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USS Chemung (AO 30)

- formerly ESSO ANNAPOLIS -
- decommissioned -

USS CHEMUNG was one of the CIMARRON - class oilers and the second ship in the Navy named after the river in the state of New York. Laid down and launched as ESSO ANNAPOLIS, the oiler was acquired by the Navy in June 1941. Decommissioned on September 18, 1970, the CHEMUNG was stricken from the Navy list in May 1971 and subsequently sold for scrapping.

General Characteristics:Launched: September 9, 1939
Commissioned: July 3, 1941
Decommissioned: July 3, 1950
Recommissioned: December 1, 1950
Decommissioned: September 18, 1970
Builder: Bethlehem Steel, Sparrows Point, Md.
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 CHEMUNG. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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USS CHEMUNG Cruise Books:

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USS CHEMUNG was launched 9 September 1939 as ESSO ANNAPOLIS by Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard, Inc., Sparrows Point, Md., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Miss Howard; acquired by the Navy 5 June 1941; and commissioned 3 July 1941, Commander E. T. Spellman in command.

From 13 July 1941 until the entry of the United States into World War II, CHEMUNG operated between east coast ports and the oil ports of Texas and Louisiana transporting fuel oil.

From 20 December 1941 to 3 January 1942 she issued fuel at Argentia, Newfoundland. Reloading at Norfolk, she steamed to Hvalfjordur, Iceland carrying fuel (19 February-25 March), then operated between Norfolk and the Gulf ports from 1 April to 16 May. Following another tour as fuel station ship at Hvalfjordur (30 May-26 June), CHEMUNG departed from New York 20 August with a convoy bound for the United Kingdom. Two days later INGRAHAM (DD 444) collided with her at night. The destroyer sank almost immediately when the depth charges on her stern exploded. CHEMUNG, although heavily damaged by the explosion and resulting fires, reached Boston 26 August for repairs.

Steaming 1 October 1942 to Beaumont, Tex., to load fuel, CHEMUNG accompanied the North African assault force to sea, remained off the coast during the landings, then returned to Norfolk 30 November to resume coastwise fuel runs. From 15 February 1943 to 11 June 1945 CHEMUNG alternated five convoy voyages to United Kingdom ports and five to North Africa with coast-wise and Caribbean cargo duty and station duty at Bermuda and in the Azores.

An assignment to occupation duty in the Far East found CHEMUNG circumnavigating the globe as she cleared Norfolk 18 July 1945, passed through the Panama Canal for service at Okinawa 17 September to 13 October, and returned by way of the Cape of Good Hope to Norfolk 6 December. She operated with the Atlantic Fleet, serving the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean (12 November 1948-1 April 1949), until 17 March 1950, when she sailed for San Diego, where she was decommissioned and placed in reserve 3 July 1950.

Recommissioned 1 December 1950, CHEMUNG steamed to the Far East 28 January 1951 for a brief tour refueling forces engaged in the Korean War. During her second tour of duty (7 July 1951-20 April 1952), she supported United Nations troops in Korea, served on the Formosa Patrol, then transported oil from Ras Tanura, Arabia, to Guam. She again sailed from San Pedro 24 June 1952 to support the 7th Fleet off Korea until returning to Mare Island for overhaul on 24 February.

In nine succeeding tours of duty in the western Pacific from her home port at San Diego between 1953 and 1960, CHEMUNG supported many of the 7th Fleet's most notable contributions to the keeping of peace in the Far East. During her 1954-55 tour she provided fuel for the ships carrying out the evacuation of the Tachen Islands. During each of the tours she has served as station tanker at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, fueling the ships of the Taiwan Patrol.

Mid-July 1958 brought news of heightened tensions in the Middle East and CHEMUNG quickly departed for the Western Pacific. Upon arrival in Subic Bay, Philippines, she was called upon to carry out a special mission. On ordern unrevealed to the crew, she was dispatched to Singapore, thence through the Strais of Malacca and deep into the Indian Ocean to replenish the USS ESSEX (CVA 9) and a destroyer division enroute from the Mediterranean to the troubled Western Pacific.

Another operation of note was the assignment to Task Force 8, which provided support for the nuclear tests at Johnston Island.

From 1964 on, CHEMUNG entered into a cycle of six months stateside and six months operations in WestPac where she supported the war in Vietnam by refueling the fleet operating off the Vietnam coast and the Market Time Ships which patrolled the coast and rivers.

At the end of her 1966/67 cruise, she spent 5 months in the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard in San Pedro, Calif., getting a major overhaul.

After three weeks of refresher training in San Diego, Calif., she left Long Beach on 20 May 1967 and was deployed for 8 months, returning to Long Beach on 28 January 1968. In the course of the deployment over 28,000,000 gallons of fuel were pumped.

Decommissioned on 18 September, 1970, the CHEMUNG was stricken from the Navy list in May 1971 and subsequently sold for scrapping.

CHEMUNG received two battle stars for World War II service, and four for service in the Korean War.

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Accidents aboard USS CHEMUNG:

August 22, 1942North Atlantic
USS INGRAHAM (DD 444) collides with USS CHEMUNG at night while both ships are steaming as part of a convoi on the way from Iceland to the United Kingdom. The impact of the collision causes the destroyer's depth charges to explode causing the INGRAHAM to sink immediately. CHEMUNG is heavily damaged but is able to preceed under her own power to Boston, Mass., for repairs.
July 3, 1958San Francisco, Calif.
USS CHEMUNG runs aground just 500 yards off Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, Calif., while arriving in the Bay area. The oiler is freed with the help of several tugs.

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