USS Conecuh (AOR-110)
||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
|Launched:||1938, as Dithmarschen|
|Acquired:||15 January 1946|
|In service:||2 May 1946, as USS Dithmarschen (IX-301)|
|Out of service:||24 October 1946|
|Renamed:||USS Conecuh, 1 October 1946|
|Reclassified:||AO-110 (Fleet Oiler), 1 October 1946|
|Commissioned:||16 February 1953|
|Decommissioned:||3 April 1956|
|Reclassified:||AOR-110 (Replenishment Oiler), 4 September 1952|
|Struck:||1 June 1960|
|Fate:||Transferred to the Maritime Commission, 3 April 1956|
|Displacement:||8,820 long tons (8,962 t)|
|Length:||584 ft (178 m)|
|Beam:||72 ft (22 m)|
|Draft:||31 ft (9.4 m)|
|Propulsion:||four MAN nine-cylinder Diesel, two shafts, 220,000 shaft horsepower (160,000 kW)|
|Speed:||23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph)|
|Range:||12500 sm at 15 kn|
|Armament:||8 × 40 mm guns|
USS Conecuh (AOR-110) was a replenishment fleet tanker, originally built by F. Schichau, Danzig, in 1938 as a combination oiler and supply vessel for the German Navy and christened as Dithmarschen. Taken over by British authorities at Bremerhaven when World War II ended, Dithmarschen was allocated to the United States Navy on 15 January 1946 by the Inter-Allied Reparations Commission.
She was placed in service 2 May 1946 as USS Dithmarschen (IX-301) with Captain A. W. Maddox, USNR, in charge. Departing Bremerhaven 8 May she arrived at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard 19 May for conversion to a naval vessel. The need for a one-stop oiler-replenishment type ship had been illustrated by the war in the Pacific, and Dithmarschen was used for experimental work in this field since she had been developed specifically for this type of duty. On 1 October her name was changed to Conecuh, after the Conecuh River in Alabama, and she was redesignated AO-110 (the construction of USS Conecuh (AO-103) had been cancelled on 18 August 1945), but lack of funds delayed her conversion and she was placed out of service on 24 October.
Her classification was changed to AOR-110 on 4 September 1952 and she was converted to a replenishment fleet tanker. Conecuh was commissioned 16 February 1953, Commander M. B. Freeman in command. Following her shakedown in the Virginia Capes, she steamed to Greenock, Scotland to take part in NATO Operation "Mariner" (16 September-20 October). She sailed for a tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean (5 March-28 May 1954), then underwent an extensive overhaul at Norfolk (30 June 1954 – 4 January 1955). She remained at Norfolk except for refueling units at sea, operations in the Caribbean, and off the Florida Keys (25 October-7 November 1955), until decommissioned and transferred to the Maritime Commission for retention in the Maritime Reserve Fleet 3 April 1956. She was stricken from the Naval Register on 1 June 1960.
Conecuh proved the feasibility of the combination oiler-replenishment ship; experience gained during her operations led to the development of the fast combat support ship (AOE) in the United States Navy.
- "Conecuh". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Retrieved December 29, 2006.
- "Dithmarschen". German Naval History. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- "KMS Dithmarschen". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved July 13, 2014.