Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Cuyama (AO-3)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Cuyama (AO-3)

USS Cuyama (AO) was launched 17 June 1916 by Mare Island Navy Yard; sponsored by Miss M. Offley; and commissioned 2 April 1917, Lieutenant I. B. Smith, USNRF, in command.

After her maiden voyage to Pearl Harbor in May 1917, USS Cuyama (AO) departed San Francisco 6 June, loaded petroleum products at Port Arthur, Tex., and arrived at Norfolk 6 July. USS Cuyama (AO) departed New York 16 December 1918 to bring oil and gasoline from Port Arthur to Norfolk, then sailed 4 January 1919 to supply the Fleet in the Caribbean until returning to Norfolk 13 May.

USS Cuyama (AO) stood out of Norfolk 25 June 1919, and arrived at San Pedro, Calif., 7 August after fueling ships at Acapulco, Mexico. Classified AO-3 on 7 July 1920, she remained on the west coast procuring and dispensing oil and gasoline cargoes, servicing ships, and occasionally transporting passengers, provisions, and freight, or towing yard craft. In 1927 and 1934 USS Cuyama (AO) cruised to the east coast for fleet maneuvers and in 1936, 1937, and 1938 made 13 voyages from the west coast to Pearl Harbor on transport duty.

USS Cuyama (AO) began her war service by carrying cargo between Pearl Harbor and San Pedro, Calif., from 27 December 1941 to 1 March 1942. She operated in Alaskan waters fueling ships and occasionally voyaging to Seattle for replenishment and repairs.

USS Cuyama (AO) cleared Seattle 17 February 1945, delivered cargo to Eniwetok, Saipan, and Guam, and arrived at Kerama Retto, Okinawa, 21 April to fuel the ships engaged in the occupation of Okinawa. She splashed a suicide plane 13 May, and bombarded a Japanese-occupied cave on Tokashiki Shima 7 July. Returning to Ulithi 31 July, USS Cuyama (AO) sailed on to Leyte where between 5 and 30 August she fueled ships preparing for the occupation of Japan. Between 12 September to 6 November, USS Cuyama (AO) fueled ships at Jinsen, Korea, then cleared for San Francisco, arriving 27 November. USS Cuyama (AO) was decommissioned 12 April 1946 and transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal 1 July 1946.

For a complete history of USS Cuyama (AO) please see its DANFS page.