USS Kanawha AOG-31

Feb. 3, 2021

USS Kanawha AOG-31

A river in southwest West Virginia formed by the confluence of the New and Gauley Rivers at Gauley Bridge, West Virginia.  The Kanawha empties into the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

Builder: East Coast Shipyard, Bayonne, New Jersey

Length: 220' 6"

Beam: 37'

Draft: 13' 1"

Displacement: 2,270 tons

Commissioned: 23 November 1944

Decommissioned: 23 March 1946

Disposition: Sold for scrap


Top Speed: 10 knots

Complement: 62

Armament:1 x 3"/50; 2 x 40mm; 3 x 20mm/80


The USS Kanawha (AOG-31) was a Sequatchie-class T1-M-A2 Navy gasoline tanker that was manned by a Coast Guard crew.   She was the fourth Navy vessel to bear the name.  She was laid down on 30 August 1944 by the East Coast Shipyard, Inc., Bayonne, New Jersey, under a Maritime Commission contract.  She was launched on 18 October 1944 and was sponsored by Mrs. May T. Norton.  She was transferred to the Navy on 13 November and was commissioned on 23 November 1944 under the command of LT C. J. Byrne, USCGR.

Following shakedown in the Chesapeake Bay, Kanawha cleared Norfolk on 15 January 1945 to load oil at Aruba, Netherlands West Indies, and arrived at San Pedro on 13 February.  She arrived at Pearl Harbor on 20 March and departed on 6 April with a cargo of lube oil, arriving at Eniwetok 2 weeks later.  Kanawha continued fueling services in the Marshalls and Marianas until she departed Ulithi on 7 June with a cargo of lube oil for the Philippines and arrived at Leyte on 11 June.  The tanker operated in the Philippines for the rest of the war and began similar duties at Okinawa on 6 October.  Kanawha sailed for America on 14 November and arrived at Mare Island on 14 December via Pearl Harbor.  She was decommissioned on 23 March 1946 and was transferred to the WSA in August 1946.  She entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, California, on 4 September where she remained until she was sold for scrap on 2 March 1964.


Cutter History File.  USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990.