A recent anonymous gift to the Warren County was a group of World War II pictures of the naval ship and crew of the USS Cimarron (AO-22) oiler used during World War II to refuel ships at sea. The anonymous person who dropped off a number of pictures stated that they belonged to Stanley J. Miller who lived in a yellow house with barns on Ridge Rd in the Town of Queensbury, Warren County.
The collection of pictures of the USS Cimarron crew date from the end of World War II (1944-1946).
With Veteran’s Day this month I’d like to publish the pictures in the hope that people searching online may be able to identify relatives who served onboard the ship. If anyone can identify individuals, please send a note to: [email protected]
Here’s a brief history of the USS Cimarron during World War II.
USS Cimarron (AO-22) was a Cimarron-class oiler serving with the United States Navy and the second ship to be named for the Cimarron River in the Southwestern United States. She was launched 7 January 1939 by Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Chester, Pennsylvania; sponsored by Mrs. William D. Leahy; and commissioned 20 March 1939 with Lieutenant Commander William W. Behrens, Sr. in command.
World War II
Cimarron cleared Houston on 31 May 1939 for Pearl Harbor, arriving on 21 July. She transported oil between west coast ports and Pearl Harbor, making 13 such voyages until she sailed for the east coast on 19 August 1940. After repairs and alterations, she began oil runs on the east coast, principally between Baton Rouge and Norfolk, until August 1941, when she took part in amphibious operations. From 5–16 September she put to sea with a transport convoy bound for Iceland, and voyaged north again from 12 October to 5 November to refuel ships at Placentia Bay. On 15 November 1941, she joined a convoy at Trinidad bound for Singapore with reinforcements, but was detached from the convoy on 9 December at Cape Town, South Africa. Returning to Trinidad on 31 December, she operated from Brazilian ports to Iceland until 4 March 1942, when she cleared Norfolk for San Francisco.
Cimarron reached San Francisco on 1 April 1942 and sailed the next day with the task force bound for the first air raid on Tokyo on 18 April. With USS Sabine, they fueled the fleet at sea before and after the raid, and returned to Pearl Harbor on 25 April. She sailed on 29 April, bound to join the force soon to join battle with the Japanese naval forces in the Coral Sea, but arrived after the battle to refuel destroyers at Nouméa, and returned to Pearl Harbor on 26 May. She cleared Pearl Harbor on 28 May to fuel the force which defeated the Japanese in the Battle of Midway and returned on 12 June, departing on 7 July to support the operation in the Solomon Islands. Using Nouméa as her principal base, Cimarron occasionally reloaded at Suva and Efate. After repairs at San Francisco in November 1942, she sailed for the forward area 18 December. She operated again out of Nouméa supporting the final stages of the Guadalcanal action, then fueled out of Efate, carried cargo to Sydney, Australia, and returned to fueling at Dumbea Bay in support of the occupation of New Georgia. She returned to San Francisco, in July 1943, and then made two trips from the west coast to Pearl Harbor.
Cimarron departed Pearl Harbor 29 September 1943 with the force which raided Wake Island on 5–6 October, and returned to Pearl Harbor on 16 October. She sailed once again on 14 November to fuel in support of the Gilbert Islands campaign, returning 1 December, and sailed to San Pedro, California, to reload 12 December to 4 January 1944. Clearing Pearl Harbor on 13 January 1944, she supported the Marshall Islands operation and the February attacks on Truk from Majuro until 6 June; the Marianas operation from Eniwetok until 26 August; and the Palau Islands operation from Ulithi.
After a stateside overhaul from October through December 1944, Cimarron arrived at Ulithi on 26 December 1944. From 27 December to 21 January 1945 she sailed to fuel the task force launching air attacks on Indo-China and Philippine targets as part of the Luzon invasion, and put to sea again from 8 February to 22 March for air raids on the Japanese home islands and the invasion of Iwo Jima. From 26 March to 23 May she sailed from Ulithi to fuel ships engaging in the Okinawa operation, and from 3 June shuttled between Ulithi and the areas from which the mighty carrier task forces launched the final series of raids upon the heartland of Japan. Ulithi remained her base as she supported the occupation until 10 September, when she anchored in Tokyo Bay. Operations in the Far East continued until 4 February 1946, when she arrived at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, for overhaul.
(source: Wikipedia – 11/02/2021).
edited by Tom Lynch, Collections Manager
contact: [email protected]
Source: USS Cimarron collection #00
Warren County NY Historical Society, 50 Gurney Lane, Queensbury, NY 12804