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(AO-26: dp. 7,500; l. 553'; b. 75'; dr. 30'1" (mean); s. 18 k.; cpl. 240; a. 4 5", 12 20mm., 8 1.1"; cl. Cimarron)

A river in Jay County, Indiana; tributary of the Wabash River.

Salamonie (AO-26) was laid down on 5 February 1940 under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 13) as Esso Columbia by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newport News, Va.; launched on 18 September 1940; sponsored by Mrs. Eugene Holman; designated for Navy use on 20 November 1940; and commissioned on 28 April 1941, Comdr. T. M. Waldschmidt in command.

After runs to various North American Atlantic ports, Salamonie got underway for her first overseas mission on 13 November 1942 in a large convoy headed for Casablanca, North Africa. Then, after several convoys to England, the oiler was overhauled in Norfolk, Va., and given radar.

She sailed for the Pacific, via Panama, on 8 July 1944 and reported for duty to Commander Service Force, 7th Fleet, at Milne Bay, New Guinea, on 23 August. Salamonie joined the Leyte invasion force in Hollandia on 8 October 1944 and later supported both the Morotai and Mindoro strike forces. She spent the final months of the war supporting Allied operations in the Philippines.

The sole war casualty on the Salamonie was caused by a strafing run by a single Japanese plane on 5 January 1945.

Following the formal Japanese surrender, the oiler provided logistic services to the Shanghai occupation forces along the Hwang Pu River.

Early in 1946, Salamonie returned to California for an overhaul at Long Beach; then sailed back across the Pacific. The next two and a half years were spent shuttling petroleum products between Bahrein in the Persian Gulf and United States naval bases in the Far East.

After returning to Long Beach in December 1948, Salamonie was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and arrived at Norfolk in May 1949. Western Atlantic and Caribbean operations with the 2d Fleet and deployments with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean took the oiler through the 1950's and well into the 1960's. Then, toward the end of the latter decade, she was designated for inactivation. Placed in reserve on 23 August 1968 and decommissioned on 20 December, Salamonie's name was struck from the Navy list on 2 September 1969. She was transferred permanently to the Maritime Administration and laid up in the James River, where she remained until 24 September 1970 when her hulk was sold to N. U. Intershitra of Rotterdam, Netherlands, for scrapping.

Published: Wed Sep 02 08:16:37 EDT 2015