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USS Salamonie (AO 26)

- formerly ESSO COLUMBIA -
- decommissioned -

Named after the river in Indiana, USS SALAMONIE was the fifth ship in the CIMARRON - class of oilers and the first ship in the Navy to bear the name. Decommissioned on December 20, 1968, the ship was stricken from the Navy list on September 2, 1969. SALAMONIE was scrapped in the Netherlands in 1970.

General Characteristics:Keel laid: February 5, 1940
Launched: September 18, 1940
Commissioned: April 28, 1941
Decommissioned: December 20, 1968
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, Va.
Propulsion system: four boilers
Propellers: two
Length: 553 feet (168.6 meters)
Beam: 75.1 feet (22.9 meters)
Draft: 31.5 feet (9.6 meters)
Displacement: approx. 25,500 tons
Speed: 18 knots
Capacity: approx. 18,300 tons of fuel
Aircraft: none
Armament: four 5-inch/38 caliber guns, four 40mm guns, four 20mm guns
Crew: approx. 300

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS SALAMONIE. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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USS SALAMONIE was laid down on 5 February 1940 under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 13) as ESSO COLUMBIA by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newport News, Va.; launched on 18 September 1940; sponsored by Mrs. Eugene Holman; designated for Navy use on 20 November 1940; and commissioned on 28 April 1941, Comdr. T. M. Waldschmidt in command.

After runs to various North American Atlantic ports, SALAMONIE got underway for her first overseas mission on 13 November 1942 in a large convoy headed for Casablanca, North Africa. Then, after several convoys to England, the oiler was overhauled in Norfolk, Va., and given radar.

She sailed for the Pacific, via Panama, on 8 July 1944 and reported for duty to Commander Service Force, 7th Fleet, at Milne Bay, New Guinea, on 23 August. SALAMONIE joined the Leyte invasion force in Hollandia on 8 October 1944 and later supported both the Morotai and Mindoro strike forces. She spent the final months of the war supporting Allied operations in the Philippines.

The sole war casualty on the SALAMONIE was caused by a strafing run by a single Japanese plane on 5 January 1945.

Following the formal Japanese surrender, the oiler provided logistic services to the Shanghai occupation forces along the Hwang Pu River until early in 1946 when SALAMONIE returned to California for an overhaul at Long Beach; then sailed back across the Pacific. The next two and a half years were spent shuttling petroleum products between Bahrain in the Persian Gulf and United States naval bases in the Far East.

After returning to Long Beach in December 1948, SALAMONIE was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and arrived at Norfolk in May 1949. Western Atlantic and Caribbean operations with the 2nd Fleet and deployments with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean took the oiler through the 1950's and well into the 1960's. Then, toward the end of the latter decade, she was designated for inactivation. Placed in reserve on 23 August 1968 and decommissioned on 20 December, SALAMONIE's name was struck from the Navy list on 2 September 1969. She was transferred permanently to the Maritime Administration and laid up in the James River, where she remained until 24 September 1970 when her hulk was sold to N. U. Intershitra of Rotterdam, Netherlands, for scrapping.

USS SALAMONIE earned three battle stars for her World War II service.

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