Navy Oilers derived their names from Cities, Mountains and the Rivers shown in yellow.

This list starts in Maine and works it's way south. View ship details through link on ship number
AO = Fleet Oiler Ship.       AOE = Fast Support Ship.      AOT = Oil Transporter.
Ship Name

Ship Number
NavSource Link


River Name

USNS Susquehanna TAO-185 See Deleware Area

USS Fort McHenry
1 Feb. 1986

Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, Maryland, is a star shaped fort best known for its role in the War of 1812 when it successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy in the Chesapeake Bay. It was during this bombardment of the fort that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write "The Star-Spangled Banner," the poem that would eventually be turned into the national anthem of the United States as inspired by Colonel Caleb Cariton at Fort Meade South Dakota. the song was set to the tune of a British song "To Anacreon in Heaven".  See the words at the bottom of this page.

USS Severn AO-61 Launched, 31 May 1944
The Severn River runs through Anne Arundel County in Maryland. It is located south of the Magothy River, and north of the South River. Severn means "boundary stream". The first USS Severn (1867) was a wooden screw sloop of war.
USS Patuxent

USNS Patuxent

Launched, 25 July 1942

Launched, 23 July 1994
The Patuxent River is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay in the state of Maryland. The Indian village of the same name existed on the banks of the river along with other Indian tribes.
USS Anacostia AO-94 Launched, 24 September 1944
The Anacostia River is a river that flows about 8.4 mi from Prince George's County in Maryland, USA and through Washington, D.C. where it joins with the Washington Channel to empty into the Potomac River. The name “Anacostia” is derived from the Indian word “anaquash” meaning a village trading center. The first USS Anacostia (1856)  was a steamer, constructed as a tugboat.
USS Potomac

USNS Potomac

Laid Down in 1957

Launched, 10 October 1964
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast. The river is approximately 383 statute miles long on which the historic Harpers Ferry exists. AO-150 was destroyed, 26 September 1961, by fire at Moorehead City, N.C.. Other Potomac's
USNS Cumberland TAO-153 Laid Down, June 1944
A city in western Maryland.
USS Cacapon AO-5 Launched, 12 Junel 1941
The Cacapon River, located in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle region. Cacapon (pronounced CaCApon) is a derivative of a Shawnee Indian word meaning "medicine waters".
USS Monongahela

USS Monongahela

Commissioned 11 September 1942

Launched, 4 August 1979
The Monongahela is formed by the confluence of the West Fork River and the Tygart Valley River at Fairmont, West Virginia. The river is navigable its entire length with a series of locks and dams.At Pittsburgh. Near the town of Monongahela, it meets the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River. The once thriving Monongahela Indian culture disappeared from southwestern Pennsylvania by 1635. The first USS Monongahela (1862) was a 2078-ton steam screw sloop.
USNS Parkersburg TAO-163 Launched, 12 April 1944
Parkersburg, named after Alexander Parkers, is located at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Little Rivers, is the third largest city in the State of West Virginia. 
USS Kanawha

USNS Kanawha

Launched, 11 July 1914

Launched, 22 September 1990
The Kanawha river, 97 miles long, is the largest and most important river in West Virginia. It originates a short in Virginia and extends across the state through Charleston and empties into the Ohio river. The River was named for the Indian tribe that once lived in the area. The spelling of the Indian tribe varied at the time from Conoys to Conois to Kanawha. the first USS Kanawha (1861) was a steamer.
USNS Bull Run
Launched, 29 June 1943
Bull Run is a free-flowing tributary stream of the Potomac River that originates from a spring in the Bull Run Mountains in Loudoun County, Virginia and flows south to the Occoquan River.
USS Tappahannock
Launched, 18 April 1942
Tappahannock, located on the banks of the Rappahannock River, is the oldest town in Essex County, Virginia. Its name comes from the Algonquian language word lappihanne (also noted as toppehannock), meaning "Town on the rise and fall of water" or "where the tide ebbs and flows."
USNS Rappahannock
Launched 14 January 1995

The Rappahannock River is a river in eastern Virginia, approximately 184 mi in length. It traverses the entire northern part of the state, from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the west across the Piedmont to Chesapeake Bay south of the Potomac. The name of the river comes from an Algonquian language word lappihanne (also noted astoppehannock), meaning "river of quick, rising water" or "where the tide ebbs and flows." This name was taken from the name given to it by the local native population the Rappahannock Tribe

USS Rapidan
Launched 29 October 1919

The Rapidan River is the largest tributary of the Rappahannock River in North-central Virginia. 

USS Mattaponi
Launched 17 January 1942
The Mattaponi River is a tributary of the York River estuary in eastern Virginia. The Mattaponi tribe traces its history back to the Powhatan Confederation of tribes led by Chief Powhatan
USNS Lynchburg
Acquired 17 November 1956
Named for John Lynch, son of land-owner Charles Lynch and Quaker Sarah Clark Lynch.

USNS Roanoke

USS Roanoke

Lent to Navy in 1957

Launched 7 December 1974
The town first called Big Lick was established in 1852 and chartered in 1874. It was named for a large outcropping of salt which drew the wildlife to the site near the Roanoke River. In 1882 it became the town of Roanoke, and in 1884 it was chartered as the independent city of Roanoke. The name Roanoke is said to have originated from an Algonquian word for shell "money". View ships MODEL
USS Nantahala AO-60 Launched, 29 April 1944 The Nantahala River is an 8 mile long river in western North Carolina within the Nantahala National Forest, and near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The word "Nantahala" comes from Cherokee meaning "Land of the Noonday Sun." The river runs through a narrow and steep gorge (the "Nantahala Gorge") where, in spots, the sun is overhead during the mid-part of the day.
USS Waccamaw AO-109 Launched,
20 March 1946
The Waccamaw River is a river, approximately 140 miles long, in southeastern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina. It drains an area of approximately 1110 square miles of the coastal plain into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Star Spangled Banner
O! say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

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