Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Kilauea (AE-26) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Kilauea (AE-26) 

USS Kilauea (AE-26) was laid down on 10 March 1966 by General Dynamics Corp., Quincy Div., Quincy, Mass.; launched on 9 August 1967; sponsored by Mrs. Alice C. Kirwin, wife of Representative Michael J. Kirwin of Ohio; and commissioned at Boston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, Mass., on 10 August 1968, Capt. William L. McGonagle, holder of the Medal of Honor for his heroism while in command of technical research ship Liberty (AGTR-5) when Israeli aircraft and three motor torpedo boats attacked her on 8 June 1967.

USS Kilauea (AE-26) shifted from the Atlantic to the Pacific Fleets when she sailed from Norfolk, Va., to Concord, Calif. (11 October-8 November 1969). The ship carried out her first underway replenishment, with amphibious cargo ship USS Yancey (LKA-93) on 16 October, and visited Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (16-18 October). USS Kilauea (AE-26) passed through the Panama Canal and put in to Naval Station Rodman there (18-23 October), and then visited Acapulco, Mexico (29 October-2 November). 

USS Kilauea (AE-26) sailed toward Iwakuni, Japan, on 25 June 1978, but stopped her transit when she encountered dense fog, and anchored at an anchorage 50 miles south of her destination. USS Kilauea (AE-26) continued to the Indian Ocean and served as a logistics support ship for a number of ships that responded to the Iranian hostage crisis, including aircraft carriers USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and USS Coral Sea (CV-43), and amphibious assault ship USS Okinawa (LPH-3).

While USS Kilauea (AE-26) sailed for home, she briefly moored at Wharf W-1, Naval Magazine, Lualualei, Hi., and embarked her “tigers” (male dependents of the crewmen), on 2 June 1980. The following day, USS Kilauea (AE-26) shifted to Fuel Pier H-2 to refuel. Prior to her return to Californian waters, however, the Coast Guard radioed the ship, requesting assistance in the search for High Spirit, a sailboat and her two crewmembers that sailed from Long Beach, Calif., but was last seen 300 miles north of Oahu. USS Kilauea (AE-26) was decommissioned at Pier 4, Berth E, Naval Supply Center, Oakland, Calif., and placed in service as USNS Kilauea (T-AE-26) with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) on 1 October 1980. The ship was placed out of service and laid up at the Naval Sea Systems Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility, Pearl Harbor, pending disposal, on 15 September 2008.

For a complete history of USS Kilauea (AE-26) please see its DANFS page.