Quick Links Menu.

USS Neosho (AO 143).
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class: NEOSHO (AO 143)
Design: SCB Project No. 82
Displacement (tons): 11,600 light, 38,000 full
Dimensions (feet): 655' oa, 640' wl x 86' e/wl x 35' max nav
Original Armament: 2-5"/38S, 6-3"/50T, plus 6-20mmT in 143-45 and 148
Later Armaments: (143, 144: 1957) 1-5"/38S, 6-3"/50T except 4-3"/50T in 144; (all less 144: 1959-61) 6-3"50T; (144: 1961, 143: 1965, 147: 1969, 145-146 and 148: 1976) 4-3"/50T; (148: 1979) 2-3"/50T
Accommodations: 21 officers, 303 enlisted
Speed (kts.): 20
Propulsion (HP): 28,000
Machinery: Geared steam turbines, 2 boilers (600psi/675deg), 2 screws

143NEOSHO24 Aug 1951Bethlehem, Quincy2 Sep 195210 Nov 195324 Sep 1954
144MISSISSINEWA28 Jan 1952NYSB4 May 195312 Jun 195418 Jan 1955
145HASSAYAMPA28 Feb 1952NYSB13 Jul 195312 Sep 195419 Apr 1955
146KAWISHIWI28 Jan 1952NYSB5 Oct 195311 Dec 19546 Jul 1955
147TRUCKEE28 Feb 1952NYSB21 Dec 195310 Mar 195523 Nov 1955
148PONCHATULA28 Jan 1952NYSB1 Mar 19549 Jul 195512 Jan 1956

AONameTDecommStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale/Depart
143NEOSHOTr10 Aug 199216 Feb 19941 May 1999MA/T18 Dec 2004
144MISSISSINEWATr30 Jul 199116 Feb 19941 May 1999MA/T30 Jan 2007/D
145HASSAYAMPATr2 Oct 199116 Feb 19941 May 1999MA/T7 May 2014
146KAWISHIWITr31 Jul 19927 Nov 19941 May 1999MA/T1 May 2014
147TRUCKEETr21 Oct 199118 Jul 19941 May 1999MA/T6 Aug 2008/D
148PONCHATULATr1 Apr 199231 Aug 19921 May 1999MA/T28 Apr 2014

Class Notes:
Approved characteristics for a new construction fleet oiler (AO), SCB Project No. 82, were promulgated on 20 May 1953 and updated on 18 April 1958. AO 145 and 147 were ordered from Ingalls on 28 Jan 1952 but that contract was cancelled on 28 Feb 1952 and they were reassigned on the same date to NYSB. As of late 1954 the draft FY 1956 shipbuilding program included one SCB Project 82 AO. Approved characteristics for a fleet oiler (AO), SCB Project No. 82A, were promulgated on 21 October 1957 with a single change on 12 November 1957 but no additional ships were built.

On 14 May 1959 a team from the Preliminary Design Branch of BUSHIPS (Code 421) visited AO 147 and AO 143 to get their crews' reactions to this relatively new AO type in connection with new design work in progress(notably the AOE type). They learned that the AO 143 type ships had experienced no difficulty in replenishing operations in up to force 4 winds due to poor seakeeping or lack of stability and that roll stabilization features were unnecessary. The ships had, however, experienced major trouble with green water inundating the main deck and even the forecastle, smashing up and completely disrupting the deck load cargo of AvGas drums and pressurized gas cylinders on the main deck and causing structural damage on the forecastle. The ships suggested that the main deck forward be enclosed. Visibility from the bridge was considered fine since the removal of the forward centerline mounted 5" gun. The most serious criticisms related to the machinery plant. Opinion was unanimous that the ships were underpowered in backing, that the two boilers were insufficient, and that the ship service generators were inadequate to the extent that starting up the fire room forced draft blowers created a serious power drop on the line followed by a power surge that burned out lights and electronic components. The Executive Officer of NEOSHO summarized the general feeling concenting the machinery plant by called it "archaic." When shown the AOE design the officers of the two ships endorsed most of its features except the 40-foot draft, which they pointed out was too much for nearly all harbors on the U.S. East Coast, including Norfolk, to handle.

A March 1961 draft of the FY 1963 program included a new oiler (AO). Approved characteristics for an oiler (AO), SCB Project No. 217, were promulgated on 20 September 1961 without later changes. The design for Project 217 was very similar to the original AO 143 class except for a greater beam (94 ft), the removal of the AVGAS fuel transfer station (the only one forward of the bridge), and the upgrading of the three transfer rigs between the bridge and the after deckhouse to three M-frames like those in AOE 1. The armament was four twin 3"/50 mounts located at the corners of the after deckhouse. The ship was soon competing in budget planning with the AOR, causing the SCB to protest in October 1961 that the AO carried more NSFO (the fuel most needed by the fleet) than the AOR and was somewhat less expensive. The AOR prevailed in FY 1964 and FY 1965.

Ship Notes:
143NEOSHOFY 1952. To MSC 25 May 1978. To MA custody in JRRF 12 Aug 1992. Departed JRRF to Brownsville 9 Feb 2005, move completed 4 Mar 2005. BU completed 8 Nov 2005.
144MISSISSINEWAFY 1952. To MSC 15 Nov 1976. To MA custody in JRRF 30 Jul 1991. Departed JRRF to Brownsville 30 Jan 2007. BU completed 11 Feb 2008 by ISL.
145HASSAYAMPAFY 1952. To MSC 17 Nov 1978. To MA custody in SBRF 14 Nov 1991. Departed NDRF 29 May 2014 for breakers (All Star Metals)
146KAWISHIWIFY 1952. To MSC 10 Oct 1979. To MA custody in JRRF 16 Sep 1992. Departed 12 Jun 2014 for breakers (Int’l. SBr Ltd.).
147TRUCKEEFY 1952. To MSC 30 Jan 1980. To MA custody in JRRF 12 Dec 1991. Departed 6 Aug 2008 for breakers (Bay Bridge Enterprises, Chesapeake, VA)
148PONCHATULAFY 1952. To MSC 5 Sep 1980. To MA custody in SBRF 2 Apr 1992. Departed 15 May 2014 for breakers (Int’l. SBr Ltd.).

Page Notes:
Compiled: 18 Sep 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Sources: Thomas Wildenberg, Gray Steel and Black Oil (Annapolis, 1996)