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Cache

 

A river in Arkansas.

 

(AO-67: displacement 5,730 tons; length 523'6"; beam 68'; draft 30'10"; speed 15 knots; cargo capacity 120,400 barrels oil, 575,000 gallons gasoline; complement 225; armament 1 5-inch gun, 4 3-inch guns, 4 twin 40mm mounts; class Suamico)

 

Cache (AO-67) was launched 7 September 1942 as Stillwater by Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pa., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. J. Cook; acquired by the Navy 28 September 1942; converted at Maryland Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Baltimore, Md.; commissioned 3 November 1942, Lieutenant Commander P. Anderson, USNR, in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.

 

From 11 December 1942 to 25 February 1943, Cache carried oil from Gulf ports to Norfolk, Va., and Argentia, Nfld. She cleared Norfolk 19 March for Bay-town, Tex., where she loaded diesel oil for Bora Bora, Society Islands, and Noumea. She returned from the South Pacific to San Pedro, Calif., for repairs 26 May.

 

Returning to Noumea 8 July 1943, Cache operated between Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal until 4 August. Duty as station tanker at Efate and Espiritu Santo continued into December, when she sailed to refuel ships at sea. While returning to Espiritu Santo on 22 January 1944, Cache was struck in the port side by a submarine torpedo. One man was killed, and Cache was severely damaged, but was able to make port under her own power. After temporary repairs, she sailed for San Pedro, Calif., for permanent repairs.

 

Cache returned to duty at Eniwetok 20 June 1944 to begin almost continuous participation in the operations that forced the Japanese back across the Pacific to their homeland and ended the war. First came the Marianas operation, including the capture of Tinian, for which she fueled ships at sea in July and August 1944. Based at Manus from 26 August, Cache provided essential fuel for the attacks on, and invasion of, the western Caroline Islands, then based at Kossol Roads and Ulithi to support the ships which brought the war back to the Philippines in the assaults on Leyte and Luzon in fall and winter 1944-45. Continuing to operate from Ulithi, she fueled TF 51 for the invasion of Iwo Jima, then put to sea for the great task force raids which prepared the way for, and supported, the Okinawa operation. Later she operated in Okinawan waters, bringing fuel through the hazards of kamikaze attacks unscathed. She ended her war service in July 1945 as she sailed with the mighty 3d Fleet in its final stunning blows against the Japanese home islands. After carrying fuel to Tokyo Bay in September, she returned to the west coast, and on 14 January 1946 was decommissioned at San Francisco.

 

Cache was transferred to the Maritime Commission in June 1946, but reacquired by the Navy 10 February 1948. Assigned to the Naval Transportation Service, she carried oil from Bahrein to Japan and the west coast until 1 October 1949, when she was transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service. She continued to operate in a noncommissioned status until May 1972 when she went out of service and moved into Maritime Administration custody. The old oiler was finally struck from the Navy list on 31 March 1986 and officially transferred to the Maritime Administration for disposal on 2 February 1987.

 

Cache received eight battle stars for World War II service.


18 April 2005