USS Caliente
AO-53

Home Page

USS Caliente (AO-53)

She served our country from 1943 to 1973

Welcome to the USS Caliente Association website.  The USS Caliente (AO-53) (Cal) was a fleet auxiliary oiler that proudly served our country in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.  The Cal carried a crew varying in number between 200 and 300 and during her 30 years of service earned 14 battle stars and eight campaign ribbons. The Cal not only provided fuel for the fleet she bought mail, movies and supplies to ships that were unable to visit port as often as the Cal.  Fuel was transferred between ships during underway replenishments (unreps).  During unreps ships were about 75 feet apart and could be on both sides of the Cal.  The crew had to maintain station (keep on course and speed), keep fuel lines taut, keep fuel pumps running and transfer necessary mail, supplies and often personnel to the alongside ship(s). 

The Cal carried approximately 4,000,000 gallons of fuel oil, 1,500,000 gallons of jet fuel and 500,000 gallons of aviation fuel.  With that amount of volatile fuel and all the other activities taking place during unreps, the crew of the Cal had to maintain absolute vigilance to avoid dire consequences.  While not a "glamorous" man of war, during the the three wars she served in, the USS Caliente was critical to the wars' efforts.  She enabled U.S. ground, air and sea service men to maintain battle readiness by supplying them with vital fuel and other supplies.  During peace she provided the same support to the fleet ensuring our countries' readiness for any occurrence.  All the Cal's crews, from 1943 to 1973, served our country with the utmost of dedication and pride.

This website was created to the preserve memories of the Cal and its crews.

The site contains this home page from which you can navigate.  The home page leads you to; 1) information about past and upcoming reunions, 2) newsletters published since December 2006 (with plans to add editions dating back to 1997, 3) Association information including; a) Association background information, b) current officers, c) membership information, d) a crews list of all known shipmates who served aboard the Cal and e) an email list. There is also a gallery of pictures collected over the years by our shipmates including those taken at reunions.

We hope you enjoy this site and find it valuable in linking with past shipmates, ships events and stories from shipmates.  If you are a relative of a Cal shipmate we hope this site will assist you in finding information about your relative and fill in some of his past (in the Cal's days Navy ships were all male).

We welcome any comments or suggestions. 



Click on "Association Info" button for Association Officers, crews list, email list and dues information.  Please send any corrections to gigandpat26@att.net


USS Caliente facts:

  • Laid down as a Maritime Commission type (T3-S2-A3) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC Hull 719), at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Sparrows Point, MD.
  • Launched, 25 August 1943
  • Sponsored by Helen Essary
  • Commissioned USS Caliente (AO-53), 12 October 1943
  • Decommissioned, 15 December 1973, Berth 63, Pier 6, U.S. Naval Shipyard, Long Beach, CA.a)
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 15 December 1973
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet
  • Final Disposition; disposed of by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) by sale to National Metal & Steel Corp. 691 New Dock St., Terminal Island, CA 90731 on 5 April 1974 for $426,819.19 b)  Ultimate fate unknown
  • USS Caliente received 10 battle stars for World War II service, four battle stars for Korean War service and eight campaign ribbons for Vietnam War service

a)  Department of the Navy Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, Washington D.C.
b)  Fleet Disposal Branch, Division of Reserve Fleet Maritime Administration, 8 April 1974



 
International Call Sign: NZFU


 
Commanding Officers:

  • CDR Elmore G. Genthner - 10-43 - 11-43
  • LCDR A. L. Cruser - 11-43 - 12-43
  • LCDR A. E. Stiff - 12-43 - 12-43
  • CDR H. I. Schroeder - 12-43-06-44
  • LCDR A. E. Stiff - 06-44 - 12-44
  • LCDR F. N. Lang - 12-44 - 06-45
  • CDR G. L. Eastman - 06-45 - 05-46
  • CAPT E. L. Lugibihl - 05-46 - 10-47
  • CAPT D. F. Crick - 10-47 - 10-48
  • CAPT J. W. Schmidt - 10-48 - 10-49
  • CAPT W. A. Cockwell - 10-49 - 09-50
  • CAPT F. W. McCann - 09-50 - 12-51
  • CDR R. A. Dawes Jr. - 12-51 - 04-53
  • CAPT H. M. Maples - 04-53 - 12-54
  • CAPT R. G. Copeland - 12-54 - 01-56
  • CAPT S. C. Loomis Jr. - 01-56 - 02-57
  • CAPT R. H. Wanless - 02-57 - 03-58
  • CAPT O. W. Goepner - 03-58 - 06-59
  • CAPT C. B. Carroll - 06-59 - 06-60
  • CAPT T. D. Davies - 06-60 - 07-61
  • CAPT J. D. Worley - 07-61 - 09-62
  • CAPT P. M. Paul - 09-62 - 09-63
  • CAPT A. G. Plemons - 09-63 - 07-64
  • CAPT M. R. Etheridge - 07-64 - 07-65
  • CAPT J. W. Beadles - 07-65 - 12-66
  • CAPT R. W. Jackson - 12-66 - 04-68
  • CAPT H. E. Phelps - 04-68 - 09-69
  • CAPT O. H. Oberg - 09-69 - 01-71
  • CAPT G. D. Howard - 01-71 - 01-72
  • CDR D. A. McGuiness - 01-72 - 11-73
  • LCDR J. M. Haffey - 11-73 - 12-73