USS Patapsco (AOG-1)
|Builder:||Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation|
|Laid down:||25 May 1942|
|Launched:||18 August 1942|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. W.S. Zane|
|Commissioned:||4 February 1943|
|Decommissioned:||29 May 1946|
|Recommissioned:||19 October 1950|
|Decommissioned:||29 June 1955|
|Struck:||1 July 1960|
|Recommissioned:||18 June 1966|
|Decommissioned:||1 August 1974|
|Struck:||1 August 1974|
|Fate:||Sold for commercial service, 1979|
|Displacement:||4,142 long tons (4,208 t)|
|Length:||310 ft 9 in (94.72 m)|
|Beam:||48 ft 6 in (14.78 m)|
|Draft:||15 ft 4 in (4.67 m)|
|Propulsion:||Diesel Electric, twin screw|
|Speed:||15.5 knots (17.8 mph; 28.7 km/h)|
|Operations:||World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War|
The sixth USS Patapsco (AOG–1) was the lead ship of her class of gasoline tankers in the United States Navy during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. She was named for the Patapsco River in Maryland.
Patapsco was laid down 25 May 1942 by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation, Seattle; launched 18 August 1942; sponsored by Mrs. W. S. Zane; and commissioned 4 February 1943, Lieutenant A. J. Church in command.
World War II
Less than three weeks after commissioning, Patapsco departed San Francisco in convoy for Pearl Harbor. From there, on 27 March, she steamed southwest to New Caledonia, whence she transported gasoline and other petroleum products to ships and bases in the Solomons and New Hebrides until November 1944. In December, after availability at Auckland, New Zealand, she returned to the Solomons, remaining until 12 May 1945, when she departed Guadalcanal for the Western Carolines. Based on Ulithi from 19 May until the end of the war, she shuttled POL (Petroleum, Oil, Lubricants) products to the Palaus, and, once, to Saipan. After the war, she continued her Ulithi-Palau runs, then, in November, shifted her base to Guam whence she distributed fuel and light freight and carried passengers amongst the Marianas.
On 19 February 1946, she sailed east, and, after stopping at San Francisco, transited the Panama Canal and arrived at New Orleans for inactivation 3 May. Decommissioning 29 May 1946, she was later assigned to the Texas Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet and berthed at Orange, Texas
Following the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, Patapsco was reactivated. She recommissioned 19 October 1950 and, after overhaul at Norfolk, got underway for the Pacific 3 March 1951. Arriving at Pearl Harbor 9 April, she conducted fuel runs to Midway until 23 February 1952. Then, after a run to the Marshalls, the tanker sailed for Japan, arriving 25 April. Four days later she was under way to fuel vessels off the coast of the embattled Korean Peninsula and on her return took up station tanker duties at Sasebo. In late October, she shifted to Yokosuka, whence she sailed, 7 November, for Pearl Harbor.
With the new year, 1953, Patapsco resumed gasoline shuttle service to Midway and the Marshalls. On 6 August she sailed west again, this time to the Philippines, whence she carried aviation gasoline to Saigon, returning to Pearl Harbor 7 December. Until 1955, Patapsco served in Hawaiian waters with infrequent cruises to Midway, the Marshalls, the Aleutians, and the west coast.
During one of her missions to the western pacific, the Patapsco was caught too close to the testing of the nuclear munitions at Bikini atoll. This resulted in the irradiation of the ship as well as her crew. The crew was able to watch from the deck and see the explosion. Upon returning to Pearl Harbor the crew was allowed to depart the ship. This was a huge problem because the crew as well as their gear had not been through proper decontamination procedures.
On 2 March 1955, she departed Pearl Harbor for Astoria, Oregon, and inactivation. Decommissioning 29 June 1955, she was assigned to the Columbia River Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet until 1 July 1960 when she was struck from the Navy List and transferred to the Maritime Administration's National Defense Reserve Fleet.
Reinstated on the Navy List in the fall of 1965 and recommissioned a third time 18 June 1966, Patapsco was again assigned to the Pacific Fleet and homeported at Pearl Harbor. She completed refresher training in early September and on the 26th got underway for Subic Bay, P.I., with jet fuel, aviation gasoline, and motor gasoline, Arriving 15 October, she soon departed to deliver, once again, vital POL supplies to a combat zone. Until mid-February 1967, with interruptions for R&R at Hong Kong and availability at Subic, she operated off Vietnam under ComNavSupAct, Da Nang, Huế, and Cua Viet.
She steamed back to Pearl Harbor, arriving 16 March. Upkeep, availability, and training and operational exercises followed and on 20 September she got underway for Guam, Subic Bay, and another tour off Vietnam. Completing that tour 25 April 1968, she remained in the Hawaiian area until 11 November, when she again headed west for duty off Vietnam. During 1969 she conducted POL support operations at Da Nang and Cua Viet.
Patapsco was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 August 1974. Patapsco was sold on 18 December 1979 to Mid Pacific Sea Harvesters Ltd for $56,480. She was renamed Arctic Storm and converted to a fishing trawler.
Patapsco received one battle star for her World War II service and another for Korean service.
Post War Life
The "Patapsco" was purchased in 1979 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by the owners of the fishing vessels Nordic Fury and Pacific Fury. At that time, it was a retired Navy tanker, they renamed it the C/P Arctic Storm The intent was to convert this vessel into a crab processor. As luck would have it, the crab population decreased dramatically shortly thereafter, and the reconstruction project was never started.
The ship lay moored in Lake Union for four to five years until interest began to show in the North Pacific for the large stocks of Pollock and cod, heretofore utilized only by foreign fishing fleets.
In 1984, the owners negotiated a partnership with ProFish International, Inc., a company managing joint ventures and marketing fish into the United States. This was to be a very successful marriage. Plans commenced to reconstruct the aging oil tanker into a totally new vessel. It would catch and process Alaska Pollock into a product called Surimi. Although much used in the Asian markets, this product was, at that time, virtually unknown in the United States.
In early 1985, Oyang Fisheries of Korea was asked to be an additional partner in the project. Their expertise in the operation of larger vessels of this type and knowledge of the production of Surimi would be invaluable.
Arctic Storm, Inc., was formed: a contract for reconstruction was signed in September 1986 with Wright Schuchart Harbor Company, a construction firm located in Seattle, Washington. The ship was successfully converted and turned over to the owners in January 1988.
Late December 1993, Arctic Storm, Inc., acquired management of C/P Arctic Fjord. Previously named the Pacific Orion, the Arctic Fjord began fishing in January 1994. With the new management, a newly assembled crew, new equipment and updated maintenance, the vessel quickly became a success both in the production of Surimi and fillets.
- "History". Arctic Storm Management Group, LLC. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
- Photo of Patapsco
- Photo of present day "Arctic Storm" and article about her owners
- Arctic Storm Management Group, LLC