AO-191 and AO-192
USNS Benjamin Isherwood (T-AO-191) and  USNS Henry Eckford (T-AO-192)

Their construction encountered numerous problems.
Both were towed to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on October 27, 1989.

Benjamin Isherwood  HISTORY     -     Henry Eckford  HISTORY

Very sad story, it was widely known the Penn. shipyard was not capable of finishing them.  When they were sent off to Tampa that was a faint hope too.  One of them broke the tow going south and wound up on a beach.  I was Port Capt then and was watching the events unfold.  The one that beached went in stern first, props were pushed inboard. broke shaft seals and flooded the engineroom.  Real good for an automated plant.

When they were to be towed to Florida, the original yard removed all the tags on the wiring.  All the wires were in place; you just couldn't find what one went where.  It would all have to have been torn apart.  The 94% and 87% complete (or whatever it was) is perhaps correct by weight, but the ships would have to have been stripped down to empty hulls and virtually all internals renewed.  They were snakebit from the start.

Too bad.  Henry Eckford deserved to have a really great ship named for him.  His 1812 efforts won the battle of the lakes for us and his designs for 74 gun ships were beautiful.  He was building a 100 gun ship of the line in the G Lakes (USS NEW ORLEANS).

The 187's have proved to be very good ships.  Hard to imagine them as old now.  They have power take off units on the prop shafts that are generators.  You can power them with the regular generators and run the ship slow with the mains shut down.  A friend had one of them alongside a carrier and they lost the main engine.  He motorized the PTU, dumped generator power to it and helped the remaining engine keep the ship safely alongside while the emergency breakaway was going on.

I was slated to be the commissioning master of the USNS Walter S. DIEHL T-AO-193 and spend a year in the shipyard finishing her.  It was an honor.  She was our second 187 in the Pac fleet.  I turned it down to stay with HASS and take her through her last INSURV, which she passed with flying colors.  I went on to Port Capt after that and did a baby-sitting job on the DIEHL later.  Took her out of SF in the bay and out the bar channel myself at 20 knots.  She could do 22 so I didn't have her flat out and we were the only ship underway in the SF area.  Felt pretty good.
                                                                                                                      Capt. Patrict Moloney Jul 18, 2011

July 15, 2011 News Article    -    AO-191 Description    -    AO-192 Description

On July 12, 2011, AO-191
departed for Brownsville, Texas to be recycled by International Shipbreaking Limited.
On Jult 19, 2011, AO-192 departed for same destination.

The 191 and 192 were the only units of the 18-ship Henry J. Kaiser Class  not to be completed.

WHY?   -  They did not have a DOUBLE HULL.