USS Kennebec (AO-36)

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USS Kennebec
Career (US)
Name: USS Kennebec
Namesake: Kennebec River
Ordered: 1 November 1939
Builder: Bethlehem Sparrows Point Shipyard
Laid down: 12 August 1940
Launched: 19 April 1941
Acquired: 13 January 1942
Commissioned: 4 February 1942
Decommissioned: 29 June 1970
Struck: 15 July 1976
Motto: Service God, Country, Fleet
Honors and
1 battle star (World War II)
7 campaign stars (Vietnam)
Fate: Scrapped, 1982
General characteristics
Class and type: Kennebec-class fleet oiler
Displacement: 21,100 long tons (21,439 t)
Length: 501 ft 6 in (152.86 m)
Beam: 68 ft (21 m)
Draft: 30 ft 2 in (9.19 m)
Propulsion: Geared turbine, single screw, 12,000 hp (8,948 kW)
Speed: 16.5 kn (30.6 km/h)
Capacity: 134,000 barrels
Complement: 214
Armament: • 1 × single 5"/38 caliber dual purpose gun
• 4 × single 3"/50 caliber dual purpose guns
• 4 × twin Bofors 40 mm guns
• 4 × twin 20 mm Oerlikons

USS Kennebec (AO-36) was originally the SS Corsicana, a T2 tanker that was built by Bethlehem Sparrows Point Shipyard in Sparrows Point, Maryland. It was delivered to Socony-Vacuum Oil Company on August 8, 1941. It was purchased by the United States Navy on 13 January 1942 and renamed Kennebec.

Service history

The fleet oiler later had an eventful career, in so far as it was decommissioned four times and struck twice from the Naval Vessel Register. Kennebec was decommissioned on 4 September 1950 at San Diego, California, and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet for only four months. It was already recommissioned on 11 January 1951, at Oakland, California, with Commander A.G. Beckman in command. On 25 September 1954 it was decommissioned, again at San Diego and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group. The next time it was recommissioned on 14 December 1956, Cdr. Naden F. Stimac commanding the ship, only to be decommissioned again on 31 October 1957. This time the ship was struck from the Naval Register on 14 January 1959 and transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet. However, Kennebec was reacquired by the U.S. Navy and recommissioned on 16 December 1961. It served the Pacific Fleet during the Vietnam War up to 1970.

The ship decommissioned for the last time on 29 June 1970 at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Mare Island, Vallejo, California, and transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet. Kennebec was then struck from the Naval Register on 15 July 1976. On 6 April 1982 it was sold by MARAD to Levin Metals Corporation for $180,077.00, and subsequently scrapped.


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