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Patapsco

 

A river in Maryland rising in Carroll County and emptying into Chesapeake Bay.

 

VI

 

(AOG–1: dp. 4,142 (f.); l. 310’9”; b. 48’6”, dr. 15’8”; s. 14 k.; cpl. 149; a. 4 3”; cl. Patapsco)

 

The sixth Patapsco (AOG–1) was laid down 25 May 1942 by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co., Seattle, Wash.; launched 18 August 1942; sponsored by Mrs. W. S. Zane; and commissioned 4 February 1943, Lt. A. J. Church in command.

 

Less than three weeks after commissioning, Patapsco departed San Francisco in convoy for Pearl Harbor. From there, on 27 March, she steamed southwest to New Caledonia, whence she transported gasoline and other petroleum products to ships and bases in the Solomons and New Hebrides until November 1944. In December, after availability at Auckland, N.Z., she returned to the Solomons, remaining until 12 May 1945, when she departed Guadalcanal for the Western Caro lines. Based on Ulithi from 19 May until the end of the war, she shuttled POL products to the Palaus, and, once, to Saipan. After the war, she continued her Ulithi-Palau runs, then, in November, shifted her base to Guam whence she distributed fuel and light freight and carried passengers amongst the Marianas.

 

On 19 February 1946, she sailed east, and, after stopping at San Francisco, transited the Panama Canal and arrived at New Orleans for inactivation 3 May. Decommissioning 29 May 1946, she was later assigned to the Texas Group, Atlantic Researve Fleet and berthed at Orange, Tex.

 

Following the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, Patapsco was reactivated. She recommissioned 19 October 1950 and, after overhaul at Norfolk, got underway for the Pacific 3 March 1951. Arriving at Pearl Harbor 9 April, she conducted fuel runs to Midway until 23 February 1952. Then, after a run to the Marshalls, the tanker sailed for Japan, arriving 25 April. Four days later she was under way to fuel vessels off the coast of the embattled Korean Peninsula and on her return took up station tanker duties at Sasebo. In late October, she shifted to Yokosuka, whence she sailed, 7 November, for Pearl Harbor.

 

With the new year, 1953, Patapsco resumed gasoline shuttle service to Midway and the Marshalls. On 6 August she sailed west again, this time to the Philippines, whence she carried aviation gasoline to Saigon, returning to Pearl Harbor 7 December. Until 1955, Patapsco served in Hawaiian waters with infrequent cruises to Midway, the Marshalls, the Aleutians, and the west coast. On 2 March 1955, she departed Pearl Harbor for Astoria, Ore., and inactivation. Decommissioning 29 June 1955, she was assigned to the Columbia River Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet until 1 July 1960 when she was struck from the Navy List and transferred to the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet.

 

Reinstated on the Navy List in the fall of 1965 and recommissioned a third time 18 June 1966, Patapsco was again assigned to the Pacific Fleet and homeported at Pearl Harbor. She completed refresher training in early September and on the 26th got underway for Subic Bay, P.I., with jet fuel, aviation gasoline, and motor gasoline, Arriving 15 October, she soon departed to deliver, once again, vital POL supplies to a combat zone. Until mid-February 1967, with interruptions for R&R at Hong Kong and availability at Subic, she operated off Viet Nam under ComNavSupAct, Da Nang, Hue, and Cua Viet.

 

She steamed back to Pearl Harbor, arriving 16 March. Upkeep, availability, and training and operational exercises followed and on 20 September she got underway for Guam, Subic Bay, and another tour off Viet Nam. Completing that tour 25 April 1968, she remained in the Hawaiian area until 11 November, when she again headed west for duty off Viet Nam. In 1969 she has conducted POL support operations at Da Nang and Cua Viet.

 

Patapsco received one battle star for her World War II service and another for Korean service.