USS Ontonagon, AOG-36
A river in Michigan.
Builder: East Coast Shipyard, Bayonne, New Jersey
Length: 220' 6"
Displacement: 2,270 (fl)
Commissioned: 21 September 1944
Decommissioned: 27 February 1946
Disposition: Transferred to Army Transport Service
Machinery: 720 hp diesel direct drive; single propeller
Top Speed: 10 knots
Armament: 1 3"/50; 2 x 40mm; 3 x 20mm
The USS Ontonagon was a Sequatchie-Class gasoline tanker. She was laid down 10 May 1944 by the East Coast Ship Yard Inc., Bayonne, N. J.; launched 30 June 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Riva Halpern; and commissioned 21 September 1944, Lt. Ralph S. Logan, USCGR, in command.
Following shakedown in Chesapeake Bay, Ontonagon cleared Norfolk for the Caribbean, whence, after taking on a petroleum cargo, she continued on to the Pacific. Assigned to ServRon 8 until the spring of 1945, she assisted in the first stages of transporting and distributing gasolines to the fleet and to forward bases from the west coast. From ServRon 8 control, supply vessels moving west passed into the operational control of ServRon 10 for dispatch to forward units. Ontonagon joined that squadron 2 April at Ulithi. Scheduled to continue on to Okinawa, she refueled ships in that anchorage as her departure date was postponed. On 22 June she sailed for Okinawa. Arriving on the 29th, she remained in the Ryukyus, fueling ships at Kerama Retto, Hagushi, Naha and Buckner Bay through the end of the war and the end of the year. On 15 January 1946, she departed Buckner Bay for the Philippines. Arriving 6 days later, she operated in Manila and Subic Bays until decommissioned, at Manila, 27 February, and transferred to the Army Transport Service.
Within a week of the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, Ontonagon was reacquired by the Navy for use in MSTS. Placed in service and manned by a civil service crew, she once again plied the waters of the Pacific to keep the oil life line to a combat area open. In January 1952 she began direct support to fleet units and bases in the combat zone, maintaining that support as a shuttle ship between Japan and Korea until June 1954. Returned to the west coast in September, she was placed out of service and transferred to the Maritime Administration, at Olympia, Wash., 14 December 1954. Struck from the Navy List 22 June 1955, she remained a unit of the National Defense Reserve Fleet until returned to MSTS and placed in service once again on 26 April 1956. Assigned to the North Pacific, she served with MSTS until inactivated for a third time at San Francisco and placed in “ready status” in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, Calif., 25 September 1956. On 13 November 1957, she was struck from the Navy List and transferred permanently to the Maritime Administration. She was scrapped in 1964.
Ontonagon received one battle star for service in World War II.
Cutter Files, Coast Guard Historian's Office
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.