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The USS MISSISSINEWA (AO-144), a Neosho-class oiler, was commissioned on 18 JAN 1955. Built by New York Shipbuilding Corp. of Camden, New Jersey, USS MISSISSINEWA took up station at Newport, Rhode Island and served with the Atlantic Fleet after commissioning. In 1956 she shifted homeport to Naples Italy and for the next eight years refueled the US Navy ships in the Mediterranean Sea. Returning to Newport, RI in 1964, she resumed the standard routine of an Atlantic Fleet "Oiler"; fleet support along the East Coast, training and maintenance in preparation for deployment and "MED" cruises on a regular basis. USS MISSISSINEWA served her country for 21 years, 9 months and 28 days, until decommissioned on 15 NOV 1976. USS MISSISSINEWA was transferred to the Military Sealift Command as T-AO-144 after her decommissioning and continued to fuel the fleet with a civilian crew until 1991. The hulk of the MISSISSINEWA was scrapped in 2007.

The USS MISSISSINEWA (AO-144) deployment history and significant events of her service career follow:

AO-144 Deployments - Major Events

Add a AO-144 Shellback Initiation Add a AO-144 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
MAY 1953 - Keel Date: 4 MAY 1953
at New York Shipbuilding Camden NJ
JUN 1954 - Launch Date: 2 JUN 1954
JAN 1955 - Commissioned: 18 JAN 1955
MAY 1956 - AUG 1957 Mediterranean
JAN 1960 - JUL 1960 Returned to U.S for new outfitting.
JUL 1960 - JUL 1960 Returned to 6th Flt Serv Force and brought aboard 6th Flt Staff
SEP 1961 - SEP 1961 John F Kennedy visits Naples
JUL 1962 - JUL 1963 Sheldon H. Kinney Capt. USN Commanding Officer
JUL 1962 - SEP 1962 Yard overhaul at Bethlehem Steel Hoboken Shipyard NJ
SEP 1962 - SEP 1964 Mediterranean Deployment - Service Force Sixth Fleet
SEP 1962 - SEP 1962 Guantanamo Bay
JUL 1963 - JUL 1964 William J. Maddocks Capt. USN Commanding Officer
JUL 1964 - JUL 1965 Thomas Turner Capt. USN Commanding Officer
OCT 1964 - FEB 1965 Yard overhaul at Boston Naval Shipyard Charlestown Mass.
JAN 1965 - JAN 1966 Mediterranean
FEB 1965 - APR 1965 Guantanamo Bay
JUN 1965 - FEB 1966 Mediterranean
FEB 1966 - DEC 1966 Newport R.I.
JUN 1966 - Shellback Initiation - 6 JUN 1966 - Atlantic Ocean
APR 1967 - Shellback Initiation - 4 APR 1967 - Atlantic Ocean
MAY 1967 - Shellback Initiation - 19 MAY 1967 - Atlantic Ocean
SEP 1967 - MAR 1968 Mediterranean
SEP 1968 - JAN 1969 Dry Dock
FEB 1969 - MAR 1969 Guantanamo Bay
MAR 1969 - DEC 1969 Mediterranean
MAR 1971 - MAY 1971 Guantanamo Bay
SEP 1971 - MAR 1972 Mediterranean
MAY 1972 - SEP 1972 South Boston Naval Shipyard Drydock
FEB 1973 - AUG 1973 Mediterranean
NOV 1974 - MAY 1975 Mediterranean
JAN 1975 - JAN 1975 collision with uss saratoga
JUN 1975 - AUG 1975 Guantanamo Bay
DEC 1975 - DEC 1975 Guantanamo Bay
NOV 1976 - Decommissioned: 15 NOV 1976
MAR 1982 - Shellback Initiation - 6 MAR 1982 - Indian Ocean
JAN 1983 - AUG 1983 Mediterranean-Indian Ocean

AO-144 General Specifications

Class: Neosho-class oiler

Complement: 324 USNS

Displacement: 11600 tons

Length: 655 feet

Beam: 86 feet

Draft: 35 feet

Final Disposition: Scrapped 2007


The second Mississinewa (AO‑144) was laid down by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J., in May 1953; launched 12 June 1954; sponsored by Mrs. Jerauld Wright; and commissioned 18 January 1955, Capt. M. J. Jensen in command.

Mississinewa, second of a class designed to provide fuel, food, stores, and mail services rapidly and for sustained periods to ships at sea, operated primarily along the east coast, with one brief Mediterranean deployment, until 1 May 1956. She then departed her original home port, Newport, for Naples, Italy. With Naples as her home port, the tanker cruised the Mediterranean servicing the 6th Fleet in normal and crisis operations until 1964. During the fall of 1956 and early winter 1957, she supported 6th Fleet ships as they stood by in case they were called on to intervene in the Suez war and the tense period that followed. Again, in mid‑July 1958, she got underway on short notice to provide logistic support to ships of the 6th Fleet during an emergency in the Middle East, this time in Lebanon. Remaining off the Lebanese coast until September, she refueled over 200 ships as the fleet landed marines and then stood by at the request of President Chamoun of Lebanon.

From 1962 to 1964, Mississinewa's responsibilities were increased as she served as flagship of Commander Service Force, 6th Fleet. In that capacity she assumed a larger portion of the implementation of the policy, proven wise in preceding years, of maintaining ships of the 6th Fleet independent of bases on European soil.

Prior to the reassignment of Newport as her home port in September 1964, Mississinewa had returned to the United States only for regularly scheduled yard periods. During those intervals she received new equipment during overhaul, which included in 1957 the installation of a helipad and the assignment of a helicopter for use in vertical replenishment. Since 1964, into 1969, she has operated in the western Atlantic, from Newfoundland to the Caribbean, with regular deployments to the Mediterranean and one, in August 1966, to northern Norway for NATO exercises.

[Note: The above USS MISSISSINEWA (AO-144) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS MISSISSINEWA (AO-144), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]