 22 January 1987
Launched: 22 July 1989
In service: Never
Struck: 10 November 1997
Fate: Never completed
Status: In reserve; incomplete
Notes: Construction contract canceled 15 August 1993 when ship 84% complete
General characteristics
Class and type: Henry J. Kaiser-class oiler
Type: Fleet replenishment oiler
Tonnage: 31,200 deadweight tons
Displacement: 9,500 tons light
Full load variously reported as 42,382 tons and 40,700 long tons (41,353 metric tons)
Length: 677 ft (206 m)
Beam: 97 ft 5 in (29.69 m)
Draft: 35 ft (11 m) maximum
Installed power: 16,000 hp (11.9 MW) per shaft
34,442 hp (25.7 MW) sustained total
Propulsion: Two medium-speed Colt-Pielstick PC4-2/2 10V-570 diesel engines, twin shafts, controllable-pitch propellers
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/hr)
Capacity: 178,000 to 180,000 barrels of fuel oil and jet fuel
7,400 square feet dry cargo space and eight 20-foot refrigerated containers with room for 128 pallets
Complement: 103 (18 civilian officers, 1 U.S. Navy officer, 64 merchant seamen, 20 U.S. Navy enlisted personnel)
Armament: Peacetime: none
Wartime: probably 2 x 20-mm Phalanx CIWS
Aircraft carried: None
Aviation facilities: Helicopter landing platform
Notes: Five refueling stations
Two dry cargo transfer rigs

United States Naval Ship USNS Henry Eckford (T-AO-192) is a Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler of the United States Navy.

Henry Eckford, the sixth Henry J. Kaiser-class ship, was laid down by the Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 22 January 1987. Her construction encountered numerous problems. Although she was launched on 22 July 1989, her construction contract with Pennsylvania Shipbuilding was cancelled on 31 August 1989. Along with her unfinished sister ship USNS Benjamin Isherwood (T-AO-191), the incomplete Henry Eckford was towed to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia on 27 October 1989 for lay-up.

A new contract was awarded on 16 November 1989 to the Tampa Shipbuilding Company of Tampa, Florida, to complete Henry Eckford, and she was towed from Philadelphia to Tampa. However, construction problems continued, and that contract also was canceled, on 15 August 1993, when the ship was 84 percent complete. Cost overruns had run into the millions of U.S. dollars.

The Navy decided that completion of Henry Eckford as an oiler was no longer necessary, and considered converting her into an ammunition ship, but the conversion was found to be cost-prohibitive. Instead, the nearly complete Henry Eckford was turned over to the Maritime Administration and towed up the James River in Virginia, where she remains in reserve in the National Defense Reserve Fleet as part of the U.S. Navy's James River Reserve Fleet at Lee Hall, Virginia. She was struck from the Navy List on 10 November 1997, and her title was transferred to the Maritime Administration on 2 February 1998. She and Benjamin Isherwood were the only units of the 18-ship Henry J. Kaiser class not to be completed.


  • Jampoler, Andrew C.A. "Who Was Henry Eckford?" Naval History, December 2007, Pages 38-45.
  • This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.

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