Escalante AO-70



A river in Utah.

(AO-70: dp. 6,782, 1. 501'8", b. 68'; dr. 30'8"; s. 15 k.;
cpl. 244; a. 1 5", 4 3"; cl. Chiwawa)

Escalante (AO-70), formerly Shabone, was constructed for the Maritime Commission by the Bethlehem Sparrow's Point Shipyard, Inc., Sparrow's Point, Md., in 1942 and sponsored by Mrs. Walter E. Than. She was acquired by the Navy and commissioned on 30 January 1943, Lieutenant Commander C. L. Bolton, USNR, in command.

After a brief shakedown cruise in the Chesapeake Bay area, she transported a cargo of aviation gasoline from Houston to the Canal Zone. She was then assigned to duty with the Atlantic Fleet, with Task Forces 60 and 61. Between May 1943 and 30 October 1944 she made six trips to north Africa and two to United Kingdom ports where she fueled ships for the Normandy invasion.

Escalante returned to Norfolk Navy Yard for overhaul to fit her for duty in the Pacific. On 4 December 1944 she loaded fuel at Aruba, passed through the Panama Canal and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 26 December. She reported to Service Squadron 10 to operate mainly from Ulithi in refueling units of the 3d and 5th Fleets at sea and thereby taking part in the action against Luzon, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Japanese homeland. From 26 September 1945 until 20 October she fueled ships in Tokyo Bay and then set sail for San Fransisco, arriving on 31 October.

She was placed out of commission on 12 December 1945 and transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal

Escalante received four battle stars for World War II service.