Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Lackawanna (AO-40)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Lackawanna (AO-40)

USS Lackawanna (AO-40), ex-Conastoga, was laid down 27 December 1941 by Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard Inc., Sparrows Point, Md., under a Maritime Commission contract; launched 16 May 1942; sponsored by Mrs. S. J. Dickey; acquired by the Navy 20 June 1942; and commissioned 10 July 1942 at Baltimore, Lt. Comdr. S. R. Sands, Jr., USCG, in command.

After shakedown USS Lackawanna (AO-40) departedNorfolk 15 August 1942 bound for fueling operations in the Pacific. Arriving New Caledonia 18 September, the oiler replenished ships out of Noumea for the next 3 months. The oiler replenished fighting ships for 8 months prior to sailing in support of the Gilbert Islands invasion during November. The allied objective of this campaign was to neutralize the threat of Japanese air and sea plane bases on the islands.

USS Lackawanna (AO-40)'s next mission was to refuel units engaged in the invasion of Kwajalein and Majuro. Departing Espiritu Santo 20 January 1944, USS Lackawanna (AO-40) continued support missions in the Marshalls through March. As expanding operations established the need for additional staging areas, the fleet prepared for the invasion of the Marianas. On 15 June amphibious assault forces landed on Saipan, and once again the lifeline of the fleet was on hand to refuel the thirsty ships. When Saipan, Tinian, and Guam fell into American control, the stage was get for the return to the Philippines.

USS Lackawanna (AO-40) took departure from Ulithi 10 December for a brief repair period at San Pedro, Calif. Returning to the war zone 6 March, she arrived in time to participate in the largest operation of the Pacific war, Okinawa. Departing Ulithi 13 March, USS Lackawanna (AO-40) supported units of the fleet as they made their way to Japan's last stronghold. She continued operations off Okinawa until the island was secure in late June. USS Lackawanna (AO-40) remained on the west coast until she decommissioned at Oakland 14 February 1946. She was returned to the Maritime Commission 1 July.

For a complete history of USS Lackawanna (AO-40) please see its DANFS page.