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Page 15 text:
force, lending support to the carrier task groups participating in the Third Fleet operations against the home islands of Japan. These operations often took MANATEE dangerously close to the Japanese coast but she continued to operate within two hund- red miles of the coast until the end of the war. Following the war, MANATEE was assigned the Formosa Straits patrol. In carrying out these operations, she was sent to Keelung, Formosa, Hong Kong, China, and the Pescadore Is- lands. When not assigned to the For- mosa Straits patrol, MANATEE made frequent runs to combat areas for fueling at sea operations. Since the close of the Korean con- flict, MANATEE has served with the U.S. Pacific Fleet, having made sixteen WestPac deploy- ments in the last ten years. Since the escalation of the Vietnam conflict, MANATEE has played a key role in supporting the ships operating along the coast of Viet- nam. On May 14, 1968, MANATEE deployed for West- Pac. To begin her sixth Vietnam support mission. Three weeks after leaving Long Beach, she arrived at Subic Bay, her " home port " for the seven months cruise. After completing post transit repairs the ship began the first of nine trips to the line. For the first time since World War II, MANATEE carried ammunition, along with fuel and groceries, making her the primary support replenishment ship for ships in the Market Time area. MANATEE performed so well as an ammunition ship that her handling was praised as better than many am- munition ships by receiving ships. The MANATEE had 315 unrep committments. She made every one. For many of the crew, this is the third WestPac de- ployment aboard the MANATEE. For them, Subic Bay has been as much a home as Long Beach. It is to these men, who have served and to those who continue to serve that this book is dedicated.
Page 14 text:
Va . »jtk-iC5C» . The USS MANATEE was commissioned on April 6, 1944, at Bethelehem Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland. She was the tenth of the CIMARRON class fleet oilers to be built. Originally intended as a commercial tanker she was redesigned and built to fit the requirements of a navy oiler. She is 553 feet long, 75 feet wide and displaces 25,000 tons when fully loaded. MANATEE entered the war on June 16, 1944 as part of the logistic support group in the invasions of Saipan, Tinian and Guam. Throught these camp- aigns MANATEE shuttled from Eniwetok to the fueling areas, servicing ships of various types as often as necessary. After these islands were secur- ed, MANATEE moved to Manus Island and contin- ued servicing what was then the Third Fleet thr- ough the first phase of the Battle of the Philippines. In October of 1944, MANATEE proceeded north- ward to join the forces of Admiral Halsey, then covering the landings on Leyte. By this time, the oiler had become a floating supply base, supplying mail, aircraft wing tanks, depth charges, freight, motion pictures, transportation service, and a large number of personnel replacements; thereby enabl- ing the fleet commander to maintain indefinitely his strikes against the enemy. Late in February 1945, MANATEE was ordered to Leyte Gulf where she was to help support the invasion of Okinawa. Following the Okinawa camp- aign, MANATEE became a part of the logistics
Page 16 text:
UNDERWAY REPLENISHMENT ¥ '
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