U. S. Navy Auxiliary Vessels
The new fast combat support ship USS Sacramento (AOE-1) with the equally new combat store ship Mars (AFS-1) and the oil-stained FRAM-II destroyer Walke (DD-723) alongside, probably during pre-deployment training for a Westpac cruise that started on 27 November 1964. Walke has a highline over amidships while Mars has only a phone and distance line over forward and may be breaking away. Sacramento was nearly as large as an Iowa-class battleship and had half of the propulsion plant of one, the incomplete Kentucky (BB-66). Photo no. USN 1105513 released 24 December 1964.
Under Construction (Hard Hat Area)
This is a supplement to the auxiliary vessels portion of the Shipscribe site that takes it up to 1979. Work began in July 2021 and in its initial phases it is largely empty and the information that is posted is incomplete. It is posted primarily to assist in its production, and at this point the data it contains are incomplete and subject to change. It is expected to take several years to complete.
The Navy added a new generation of auxiliary vessels to the fleet during the 1950s and early 1960s, but fiscal constraints largely caused by the increasing intensity of the Vietnam War brought auxiliary vessel procurement to a near stop by the end of the 1960s. The addition of World War II-era ships to the auxiliary fleet also ended in 1969 with Marshfield (AK 282), a Victory ship converted to transport fleet ballistic missiles. Only a few new auxiliary ships were added during the 1970s, some because of concern within OSD over the aging of the force rather than because the Navy asked for them. This supplement concludes with Fiscal Year 1979 procurement at the end of this slow period. When acquisitions began to pick up in Fiscal 1980 the types procured were quite different, and beginning in the mid-1990s the Navy decided to move away altogether from operating its own auxiliary vessel force as it had in World War II, relying instead on the civilian-manned Military Sealift Command and on contract shipping.
As does the main site, this supplement provides for each ship its name and classification, technical specifications, and procurement history, along with dates of and other relevant data on construction, commissioning, and disposal. Most career details, notably operational history, are outside the scope of this work. Ships are listed by type using standard U. S. Navy classifications (AD: Destroyer Tender, etc.) and class. To proceed to the ship class pages, click "Temporary Entrance" above or click on the photograph at the top of this page to access the main ship type page. The Quick Links Menu referenced inside this draft supplement is an alphabetical listing of ship types with direct links to them.
Whenever possible, a representative photograph has been provided for each ship class whith more photos to be provided in the future on special photo pages. The photos are primarily from the U. S. Naval History and Heritage Command and from other Navy sources, although documentation on these and other photos, including photo numbers and dates, is not as complete as for the period up to 1945 because many of the originals have not been cataloged. Unlike the other information on this site, all of which is copyright © by Stephen S. Roberts, all photographs that originated from U.S. Government collections or that have U.S. Government file numbers are believed to be in the public domain.
Page made 9 July 2021