USS Truckee served the nation for nearly 40 years | SierraSun.com
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USS Truckee served the nation for nearly 40 years

GUY H. COATES

USS Truckee (AOG – 75) was commissioned on Nov. 18, 1955, under the command of Capt. Joseph W. Leverton.

Named after the river and the Town, Truckee was designed as a coastal tanker and was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet for duty with Service Squadron 4 off Norfolk in January 1956 and spent February in the Caribbean. In her first assignment she carried fresh water to Bermuda. The following month, she steamed to Copenhagen and England through the North Sea with a group of midshipmen for training.

The following year she acted as flagship and supplied fuel and repairs for a hydrographic survey group operating in the South Atlantic island groups – Ascension Island and Fernando de Noronha. Before the end of 1957, she ranged as far as Portugal, serving the fleet.

Among other duties, the USS Truckee acted as a flagship for Commander, Service Force, 6th Fleet while supplying fuel to more than 400 ships; visiting ports in five countries from 1958 into the 1960s.

During the Cuban Quarantine operations in 1962, Truckee served as flagship for Commander, Service Squadron 4 and fueled 152 ships in 50 days.

By 1966 Truckee received her eighth consecutive combat efficiency “E” award. During the following year she conducted refresher training out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and, in March, set course for the Mediterranean, supporting the 6th Fleet while serving as Service Force flagship during the Mideast War.

Although unscathed in action, Truckee was damaged by a collision with the USS Wasp in 1968 and underwent extensive repairs in Norfolk. By September, she was again underway for the Mediterranean where she fueled 158 ships and visited seven countries, and pumped 35 million gallons of fuel before returning to the United States in 1969 for fleet operations on the Atlantic Coast.

By 1970, Truckee was again called to duty, when new violence was threatened in the Mideast, supplying fuel to naval forces standing off the coast of Israel during the Jordanian Crisis.

She was subsequently deployed to the Mideast in 1972, through 1973. During this cruise, she pumped 25 million gallons of fuel to NATO and US ships while steaming 25,000 miles.

Truckee returned to the east coast in 1974, operating out of Norfolk where she underwent a much needed overhaul and returned to duty with the 2d Fleet in 1976, making occasional visits to other east coast ports and again to Guantanamo.

In 1978 Truckee conducted operations in the Caribbean and the North Atlantic, including visits to Rotterdam, Netherlands; Kiel, Germany; and Lisbon, Portugal.

Like the river and town which bears the name of a proud Paiute Indian chief who guided thousands of immigrants into California, USS Truckee served her country with dignity until 1994 at which time the tired old vessel made her final journey to Jones River, Virginia where she was laid up for disposal.


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