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Santa Barbara II (AE-28)


A seaside resort and residential city in southwestern California.


(AE-28: displacement 18,088; length. 564'; beam 81'; draft 28'; speed 20 knots; complement 362; armament 8 3-inch; class Kilauea)

The second Santa Barbara was laid down on 30 December 1966 by the Bethlehem Steel Corp., Sparrows Point, Md.; launched on 23 January 1968; sponsored by Mrs. Graeme C. Bannerman, wife of Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Logistics; and commissioned on 11 July 1970, Capt. Charles A. Whit-more in command.

Following fitting out at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Santa Barbara arrived at her designated home port, Davisville, R.I., on 18 September 1970. On 6 October, the ammunition ship conducted her first underway replenishment.

Santa Barbara departed Davisville on 15 October for the Caribbean and six weeks of shakedown training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Her shakedown completed on 25 November, Santa Barbara returned to her home port of Davisville on 5 December.

Underway again on 11 January 1971, Santa Barbara arrived at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Earle, N.J., for her first regular loadout, which was completed four days later at the Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Va.

After a short period in Davisville, Santa Barbara got underway on 1 February for her first regularly scheduled fleet exercises. With units of Task Force 27 participating in Operation "Springboard," the ammunition ship operated out of Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, until 25 February, rearming 17 ships and successfully transferring over 400 tons of missiles, bombs, and projectiles. On 15 March, Santa Barbara began a two-month availability at the Boston Naval Shipyard. Departing on 25 June, she arrived the next day at Davisville.

In July, she sailed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for refresher training; then, returned to Davisville in August. In September, Santa Barbara was deployed to the Mediterranean, returning to the United States on 17 March 1972. She departed the New England coast in April, bound for a short cruise in the Caribbean. Returning to Rhode Island in late May, she departed again on 5 June; this time ordered to the western Pacific on an extended deployment. After seven months in Asian waters, Santa Barbara entered Pearl Harbor on 5 February 1973; then, proceeded on to Quonset Point, R.I., via the Panama Canal, arriving on the 22nd. She operated along the east coast and in the Caribbean for the remainder of 1973 and for three months into 1974. In April 1974, Santa Barbara embarked upon another Mediterranean cruise. 

The ship completed numerous successful deployments to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and the Caribbean throughout the remainder of the decade and into the 1980s. In the early 1990s the ship participated in both Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in the Arabian Gulf. On 26 February 1998, Santa Barbara began her final deployment, once again steaming to the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf. During her more than 20 years in the fleet, she earned four Battle “E” Efficiency awards, two Meritorious Unit Commendations and numerous departmental efficiency awards.

Santa Barbara was decommissioned on 30 September 1998, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 3 August 2005, and scrapped on 10 October 2007.

Updated by Christopher J. Martin

22 February 2023

Published: Fri Mar 10 13:15:12 EST 2023