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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Chuckawan

 

A river in Alaska.

 

(AO-100: dp. 7,470; l. 553'; b. 45'; dr. 32'4"; s. 18 k.; cpl. 304; a. 1 5", 4 3"; cl. Cimarron)

 

Chuckawan (AO-100) was launched 28 August 1945 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Sparrows Point, Md.; sponsored by Miss M. McCrea; commissioned 22 January 1946, Commander G. H. Burrows, USNR, in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.

 

From the time of her commissioning through 1963, Chukawan has helped give the U.S. Fleet its unique mobility. From her home port at Norfolk, Va., she has repeatedly sailed to fuel ships operating in exercises along the coast, to transport oil products overseas and to carry oil from producing regions. Among her most important duties have been her cruises with the formidable 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. These deployments occurred in 1947, 1950, 1951-52, 1954, 1955-56, 1957, 1958, and 1960, and were occasions for visits to a variety of Mediterranean ports, as well as participation in the operations by which the 6th Fleet has repeatedly checked Communist moves in this ancient center of civilization.

 

Two of these were of special international significance. The first came in November 1956, upon the outbreak of the Suez crisis, when she sailed from Norfolk on short notice with a carrier task force assigned to stand by in the eastern Atlantic should American strength in the Mediterranean need enhancement. Her second dramatic incident occurred through her service to 6th Fleet ships during the Lebanon crisis of summer, 1958, when such support as hers made possible the landing of Marines on the shortest possible notice in an operation which kept the peace in the Near East at a most explosive moment in history.