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Specifications of the U.S.S. Neosho




When it was built in 1939, the U.S.S. Neosho (AO-23) was the largest tanker in the world.  It was the second Navy ship named U.S.S. Neosho  (see The Four U.S.S. Neoshos).  


Here are its specifications:


USS Neosho

Hull Number:  AO-23

Date Laid Down:  June 22, 1938

Date Launched:  April 29, 1939

Construction Site:  Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Kearny, New Jersey (Hull #152)

Sponsor:  Mrs. Emory S. Land, wife of Rear Admiral, Emory S. Land

Type:  Cimarron-class Fleet Oiler

Length:  553 feet

Beam:  75 feet

Draft:  32 feet

Displacement:  24,830 tons

Maximum Speed:  18 knots

Capacity:  146,000 barrels

Armament:  One 5" gun, three 3" guns, eight 20-millimeter guns

Engines:  Geared turbines

Boilers:  Four Foster-Wheeler

Shafts:  Two

Horsepower:  13,500

Complement:  288 officers and crew (during the Battle of the Coral Sea)

Commission Date:  August 7, 1939 in Norfolk, Virginia

Conversion:  Completed on July 7, 1941 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington

Date Sunk:  May 11, 1942 (sunk intentionally by destroyer U.S.S. Henley)

Commendations Received:  Two battle stars


By comparison, here are the specifications for a modern oil tanker, the Exxon Valdez.  The Exxon Valdez is perhaps the most famous (infamous?) tanker in the world, having ran aground in Alaska in 1989 and causing a massive oil spill.  The Exxon Valdez, which now has a different name, is about twice as long, twice as wide, and twice as deep as was the Neosho and has about 10 times the capacity:

Exxon Valdez

Length:  987 feet

Beam:  166 feet

Draft:  64 feet

Displacement:  211,469 tons

Maximum Speed:  16 knots

Capacity:  1.48 million barrels

Complement:  21 crew


Table of Contents:

U.S.S. Neosho  (AO-23)

U.S.S. Neosho (AO-23) Home Page


Specifications of the U.S.S. Neosho

The Four U.S.S. Neoshos


Photo Gallery of the U.S.S. Neosho


The Pearl Harbor Attack  (December 7, 1941)

Prelude to War:  Conflict in the Far East

Bill Leu's Early Years

The U.S.S. Neosho at Pearl Harbor

Bill Leu Interview:  Pearl Harbor Attack

U.S. Navy Action Report:  U.S.S. Neosho


The Battle of the Coral Sea  (May 1942)

The Battle of the Coral Sea:  Summary

Battle Action:  April 30 - May 4, 1942 

Battle Action:  May 5 - May 7, 1942

Battle Action:  May 8, 1942

The U.S.S. Neosho at Coral Sea

May 7, 1942:  The Attack

May 8, 1942:  Waiting For Rescue

May 9, 1942:  Fading Hope

May 10, 1942:  Neosho Sighted

May 11, 1942:  Rescue

List of Survivors & Casualties

The Battle of the Coral Sea  (May 1942 - cont.)

Bill Leu Interview:  Battle of the Coral Sea

U.S. Navy Action Reports:  Coral Sea

Action Report of the U.S.S. Neosho

Action Report of the U.S.S. Sims

U.S.S. Helm Report

Other Ships at Coral Sea

The U.S.S. Sims (Neosho's Escort)

The U.S.S. Henley (Neosho's Rescuer)

The U.S.S. Helm (Rescued Life Raft)

Coral Sea Scrapbook

S.F. Examiner Article, July 10, 1942



President Bush's Speech at Pearl Harbor

Seattle Times:  Bill Leu at Pearl Harbor

Obituary of Captain John S. Phillips


U.S.S. Neosho Veteran's Forum


Sources & Further Information

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