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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Savannah

 

A large city on the east coast of Georgia.

 

V

 

(AOR-4: dp. 41,351 (f.); l. 658'2"; b. 96'; dr. 33'; s. 20 k.; cpl. 374; a. 2 3"; cl. Wichita)

 

The fifth Savannah was laid down on 22 January 1969 by the Quincy Shipbuilding Division, General Dynamics Corporation, Quincy, Mass.; launched on 23 April 1970; sponsored by Mrs. Ralph L. Shifley, wife of Vice Admiral R. L. Shifley, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations; and commissioned on 5 December 1970, Capt. Bernard P. Williams, Jr., in command.

 

Following shakedown out of Guantanamo Bay, Savannah proceeded to her homeport, Norfolk. Arriving on 12 May, she completed post-shakedown availability on 9 August, and prepared for deployment to the Mediterranean.

 

Savannah departed Norfolk on 20 September. En route to Rota, Spain, she refueled ships participating in a Caribbean exercise. After reporting to the 6h Fleet on 8 October, Savannah operated in Task Group 60.1; and, by the end of the year, she had replenished 178 ships.

 

Savannah continued to operate with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean until early March 1972. On 9 March, she headed west for Norfolk and arrived there eight days later. Her stay in the United States, however, was cut short by the exigencies of the Vietnam War. On 25 April, she exited the Chesapeake Bay and, four days later, transited the Panama Canal. Savannah arrived in Subic Bay, P.I., on 20 May and began a five-month tour replenishing the fleet along the coast of Vietnam. She made six line swings to the Gulf of Tonkin during this time. Each swing was punctuated by a 4-6 day load out period in Subic Bay.

 

Savannah departed Subic Bay on 5 November, bound for Norfolk. She transited the Panama Canal on 4 December and arrived at Norfolk on the 8th. Savannah operated out of Norfolk, along the Atlantic seaboard and in the Caribbean, for almost all of 1973. On 3 December 1973, she again headed eastward to join the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. From 12 December until late May 1974, she supported units of the 6th Fleet on-station in the Mediterranean. On 3 June 1974, she re-entered Norfolk and, as of mid-June, remains in port there.

 

Savannah earned one battle star and a Meritorious Unit Commendation for service in the Vietnam War.

 

 


Savannah (AOR-4) on preliminary trials off the New England coast in 1970. She is outwardly similar to Sacramento (AOE-1) (page 224) and, like her, carries a varied cargo of fuel, ammunition, and supplies. Savannah is, however, considerably smaller and has seven knots less speed. While the AOE was designed specifically with fast carrier task forces in mind, the AOR is intended to replenish other types of naval surface forces.