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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Natchaug

 

A river in Connecticut.

 

(AOG–54: dp. 4,335: l. 310’9”; b. 48’6”; dr. 15’8”; s. 14 k.; cpl. 124; a. 4 3” ; cl. Patapsco.)

 

Natchaug (AOG–54) was laid down 15 August 1944 by Cargill, Inc., Savage, Minnesota; launched 6 December 1944; sponsored by Miss A. M. Moriarity; and commissioned 16 July 1945, Lt. Harry E. Goza, USNR, in command.

 

Following shakedown off the Gulf Coast, Natchaug took on her first cargo at Port, Arthur, Texas, in late August, and on the 28th got underway for the Pacific. She arrived at Pearl Harbor 30 September and on 5 October commenced shuttle runs to the other Hawaiian ports and to islands of the Central Pacific. During these. runs, which continued to the end of 1946, she carried petroleum products out and returned with contaminated fuels. In January, 1947, she was dispatched on an emergency run to supply Wake with bulk petroleum after the fuel lines and causeway between that island and Wilkes were damaged.

 

At the end of the month, Natchaug returned to supplying fuel and lubricants to bases at Midway, Johnston, Canton and Christmas Islands. On 2 September, she arrived at Guam to commence similar support of bases in the Marshalls, Marianas and Carolines. Operating from Guam, under ComNavMarianas, she serviced those bases until 18 February 1948, when she was assigned to ServRon 3 to provide support to Tsingtao and Yokosuka. On 3 April she returned to Guam to take up, once again, petroleum service in the Trust Territories. During this tour, her area was extended to include bases in the Palaus and the Admiralties.

 

Natchaug spent the first quarter of 1949 at San Francisco undergoing overhaul. Returning to Guam 16 ‘May, she resumed operations as a unit of ServDiv 51. Adding the Bonins, Volcanoes, Ryukyus and Japanese home islands to her mission of mobile fleet and base replenishment in the Trust Territories, she served ComNavMarianas until the spring of 1951 when she was reassigned to ServRon 3 to provide support to units of the 7th Fleet, TF 95, and TF 90 in the Sasebo, Japan, area. Between 14 March and 21 July she replenished Allied ships as they returned to Japan from the Korean Combat Zone, sailing once, in June, to refuel vessels in that zone at Soch’ong Do.

 

On leaving Japanese waters Natchaug operated briefly out of Guam once more and then headed toward Pearl Harbor, whence she continued to serve bases in the Central and South Pacific until February 1953. She then steamed north to provide services within the Alaskan Sea Frontier. Operating out of Adak, she plied the waters of the Aleutians until mid-May and then returned to Pearl Harbor via Seattle and San Francisco, arriving 22 June to resume her previous duties.

 

In February, 1955, her supply runs from Pearl Harbor were once more. interrupted as she sailed on convoy routing exercises which terminated at Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, on the 21st. She then supplied petroleum to ships and bases in the Philippine and Formosa area until the end of June.

 

On 28 July, after a visit to Hong Kong, Natchaug returned to Hawaii and again assumed the responsibility of supplying bases in the Central and South Pacific with fuel. She continued to operate out of Pearl Harbor, primarily employed on runs to the Marshalls and Marianas, until 2:3 February 1959, when she was ordered to prepare for inactivation. Decommissioning 24 July, 19,59, she was transferred to the government of Greece, under the terms of the Military Assistance Program, and struck from the Naval Register 1 August 1959. Commissioned in the Hellenic Navy as Arethousa (A–377), she continues to serve the Greek government into 1970.

 

Natchaug received one battle star for her service during the Korean Conflict.