Return to DANFS IndexImage of an anchorReturn to Naval Historical Center homepage
flag banner
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships banner
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Rio Grande


A river in the southwestern United States, forming part of the Mexican boundary and flowing from the San Juan mountains in southwest Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico.


(AOG - 3: displacement 4,142; length 3109; beam 486; draft 154; speed 14 knots; complement 133; armament 4 3; class Patapsco)


Gasoline tanker Rio Grande (AOG-3) was laid down 30 June 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co., Seattle, Wash.; launched 23 September 1942; sponsored by Mrs. R. D. Kirkpatrick; and commissioned 10 April 1943, Lt. Comdr. Lawrence J. Hasse, USNR, in command.


Following shakedown Rio Grande was assigned to the Pacific Fleet as a unit of the mobile support group and carried petroleum products to help provide the lifeline of fuel for the fighting ships of the fleet in their advance toward Japan. After the end of World War II, she continued to operate with Service Force, Pacific Fleet until she decommissioned 28 June 1946.


In April 1948, she was transferred to Norfolk, Va., and placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Rio Grande recommissioned 12 October 1950, Lt. Milton L. Elchinger in command. Early the next year she resumed her mission of providing petroleum logistic support in the mid-Pacific. In September 1952 she began 7 months of service in the western Pacific, supplying gasoline and diesel oil to U.N. forces in Japan and Korea, with an occasional run to French Indochina. She returned to Pearl Harbor in May 1953 and resumed her fueling duties there. The following March she sailed for Alaskan waters and 7 weeks of service transporting fuel between Shemya Island and the Alaskan mainland before returning to the mid-Pacific.


Rio Grande decommissioned at San Diego, Calif., 6 January 1956. On 30 June 1960 she entered the Maritime Administration Reserve Fleet at Puget Sound, Olympia, Wash., where she remained until sold on 7 February 1972 to General Metals, Tacoma, Wash.

29 September 2005