Here's a little something I saved from the old Cando. This information is copied from a Change of Command booklet. You may find this interesteing. I also have the ship's itinerary from 11April 1969 to 24 November 1972, if you would be interested in that. I have someplace a slide of me being highlined to a Can I think. I didn't write that down, but I did go over to several ships that way. Let me know if you're interested in things like this. The day I left the ship in Athens, the Cap'n asked me if there was anything I wanted from the ship. I got a ship's plaque and the ship's flag that they flew that day for me.


Patrick O. McLaughlin, QM2


>From Change of Command booklet - 21 September 1971

Captain George R. Parrish, Jr., U.S.N. to Captain John C. Dixon, U.S.N.






U. S. S. Canisteo AO-99 History

The history of the Canisteo is one of versatility, support, and dependability. USS Canisteo is a Unit of the Atlantic Fleet Service Force. Like other Navy oilers, Canisteo's name is derived from an Indian river, a tributary of the Susquehanna, in lower New York State. She has been supplying fuel for the fleet since being commissioned on 3 December 1945. Built and converted by Bethlehem Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland, Canisteo is 644 ft. in length and 75 ft wide at the beam. Fully loaned, she displaces over 34,000 tons and has a draft of 35 ft. Steaming at 13 knots, she can pump fuel at the rate of 24,000 gallons per minute, replenishing simultaneously from port and starboard. As an auxiliary ship of the fleet, her armament is primarily defensive and consists of four 3"/50 guns, which are manned by competent crews. From 11 January 1946, when she performed her first fueling operation until the present, Canisteo has transfered many million gallons of fuel to the fleet.

The underlaying factor in the histroy of Canisteo is to support the ships of the Atlantic Fleet no matter when, or what the circumstances may be. She had her first opportunity to provide this service in 1946 as a participant in Operation High Jump which took her to the Antarctic as part of Amiral Byrd's expeditionary force. There, under the worst of conditions, she proved her versatility and dependability by resupplying the force. Canisteo succeeded then and has continued to do so since.

Supplying fuel to the fleet is Canisteo's primary mission, but by no means, is it the only one. Canisteo is capable of handling virtually all kinds of cargo from small stores to heavy machinery. She has been called upon time and time again to transfer personnel from one ship to another. In 1957, while operating with the Sixth Fleet, Canisteo performed what is beleived to be a record for transferring personnel by highline at sea: total of 254 persons in less than 24 hours.

Another important collateral function of Canisteo is to distribute mail to the fleet units with whom she is operating. It is difficult to estimate the importance of a letter from home after a long and arduous operation at sea. In 1955, Canisteo was commended by the Postmaster General for assistance in moving the mail from the docks of New York during the longshoremen strike of that year.

USS Canisteo has also been commended for aiding ships in distress. Shortly after her commissioning in 1946, she towed a disabled merchantman to safety. In August 1955 the Maritime Administration commended the Canisteo for her help in extinguishing a fire on the SS John Stevenson. From 25 January to 4 February 1961, Canisteo pursued and was present at Recife, Brazil, for the final capitulation of the "Priate" Henrique Galvo aboard the Portugese luxuary liner - Santa Maria. The pursuit of the vessel was unique in that it was the only recorded act of piracy on the high seas in recent maritime history.

Returning from the Mediterranean in March 1965, Canisteo has been on the move ever since. In August of that year, she supplied logistic support to units operating in the Dominican Republic. During September- October 1965, she operated in the North Atlantic entering into the realm of Boreas Rex. Thereupon, all crew members became true and trusted ice and brine encrusted "Blue Noses". November 1965 saw Canisteo on her way to South Africa to refuel Naval units returning fom the Far East. On 18 November 1965 Canisteo "Crossed the Line", entering into the solemn mysteries of the anicent order of the deep, and the crew became "Trusty Shellbacks". Upon completion of this 14,000 mile round trip deployment, Canisteo returned to Norfolk, Virginia, with 100% of the crews "Blue Nosed Shellbacks".

Commening in January 1967, the Canisteo underwent converstaion at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland. By replacing the old mid-section with a completely new an larger one, the length of the ship wasincreased 100 feet. With the addition of an enclosed main deck, the ship can now carry ammunition, refrigerated goods, and cargo stores for the fleet distribution.

In January 1969 after an 18 month overhaul and conversation, the Canisteo was ordered to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for underway refresher training. She departed Guantanamo with the highest overall mark any Service Force Ship has received in recent years.

Following a short period in the Shipyard, Canisteo was once again in the Mediterranean from 16 September 1969 until 9 April 1970, where she provided replenishment services 341 times to the units of the Sixth Fleet.

On 11 June 1970, she departed Norfolk, Virginia on her way to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for two weeks of Modified Refresher Training. Enroute, however, she was ordered to stop at Guantanamo for one day, conduct an arrivial inspection, and then proceed south through the Panama Canal and rendezvous with the USS Guam (LPH-9) who was flying diaster assistance missions to the eathquake-ravaged Peru. She arrived at Colon Canal Zone (Atlantic side) on 18 June, having serviced units of the Caribbean Ready Group enroute, and completed her transit of the Panama Canal that day, entering the Pacific at dusk. Canisteo crossed the Equator on 20 June. The traditional ceremonies were conducted by "King Neptune" and 267 of Canisteo's crewmen became "Trusty Shellbacks". The Guam was met and refueled on 22 June after which the Canisteo again pointed her bow towards Norfolk. After twenty-six days and over 6000 miles steaming in two oceans, she arrived back home in Norfolk on 5 July.

On 14 October 1970 after a three month shipyeard period, she resumed her operations. Canisteo headed south once more to complete the delayed Modified Refresher Training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. One again, she was commended for her training readiness on the Arrival Inspection. On 18 and 19 November the final Operational Readiness Inspection was conducted. Canisteo performance was exceptional and she attained the highest grade award any type ship in over two and one half years. On 20 November she headed north out of Guantanamo for Norfolk refueling the Caribbean Ready Group and arriving in time for Thankgiving.

During the period 25 November 1970 until 13 April 1971, Canisteo participated in various local operations in the Virginia Capes and with the Caribbean Ready Group during operation Springboard.

On 14 April 1971 she departed for her current Mediterranean cruise. In late July 1971 she was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" for her demonstrated excellence during fy 1971 and her third consecutive "Engineering Excellence Award" (Red "E").

Canisteo expects a future similar to her past; that is Service to the Fleet, whenever and wherever needed. So the ship looks proudly to the future and to the motto by which she has always stood, "If Freedom Were Easy We Wouldn't Be Here".








Exective Officer LCDR R. H. Quinn

First Lieutenant Lt. R. H. Mabie

Engineering Officer Lt. R. B. Mc Daniel

Supply Officer Lt. L. A. Mortsolf, SC


Operations Officer Lt. G. F. Parsons

Assistant Supply Officer Lt. F. J. Bassi, SC

Stream Division Officer LTJG H. R. Holliday

Navigator LTJG T. J. Patton

Disbursing Officer LTJG J. S. Cohn, SC

Communications Officer LTJG C. J. Busch

Damage Control Officer Ens. D. A. Lelonis

Combat Information Officer Ens. F. C. Chitty

Administrative Assistant Ens. L. E. Trevathan

Weapons Officer Ens. C. B. Bussard

2nd Division Officer Ens. D. R. Ludwig

Auxiliaries Officer Ens. D. R. Brown

Electrical Officer Ens. H. M. Wagoner

1st Division Officer Ens. A. G. Hutchins

Ship's Boatswain CWO2 W. E. Campbell

Main Propiulsion Assistant CWO2 C. H. Crawford