The USS Chewaucan (AOG-50) was a Patapsco-class gasoline tanker that was assigned the task of transporting gasoline to the warships in the fleet and remote Navy stations. The ship was launched by Cargill, Inc., Savage, Minnesota, on July 22, 1944.
The ship was sponsored by Mrs. O. K. Greathouse and was commissioned on February 19, 1945, under the command of Lieutenant J. M. Price, USNR. The ship was honored with the American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. The USS Chewaucan (AOG-50) was later sold to the Colombian Navy and renamed ARC Tumaco (BT-7).
Technical Features of the USS Chewaucan (AOG-50)
Class and type: Patapsco-class Gasoline Tanker
Launch date: July 22, 1944
Commissioning date: February 19, 1945
Decommissioning date: Date Unknown
Displacement: 1,850 t. (lt) 4,570 t. (fl)
Length: 310' 9"
Draft: 15' 8"
Beam: 48 ft 6 in
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h)
Complement: 8 officers and 116 enlisted
Propulsion: 4 x General Electric diesel engines, electric drive, twin shafts, 3,300 hp (2,461 kW)
Armaments: 4 x 3"/50 caliber guns, 12 x 20 mm AA guns
History of the USS Chewaucan (AOG-50)
The USS Chewaucan (AOG-50) belonged to the Patapsco class of gasoline tankers that were built to serve the United States Navy during World War II. During its missions, the vessel carried about 131 people onboard. The ship completed major missions at Hawaii, Baytown, Seattle, San Pedro, Norfolk, and Kwajalein. On February 4, 1948, the ship entered the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, where it was converted to a combination oil tanker. Then, the ship became one of the original 12 ships of the U.S. 6th fleet in the Mediterranean on July 7, 1948. After some years, the ship's duty changed from replenishing the 6th fleet to supplying shore shortage facilities on August 2, 1957, as the ship got transferred to Commander, Naval Activities, Italy. Though the exact date of decommissioning of the USS Chewaucan is unknown, the ship was struck off from the Naval Register on July 1, 1975. On January 1, 1976, the ship was sold to Colombia under the Security Assistance Program.
Asbestos Risks on the USS Chewaucan (AOG-50)
The USS Chewaucan (AOG-50) was one of the auxiliary ships in the U.S. Navy, and like all naval vessels, the auxiliary ships contained large amounts of asbestos, a heat-resistant mineral that causes mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other cancers. The ships built between the years 1930 and 1980 contained asbestos-containing materials in almost every area. Therefore, asbestos exposure was very common in confined areas of the ships, and all veterans who served aboard the USS Chewaucan were at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. The common places where asbestos-containing materials were likely to be found on auxiliary ships include:
- Engine rooms: Boilermen or personnel involved in engine repair may encounter asbestos in cracked insulation and gaskets.
- Pump rooms: Pipefitters got exposed to asbestos while replacing old gaskets and pipes. Usually, the pump room would be a confined space leading to the inhalation of more asbestos fibers.
- Wardrooms and berthing space: The walls and ceiling of auxiliary ships constructed before the 1980s contained asbestos. The risk of airborne asbestos fibers was higher if the ship was older.
- Turrets and large guns: This equipment was lined with asbestos insulation, and the veterans who were involved in repairing or loading the turrets faced asbestos exposure. The materials, such as gloves used for handling turrets, were also made of asbestos fabric.
Have You Been Exposed to Asbestos on the USS Chewaucan (AOG-50)?
The veterans who have served in the US Navy aboard the USS Chewaucan (AOG-50) and have developed a cancerous asbestos-related illness can recover their rightful compensation from the asbestos trust funds and the VA. We can help you get in touch with legal experts if you wish to file claims and can offer information about how veterans have been exposed to asbestos while serving on the USS Chewaucan (AOG-50). We can also assist in getting in contact with your former colleagues.