USS Neosho (AO-23)

Neosho after commissioning in 1939. Photo in the collection of the US Navy History & Heritage Command.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

A Cimarron-class fleet oiler, USS Neosho (AO-23) was launched in April, 1939. After commissioning that August, Neosho was used to ferry aviation fuel to Pearl Harbor from the West Coast. She was caught in port on 7 December, 1941, but survived the attack, her tanks being empty at the time. Over the next few months, Neosho supported the retributive strikes by the US carriers, until she was attacked by Japanese carrier planes during the battle of the Coral Sea on 7 May, 1942. Her escorting destroyer, USS Sims, was sunk, and Neosho was set ablaze, suffering seven bomb hits, and a suicide attack by one of the aircraft. Heroic efforts by her crew kept Neosho afloat until her crew could be rescued. She was scuttled by the destroyer USS Henley on 11 May.

Bonus Photos

Neosho burning after being hit by IJN dive bombers on 7 May, 1942. She would be scuttled four days later. Imperial Japanese Navy photo.