< Sabine II AO-25

Sabine II AO-25


Sabine II

(AO-25: dp. 25,440 (f.); 1. 553' b. 75' dr. 32', s. 18 k.; cpl. 303; a. 1 5", 4 3", 8 40 mm.; cl. Cimarron; T. T3-S2-A1)

The second Sabine (AO-25) was laid down on 18 September 1939 as SS Esso Albany, MC hull 10, by the Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard, Inc., Sparrows Point, Md., Launched on 27 April 1940, sponsored by Miss Ellen Klitgaard; renamed Sabine on 19 September 1940; acquired by the Navy through purchase on 25 September 1940, and commissioned on 5 December 1940, Comdr. Edmund W. Strother in command.

Following shakedown, Sabine transited the Panama Canal and joined the Base Force Squadron of the Pacific Fleet. During 1941 she plied the waters between California and Pearl Harbor supplying fuel to ships operating in Hawaiian waters.

Early in 1942, Sabine supported carrier task forces that carried out raids against Wake Island and the Gilberts. On 10 April, she joined the task force built around Hornet (CV-8) and Enterprise (CV-6) which steamed to within 700 miles of the coast of Japan and launched Army bombers commanded by Lt. Col. James Doolittle. They bombed Tokyo, Yokosuka, Nagoya, and Kobe. This daring strike surprised the Japanese and helped to boost American morale.

In May, Sabine provided at-sea refueling for ships in the South Pacific near New Guinea and Australia. In June, she serviced destroyers and cruisers on Aleutian Patrol off Kodiak, Alaska. August found her in southern waters again where, in company with Saratoga (CV-3), she played an important role in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. During September, she supported ships in and around New Caledonia, the Solomons, and the New Hebrides. By October, she was busy providing fuel for warships engaging Japanese forces in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.

Sabine returned to the United States for two brief periods in January and July 1943. The rest of her time, up to November, was spent on fueling operations in the South and Central Pacific. When the assault on the Gilbert Islands commenced on 19 November 1943, Sabine was busy refueling the carriers, battleships cruisers, and destroyers that were supporting the landing forces. During the Gilbert operation, the "sea going service station" concept emerged. Sabine and other oilers were assigned designated station areas. Individual combatant ships were sent to these areas in accordance with a preplanned schedule, rather than steam in groups to the areas where each might lose hours waiting for her turn alongside the oiler. Other oilers shuttled between the station areas and Pearl Harbor, which was replenished by a vast fleet of Merchant Marine tankers.

In January, February, and March 1944, Sabine operated with Task Force 58 supporting carrier raids on the Palaus, the Carolines, and the Marshalls. She was detached on 22 April, but, after a voyage to Pearl Harbor, arrived at Majuro Atoll on 18 May ready to rejoin TF 58 for the coming Marianas campaign. The force sortied on 6 June, and Sabine supported the landings on Saipan and Guam and subsequent operations in the Marianas until returning to Pearl Harbor on 14 August. She participated in the invasion of the Palaus during September. In October, she supported the assault forces at Leyte and subsequently provided fuel during follow-up operations in the Philippines. From March through June 1945, Sabine assisted in the Okinawan campaign. July and August were spent supporting 3d Fleet strikes against the Japanese home islands. Japan surrendered in mid-August, and Sabine anchored in Tokyo Bay on 18 September.

Sabine's post-war duties took her from Tokyo to the Yangtze River. Arriving on 19 November, she remained until 22 April 1946. From China, she returned to Hawaiian and west coast operations. However, she made several Far East cruises, and, on 13 June 1949 she was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet.

Sabine followed a schedule of east coast fueling operations, training exercises, and Mediterranean deployments until she was placed out of commission in reserve on 14 February 1955 and assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet for further transfer to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS).

She was activated by MSTS on 15 November 1956 at San Diego and commissioned on 10 December.

Following operations under MSTS, Sabine was again placed out of commission in reserve on 13 November 1957. Berthed with the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Beaumont, Tex., she was not struck from the Navy list until 14 January 1959.

Sabine was reacquired by the Navy in 1961 and towed to New York for refitting. She recommissioned on 14 December 1961 and rejoined the Atlantic Fleet, homeported at Mayport, Fla.

During the Cuban crisis, Sabine was active in the naval quarantine late in 1962. She also participated in operations during the political crisis of mid-1965 in the Dominican Republic. The remainder of the time, during these years and the years which followed, found Sabine busy in local operations, training exercises, and deployments to the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean. In October 1968, she was ordered to report to Philadelphia to begin deactivation. For a third time in her long career, Sabine was decommissioned on 20 February 1969, and she joined the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, at Philadelphia, Pa. On 22 January 1970, Sabine was transferred to the custody of the Maritime Administration and berthed with the James River, Va., Group of the National Defense Reserve Fleet, where she remains into 1974.

Sabine earned ten battle stars for World War II service.