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Neosho (AO 143) Class: Photographs

These photographs were selected to show the original configuration of this class and major subsequent modifications. For more views see the former NHHC (now Hyperwar) Online Library of Selected Images and the NavSource Photo Archive.

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

Navy Fleet Oiler

Model of a preliminary design, PR-1750, for what became the Neosho (AO 143) class presented on 10 May 1951 with a report to the Bureau of Ships by Bethlehem Steel Co., Shipbuilding Division, under its contract, NObs-2778, to produce that design. Bethlehem later got an order to build one of the six ships of the class. Note the absence of aviation (helicopter) facilities.

Photo No. None
Source: U.S. National Archives (RG-19 Entry P-37 Box 51)

  Preliminary design model of USS Neosho (AO 143)
USS Neosho (AO 143)

Identification photo taken by the Atlantic Fleet Camera Party, Norfolk, on 17 May 1955 about eight months after commissioning.

Photo No. FCP-11-9764-5-55
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file)

  USS Neosho (AO 143) on 17 May 1955
USS Hassayampa (AO 145)

Photographed by the Philadelphia Navy Yard in June 1955 about two months after commissioning.

Photo No. BUSHIPS 155760, NAID 7574238
Source: U.S. National Archives (RG-19-NN, negatives)

  USS Hassayampa (AO 146) in June 1955
USS Ponchatoula (AO 148)

Photographed by the Philadelphia Navy Yard in February 1956 about one month after commissioning.

Photo No. BUSHIPS 155776, NAID 7574374
Source: U.S. National Archives (RG-19-NN, negatives)

  USS Ponchatoula (AO 148) in February 1956
USS Kawishiwi (AO 146)

Replenishing the destroyers Floyd D. Parks (DD 884) and Orleck (DD 886) early in the oiler's career.

Photo No. USN 1039817
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file)

  USS Kawishiwi (AO 146)
USS Mississinewa (AO 144)

Photographed on or before 1 June 1959. She was modified around 1957 by the addition of a flight deck on the stern displacing the after 5"/38 mount and an enlargement of the forward end of the after deckhouse that displaced two of the ship's six 3"/50 twin mounts. Neosho received a similar flight deck at around this time but not the deckhouse enlargement. Both ships retained their forward 5"/38 gun mounts.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file)

  USS Mississinewa (AO 144) circa 1 June 1959
USS Neosho (AO 143)

At sea on 5 September 1962 with her flight deck and otherwise original after superstructure but without her forward 5"/38 gun mount. In around 1959-61 all six ships lost both 5"/38 gun mounts leaving them with six 3"/50 twin mounts (four in Mississinewa).

Photo No. USN 1063029
Source: Shipscribe

  USS Neosho (AO 143) on 5 September 1962
USS Mississinewa (AO 144)

Underway in April 1964 as modified in 1957 but without her forward 5"/38 gun mount. Note the helicopter on deck aft.

Photo No. KN-8311
Source: Shipscribe

  USS Mississinewa (AO 144) in April 1964
USS Ponchatoula (AO 148)

Underway off Oahu on 31 May 1965. Along with Hassayampa and Kawishiwi she has lost her two 5"/38 gun mounts, but she lacks the other main modifications made to the other three ships of the class including the flight deck aft and the after deckhouse enlargement.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (UA-164)

  USS Ponchatoula (AO 148) on 31 May 1965
USS Neosho (AO 143)

Photographed in the Mediterranean on 16 January 1974 by an aircraft from USS America (CVA 66). By around 1965 the forward end of her after deckhouse had been enlarged as in Mississinewa, displacing two 3"/50 twin mounts. Truckee was similarly modified.

Photo No. USN 1159352
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file)

  USS Neosho (AO 143) on 16 January 1974
USS Hassayampa (AO 145)

Underway off Diamond Head, Oahu, date unknown. By the mid-1970s Hassayampa, Kawishiwi, and Ponchatoula had lost their after two 3"/50 mounts but as shown here still lacked the flight deck and the enlarged after deckhouse of their three sisters.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (UA-164)

  USS Hassayampa (AO 145)
USS Mississinewa (T-AO 144)

Underway off the southern coast of Cuba on 24 February 1978. She had been transferred to MSC in 1976, her sisters followed in 1978-80. Modifications for MSC service included removal of all armament and replacement of the tall pedestals for the forward 3"/50 mounts with a large breakwater, although the base of the old 5"/38 position is still visible under the tip of the breakwater.

Photo No. USN 1172094
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file)

  USS Mississinewa (AO 144) on 24 February 1978
USS Truckee (T-AO 147)

Underway on 30 January 1980 around the time of her transfer to MSC. All armament has been removed but she is not yet wearing MSC stack markings. Note the flight deck aft, the empty gun positions fore and aft, and the enlarged after deckhouse.

Photo No. DN-SC-88-09164
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file)

  USS Truckee (AO 147) on 30 January 1980
USS Hassayampa (T-AO 145)

Underway in the Pacific on 15 October 1982 in MSC service. Probably because of the lack of a flight deck aft, her forecastle has been cleared and lines have been painted on the deck for a small helicopter pick-up area for vertical replenishments. Kawishiwi and probably Ponchatoula were similarly fitted.

Photo No. DN-SN-85-07597
Source: U.S. National Archives (RG-330)

  USS Hassayampa (AO 145) on 15 October 1982
USS Neosho (T-AO 143)

Underway circa 1985 in MSC service. Probably because the forecastle was not needed for VERTREP operations the tall pedestals for the forward 3"/50 mounts were left in place. Truckee was similarly fitted while in MSC service. All six ships went into MARAD layup in 1991-92.

Photo No. DN-SC-85-08549
Source: U.S. National Archives (RG-330)

  USS Neosho (AO 143) circa 1985
SCB Project No. 217

This design, developed in 1960-61 for the FY 1962 and then the FY 1963 building programs, was similar to the AO 143 class but had a higher speed and a third boiler. This rough sketch appears to show the design just after the Ship Characteristics Board added a helicopter platform in September 1960. The SCB 217 AO was replaced in the building program by the AOR 1 class.

Photo No. None
Source: U.S. National Archives (RG-19) Entry P 26 box 21

  Sketch of SCB Project No. 217