USS Mispillion AO-105

USS Mispillion AO-105

By Brian Stuckey

January 30, 2012

The U.S. Navy fleet oiler USS Mispillion (AO-105) is taking its “sad, final voyage,” according to Jessica A. York in the Vallejo, California Times-Herald. While most people have unlikely heard of the Mispillion, commissioned in 1945 following World War II, the Long Beach-based ship served honorably in both the Korean and Vietnam wars and was active in the U.S. Seventh Fleet until 1974 when the ship was transferred to the Military Sealift Command. The Mispillion finally retired in 1994 when she joined the “mothball” fleet at Suisun Bay in California.

I came aboard in September 1959 when the ship was moored at the Naval Station at Long Beach. The ship would soon deploy for the Western Pacific, or WestPac, as it was known in those days. In the meantime, we were busy getting the ship ready for what was my first deployment to Pearl Harbor and Sasebo, Japan. Our mission was to replenish fuel to aircraft carriers and other U.S. Navy ships at sea while carrying out dangerous exercises in the Pacific. Such operations were often carried out in the middle of the night without any visible lighting.

The Mispillion is leaving her berth at Suisun Bay and steaming to Texas for dismantling, according to the Times-Herald. For many of her erstwhile shipmates, including myself, the departure of the ship evokes memories of a bygone era when the ship sailed into foreign ports for “liberty call” following what were often long and arduous sea exercises. Sadly, many of the shipmates we knew and loved have gone to their long home. Although the “Mighty Miss,” as she was called, is sailing to her final destiny, the officers and men who served on her decks were proud to have been a part of her crew. She will not be forgotten.

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