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USS Aroostook (AOG-14) in late April 1943
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Class: AROOSTOOK (AOG-14)
Design Small tanker, 1938
Displacement (tons): 1,007 light, 3,570 full
Dimensions (feet): 259.75' oa, 251.8' wl x 43.5' x 18.25 full
Original Armament: 1-3"/50 4-20mm
Later armaments: --
Complement 52 (1944)
Speed (kts.): 10.5
Propulsion (HP): 1,300
Machinery: 1 screw, 2 diesels, electric drive
||1 Apr 43
||Newport News SB & DD
||15 Sep 37
||8 Dec 37
||18 Apr 43
||18 Jan 45
||28 Apr 49
||18 Jan 45
FY 1943. FY 1943. In April 1937 the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey ordered the motor oil barge ESSO DELIVERY No. 11 from Newport News. Of all-welded construction, the vessel had six main cargo tanks divided by a centerline longitudinal bulkhead and was certified for service in Chesapeake Bay and for short coastal voyages.
On 10 Mar 43 the Auxiliary Vessels Board reported that operations in the Mediterranean area required the use of additional shallow draft tankers to distribute light petroleum products in bulk to ports of limited depth. Representatives of the Maritime Commission and the Army-Navy Petroleum Board had recommended three coastwise tankers possessing suitable characteristics, ESSO DELIVERY #11, NEW YORK SOCONY, and VEEDOL #2. The Board recommended that these be purchased, manned by Navy crews, and given a limited conversion to provide crew quarters and an adequate armament. On the same day the Secretary of the Navy asked the Maritime Commission to provide the ships. On 16 Mar 43 VCNO advised the Bureaus that arrangements had been made to purchase the ships and directed that they be given the limited conversion recommended by the Auxiliary Vessels Board and that their crews be kept to the lowest possible minimum.
AOG 14-16 were rushed to Europe after short conversion periods and then saw hard service carrying gasoline and diesel fuel between North African ports and supporting invasion operations in Italy with little opportunity for proper maintenance. AOG-14 was at Bari, Italy, on 2 Dec 43 with a full cargo of gasoline when a large enemy air strike caught the port by surprise; unlike many other ships she escaped without major damage. On 10 May 44 the Munitions Committee (Navy) approved the assignment of AOG 14-16 to the French National Committee. On 16 Nov 44 Commander 8th Fleet ordered the three ships decommissioned and transferred to the French. The transfers took place a month or two later.
||Ex merc. ESSO DELIVERY NO.11 (completed 8 Feb 38). Converted by Bethlehem Steel Co., Key Highway, Baltimore, 3- 20 Apr 43. To France at Bizerte under Lend-Lease 18 Jan 45 as LAC PAVIN. Returned and sold to France by FLC 21 Mar 49. Condemned by French Navy 2 May 53, used as accommodation ship, scrapped 1959 as Q-118.
Compiled: 14 Aug 2010
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2010