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USNS Yukon (T-AO 152).
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Class: MAUMEE (T-AO 149)
Design: MA T5-S-12a
Displacement (tons): 7,814 light, 34,757 full
Dimensions (feet): 620' oa, 600' wl x 84' e/wl x 34' max nav, 32' limit
Accommodations: 17 officers, 35 unlicensed
Speed (kts.): 18
Propulsion (HP): 18,600
Machinery: Geared steam turbines, 2 boilers (600psi/850deg), 1 screw
|149||MAUMEE||19 Nov 1954||Sun SB & DD||8 Mar 1955||15 Nov 1955||17 Dec 1956|
|150||POTOMAC||19 Nov 1954||Sun SB & DD||9 Jun 1955||8 Oct 1956||30 Jan 1957|
|151||SHOSHONE||19 Nov 1954||Sun SB & DD||15 Aug 1955||17 Jan 1957||15 Apr 1957|
|152||YUKON||22 Nov 1954||Ingalls SB, Pascagoula||16 May 1955||16 Mar 1956||17 May 1957|
|149||MAUMEE||T||2 Oct 1985/C||13 Apr 1992||23 Dec 1994||MA/T||23 Jan 2007/D|
|150||POTOMAC||T||--||26 Sep 1961||27 Sep 1961||Lost||--|
|151||SHOSHONE||T||10 Feb 1984||None?||1 Oct 1994||MA/T||15 Jan 2014|
|152||YUKON||T||20 Oct 1985||13 Apr 1992||18 Sep 1995||Navy sale||--|
On 15 May 1951 MARAD Administrator Vice Admiral Cochrane (the wartime Chief of BUSHIPS) wrote to SECNAV asking the opinion of the Navy regarding a proposed Government-sponsored building program to provide tankers of relatively higher speeds to respond to expected requirements in an emergency. During the Korean War there was a severe tanker shortage, and MARAD eventually announced the building of 15 tankers that would be operated by MSTS and a tanker charter program. Only five of these tankers were built, T-AO 149-152 (for MSTS) and the later experimental T-AO 165 (for MARAD). They were T5 (600-650 foot wl) pipeline (point-to-point) types capable of 18 knots with a 190,000 barrel capacity.
The MSTS Long-Range Ship Construction Program of 1954 included the T-AO 149 class along with seven specialized ships: T-AK 269 (later LSV-7), AKD-1, AK 270-272, and AOG 81-82. It became part of the Navy's FY 1955 shipbuilding program. On 27 August 1954 MARAD mailed out to shipyards invitations to bid on the four tankers but on 3 September BUSHIPS asked MARAD to recall the invitations pending the availability of new plans and specifications. BUSHIPS delivered the revised plans and specifications to MARAD on 11 October 1954 and the contracts were concluded in November. The first of the four ships, MAUMEE (T-AO 149), was accepted by the MA at Chester, placed in service on 17 December 1956, and put under contract operation by Marine Transport Lines, Inc. MAUMEE was the first ship to be constructed from the keel up as a USNS ship.
Late in the afternoon of 26 September 1961 at the Radio Island fuel terminal across from the port of Morehead City, N.C., crews had begun the process of pumping cargo aviation fuel from the just-arrived POTOMAC (T-AO 150) into large holding tanks on shore when the midsection of the tanker suddenly burst into flames. After fighting the blaze for more than 12 hours, the decision was made to let the fire burn itself out, and six days later the fire was considered extinguished. The conflagration destroyed all but the stern of the ship. Official reports said that it appeared that a seal leak during the discharge of the fuel through a suction valve allowed some fuel to spill down the side of the tanker and into the Newport River, and that a lantern used by fishermen at a nearby train trestle that fell overboard or a cigarette butt tossed into the water lit the trail of fuel taking it back to the tanker. The stern with its intact propulsion plant was salvaged and joined to a new bow/midsection to became SS SHENANDOAH, later USNS POTOMAC (T-AO 181, q.v.).
In 1978 the navy created the new classification symbol AOT, "Transport Oiler," for the MSC tankers that carried oil from point to point rather than delivering it to fleet units. On 14 Sep 1978 effective 30 Sep 1978 CNO reclassified T-AO 149, 181, 151, and 152 to AOT 149, 181, 151, and 152.
|149||MAUMEE||38||FY 1955. To MA custody 2 Oct 1985 (RRF in JRRF, to BRF Sep 1986 after yard period, to NDRF retention Apr 1987). Held as spares for AO 181 until to non-retention Jan 2004. Departed BRF 23 Jan 2007 for breakers (ESCO Marine, Brownsville). BU completed 22 Jun 2007.|
|150||POTOMAC||39||FY 1955. Lost by fire and explosion pierside at the Aviation Fuel Annex, Radio Island, Moorehead NC, 26 Sep 1961 (reported 270253Z). Assignment to MSTS terminated 28 Sep 1961. Ravaged bow section offered for sale 24 Sep 1962 with bids to be opened 18 Oct 1962, sold Mar 1963. Stern sold 7 Oct 1963 to Keystone Shipping Co. under a contract that required rebuilding the ship and bareboat chartering her to MSC. New midbody and bow completed by Newport News, ship renamed SHENANDOAH and bareboat chartered to MSC 11 Dec 1964. See AOT 181.|
|151||SHOSHONE||40||FY 1955. To MA custody 10 Feb 1984 (RRF in SBRF). Activated 24 Feb 1991 for Desert Storm, back to RRF Mar 1991 and to NDRF (retention) 1 Oct 1994. To non-retention 1 Oct 2004. Scrapping contract with ESCO Marine effective 15 Jan 2014 (signed by company 27 Jan.) BU completed 18 Aug 2014.|
|152||YUKON||41||FY 1955. To MA custody Oct 1985 (RRF in JRRF, to BRF Jan 1986, to NDRF retention Apr 1987). Name cancelled 9 May 1989 for reassignment to T-AO 202 though still used by MA for T-AO 152. Sold by Navy to Rig Ventures, Brownsville, withdrawn from NDRF (Navy non-retention) 21 Nov 1995 to BU.|
Compiled: 18 Sep 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Special sources: NARA: RG428 FS/A1-1