USNS Benjamin Isherwood (T-AO-191)
|Namesake:||Benjamin F. Isherwood (1822-1915), an early U.S. Navy engineer and rear admiral|
|Awarded:||6 May 1985|
|Builder:||Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Tampa Shipbuilding Company, Tampa, Florida|
|Laid down:||12 July 1986|
|Launched:||15 August 1988a at Pennsylvania Shipbuilding; christened 7 December 1991 at Tampa Shipbuilding|
|Struck:||29 December 1997|
|Status:||Scrapping began July 2011|
|Notes:||Construction contract cancelled 15 August 1993 when ship 95.3% complete|
|Class and type:||Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler|
|Type:||Fleet replenishment oiler|
|Tonnage:||31,200 deadweight tons|
|Length:||677 ft (206 m)|
|Beam:||97 ft 5 in (29.69 m)|
|Draft:||35 ft (11 m) maximum|
|Propulsion:||Two medium-speed Colt-Pielstick PC4-2/2 10V-570 diesel engines, two shafts, controllable-pitch propellers|
|Speed:||20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
|Complement:||103 (18 civilian officers, 1 U.S. Navy officer, 64 merchant seamen, 20 U.S. Navy enlisted personnel)|
|Aviation facilities:||Helicopter landing platform|
Benjamin Isherwood, the fifth Henry J. Kaiser class ship, was laid down by the Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 12 July 1986. Her construction encountered numerous problems. Although she was launched on 15 August 1988,a her construction contract with Pennsylvania Shipbuilding was cancelled on 31 August 1989. Along with her unfinished sister ship USNS Henry Eckford (T-AO-192), the incomplete Benjamin Isherwood was towed to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia on 27 October 1989 for lay-up.
A new contract to complete Benjamin Isherwood was awarded on 16 November 1989 to the Tampa Shipbuilding Company of Tampa, Florida. She was towed from Philadelphia to Tampa. She was christened there on 7 December 1991. However, construction problems continued, and that contract also was cancelled, on 15 August 1993, when the ship was 95.3 percent complete. Cost overruns had run into the millions of U.S. dollars.
The Navy decided that completion of Benjamin Isherwood as an oiler was no longer necessary, and considered converting her into an ammunition ship, but the conversion was found to be cost-prohibitive. Instead, the nearly complete Benjamin Isherwood was turned over to the Maritime Administration and towed up the James River in Virginia, where she was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet as part of the United States Navy's James River Reserve Fleet at Lee Hall, Virginia. She was struck from the Navy List on 29 December 1997, and her title was transferred to the Maritime Administration on 1 February 1999. She and Henry Eckford were the only units of the 18-ship Henry J. Kaiser class not completed.
- ^a The Naval Vessel Register and navysite.de USNS Benjamin Isherwood (T-AO 191) agree on the 15 August 1988 launch date. Navsource.org claims the launch date was 15 December 1988.
- This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery of USS 'Benjamin Isherwood' (T-AO 191) at NavSource Naval History
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to USNS Benjamin Isherwood (T-AO-191).|
- Wildenberg, Thomas (1996). Gray Steel and Black Oil: Fast Tankers and Replenishment at Sea in the U.S. Navy, 1912-1995. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-934-4. Retrieved 2009-04-28.