following images have been furnished by former Commanding Officer CAPT.
USS Hassayampa (AO-145) undergoing double highline transfer of 40+/- crewmen from
unidentified U.S. cruiser off Vietnam going to Subic/CONUS.
Individuals wanted to get home (end of deployment) without continuing on
the ship's swing to Australia - January 1973
Hassayampa (AO-145) anchored
off Sattahip, Thailand - January 1973
USS Hassayampa (AO-145) in Pago Pago refueling USNS Wheeling alongside - August 1973
(see “Hula Hoop” discussion following)
USS Hassayampa (AO-145) in Pago Pago fueling USNS Corpus Christi Bay
[Ex-USS Albemarle (AV-5) alongside] - August 1973
USS Hassayampa (AO-145) undergoing another phase of “Hula Hoop”
Helo lift of seven Hassayampa crewmen to USNS Corpus Christi Bay near Muroia Atoll - September 1973
USS Hassayampa (AO-145) fueling USNS Corpus Christi Bay to astern.
NSFO and a 2-1/2" hose took 42 hours until Corpus Christi Bay had enough for a speed run to San Diego.
Note the 2-1/2” hose coming up just forward of the bridge of Corpus Christi Bay. Hassayampa was
making 4 knots and the water was so clear you could look down and see the screws turning - September 1973
Stories/comments submitted by former Commanding Officer
Captain Robert Olds (December 1972 - July 1974)
In early August ‘73 Hass had just
started a very much anticipated/needed shipyard availability when
orders came down to “button it up ASAP, you’re needed”.
The need was two specially configured Military Sealift Command
ships that were “watching” the French nuclear tests on Mururoa Atoll
750 miles Southeast of Tahiti. So we soon made a six-day “All
ahead full” run to Pago Pago and refueled both ships in port
with NSFO (Aug. 6-11), then back to Pearl on 8/17 to continue the
shipyard availability. Three weeks later we received the
order to go South again as the French tests had been repeatedly
delayed and the MSC ships needed more NSFO. So Hass headed
South again on 9/6 at 19 knots, this time to join the ships on
station. En-route we received word that the USNS Corpus
Christi Bay had sought emergency shelter in Papeete, Tahiti to
repair hull cracks and we subsequently received diplomatic and
other clearance to go in and fuel her there – a wonderful chance
for a port visit! With great anticipation we
approached Tahiti only to learn the night before our arrival that
Corpus Christi Bay had been repaired (filled the ruptured
tank/void with concrete) and left the port -- and our diplomatic
clearance to enter was very promptly cancelled. The French
obviously weren’t very happy with the US watching their tests
and didn’t want any U.S. ships in their port unless in an
emergency. So, the next morning, we very unhappily
watched Tahiti pass by from just outside the three mile limit, and
then chased the Corpus Christi Bay out toward the test area.
She made it just in time to “observe” the test and joined up
with Hass the next day on what turned out to be a 42 hour UNREP.
She had no alongside UNREP capability so Hass streamed a 2-1/2
inch hose as she maintained station astern of us. Seven Hass
crewmen were heloed over to help secure/operate the rig.
Pumping black oil through the astern rig was a challenge as the
old, dry hose would periodically rupture and Hass would retrieve
the rig, replace the section, and start over. Beautiful tropical
water, with an occasional very small atoll or island passing by.
Hass steamed at bare steerage way (3-5 knots) and in the crystal
clear water you could see each blade of the screws come by. At the
end, the Master came on the radio with something like “I’m
full enough to make San Diego, here comes the rig back, and your
crew by helo, thanks, bye!” And they turned
starboard and cranked it up. Hass and her crew did
well on this operation, and in recognition were nominated for a
National Defense Transportation Unit Award. And with four
crossings of the Equator we were all Shellbacks. Back in