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Chicopee II (AO-34)

(AO-34: dp. 22,430 (f.); l. 520'; b. 68'; dr. 30'10"; s. 18 k.; cpl. 279; a. 1 4", 4 3"; cl. Chicopee)

A river in Massachusetts.


The second Chicopee (AO-34) was built in 1941 by Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pa., as Esso Trenton; sponsored by Mrs. N. L. Lank; acquired by the Navy 3 January 1942; and commissioned 9 February 1942, Commander G. Bannerman in command.

After a short period as station tanker at Casco Bay, Maine, Chicopee made several oil runs between ports on the Gulf of Mexico and the east coast. She departed Norfolk 8 June 1942 for Argentia, Newfoundland, and served as station tanker there from 12 June until 8 July when she sailed to Reykjavik, Iceland, returning to Norfolk 25 July.

From August to November 1942 Chicopee resumed coastwise fueling operations. She then made three voyages to a midocean point with the Ranger task group to launch U.S. Army planes to North Africa, and in March resumed her oil runs between Norfolk and the Gulf ports with one voyage to Argentia.

Chicopee sailed from Norfolk 10 May as an escort oiler and arrived at Oran 23 May to serve as station tanker until 28 July when she got underway for New York. After a convoy voyage to Gibraltar, she was overhauled and on 8 October departed on escort oiler duty to Londonderry, Ireland, and Clyde, Scotland, returning to Norfolk 3 December for overhaul. From 3 February until 26 September 1944, Chicopee operated as an escort oiler between Norfolk and the North African ports of Casablanca, Oran, and Bizerte.

She departed Norfolk 28 October 1944 for Pacific service and arrived at Ulithi 8 December. She sailed out of Ulithi supplying fuel for the fast carrier task forces engaged in the Luzon, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa operations, and air strikes against Japan until the close of the war.

After serving as station tanker in Tokyo Bay from 26 September until 28 October, Chicopee cleared for San Francisco, arriving 9 November. On 14 February 1946 she was decommissioned at Mare Island and sold through the Maritime Commission 1 July 1946.

Chicopee received four battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Tue Jun 30 11:51:39 EDT 2015