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USS Wichita (AOR-1)

Replenishment Oiler / Fleet Support Ship

Though currently mothballed, the USS Wichita operated in the Vietnam War and earned her crews four battle stars for her service.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 7/19/2017
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1969
Ships-in-Class: 7
Named Ships: USS Wichita (AOR 1); USS Milwaukee (AOR 2); USS Kansas City (AOR 3); USS Savannah (AOR 4); USS Wabash (AOR 5); USS Kalamazoo (AOR 6); USS Roanoke (AOR 7)
Complement: 420
Length: 659 ft (200.86 m)
Width: 96 ft (29.26 m)
Height: 35 ft (10.67 m)
Displacement (Surface): 40,100 tons
Propulsion: 3 x boilers feeding steam turbines developing 32,000 horsepower to 2 x shafts.
Speed (Surface): 20 kts (23 mph)
Operators: United States
The USS Wichita was a replenishment oiler and operated in support of fleet operations during her time. She was the second ship to be named after the US city and the first of her Wichita-class fleet support ships to see service. She was later joined by the USS Milwaukee, USS Kansas City, USS Savannah, USS Wabash, USS Kalamazoo and the USS Roanoke. She is no longer in active service with the United States Navy.

After traversing from her construction grounds and through the Panama Canal, the USS Wichita made berth at her home port in Long Beach, California, USA. She was later put into action in support of ships in the Vietnam War, to which she earned her crew several awards including battle stars (4) and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the latter for replenishing some 23 ships in a single day. She made no less than three deployments to the region during the conflict and also served as crew readiness trainer and ambassador to various ports in Canada and South America. She primarily served with the 7th Fleet in the Pacific during her time on the seas.

Her armament consisted of twin Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems for anti-missile/anti-aircraft defense. This was further supplemented by the addition of a single Sea Sparrow Mk 29 surface-to-air missile launchers. The USS Wichita could also support up to 2 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters for various roles when called upon.

The USS Wichita was first ordered in 1965 and laid down the following year. She was launched in 1968 and officially commission a year later. She was officially decommissioned in 1993 and her name struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 1995. The vessel is currently in mothball status at Suisun Bay, California.


2 x Phalanx CIWS
1 x Sea Sparrow Mk 29 surface-to-air missile launcher

Air Wing

2 x CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
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