Cuyama (AO-3) Class: Photographs

These photographs were selected to show the original configuration of this class and major subsequent modifications. For most classes many other photographs exist.
For more complete online collections of U. S. Navy ship photographs see in particular the NHHC Online Library of Selected Images and the NavSource Photo Archive.

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

"Fuel Ship 1917 Bldg. Program" ... September 1915

Preliminary design plan prepared for the Navy Department during consideration of a design for a fuel ship (oil carrier) to be included in the Fiscal Year 1917 program, which became Brazos (Fuel Ship No. 16). The drawing essentially represents Cuyama (Fuel Ship No. 15) after the rig was reduced from four masts (probably for handling coal) to two masts and before the bridge was moved from right forward to nearer amidships.
This plan provides four 5-inch guns, steam machinery and a speed of 14 knots in a ship 455 feet long on the water line, 56 feet in beam, with a displacement of 14,500 tons.

The original plan is in the 1911-1925 "Spring Styles Book" of the Bureau of Construction & Repair.

Photo No. S-584-086
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (from the Online Library).

 
USS Cuyama (Fuel Ship No. 13)

Near the Mare Island Navy Yard circa late March 1917, probably on trials.
Her armament of 4-5"/50 guns has not yet been installed.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.

 
USS Cuyama (AO-3)

Probably photographed soon after World War I.
Her forward 5"/50 guns are fitted with shields. Note also the fire control positions mounted on kingposts fore and aft, a feature not found in other ships of this class.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.

 
USS Cuyama (AO-3)

Photographed on 2 May 1927.
Note the absence of platforms for two 3-inch AA guns amidships that were fitted in the three later ships of this class. Her forward fire control position has been removed.

Photo No. NH 55545
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.

 
USS Brazos (AO-4)

Photographed circa the 1920s.
This ship was completed without armament as a cost-cutting measure, although platforms for two 3" AA guns were fitted amidships.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-E.

 
USS Neches (AO-5)

Photographed in the 1920s or 1930s.
This ship is carrying her full designed armament of 4-5"/51 and 2-3"/50 AA guns.

Photo No. NH 69431
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.

 
USS Pecos (AO-6)

Photographed in the 1920s or 1930s.
Like Neches, Pecos received her full armament during construction. These four ships stowed some of their boats forward of the bridge.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: Shipscribe.

 
USS Cuyama (AO-3)

Near the Mare Island Navy Yard on 30 June 1941 partially repainted.
The many alterations made at around this time included the addition of two 3-inch AA gun platforms amidships and the replacement of her 5"/50 guns with the newer 5"/51 model+.

Photo No. 19-N-25670
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM.

 
USS Neches (AO-5)

Near the Mare Island Navy Yard on 29 August 1941.
Modifications included the addition of positions for two more 3" AA guns on the bow and stern.

Photo No. 19-N-25775
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM.

 
USS Brazos (AO-4)

Near the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 3 March 1944.
She has been rearmed with 1-5"/38 gun forward, two twin 40mm mounts amidships, and two more 40mm mounts and another 5"/38 on the stern.

Photo No. 19-N-61606
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM.

 
USS Cuyama (AO-3)

Off the U.S. Naval Station, Seattle, Washington, on 25 May 1944.
Her updated armament includes 5"/38 guns forward and aft.

Photo No. 19-N-65587
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM.