Ships of the Nitro/Suribachi Class AEs

USS Nitro (AE-23)

Nitro Patch
USS Nitro (AE-23), original configuration USS Nitro (AE-23) with helo deck and FAST

Navy Unit CommendationNavy Unit CommendationMeritorious Unit Commendation Meritorious Unit Commendation
Republic of Vietnam Service
Armed Forces Expeditionary Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Republic of Vietnam Service Medal Southwest Asia Service Medal Southwest Asia Service
1 award star1 award star1 award star                                                         
3 Awards                                                          

"Service to the Fleet"

The following information, gathered from the Naval Vessel Register Web Site and Ships Factsheets from United States Navy's BBS, provides specific statistics of the USS Nitro:

USS Nitro (AE-23), launching.  Photo courtsey of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Bethlehem, PA
Photo of USS Nitro (AE-23) launching courtsey of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Bethlehem, PA.

Light Displacement: 9050 tons
Full Displacement: 15,489 tons full load
Dead Weight: 6439 tons
Overall Length: 512 feet
Waterline Length: 487 feet
Extreme Beam: 72 feet
Waterline Beam: 72 feet
Maximum Navigational Draft: 27 feet
Draft Limit: 29 feet
Speed: Approximately 20 knots
Power Plant: Two boilers, geared turbines, one shaft,
16,000 shaft horsepower
Aircraft: None
Armament: Four three-inch/50-caliber guns
Complement: Officers: 18 - Enlisted: 327
Builders: Bethlehem Steel, Sparrows Point, MD
Launch Date: 25 June 1958
Commission Date: 01 May 1959
Decommission Date: 28 April 1995
Age in years: 36.3

Home Ports: Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, RI. and Weapons Station, Earle, NJ
Custodian: Maritime Administration
Status: Stricken, to be disposed of, retain as logistics support asset
Date Effective: 02/15/2000
Planned Disposition: MARITIME ADMINISTRATION (NATIONAL DEFENSE RESERVE FLEET), James River Reserve Fleet, Fort Eustis, VA


In May of 1966 USS NITRO was placed in special reserve status in the care of Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Baltimore for a major conversion and overhaul period. This time, four FAST (Fast Ammunition Shuttle Transfer) stations were permanently installed, to transfer missiles quickly. A helicopter flight deck over the fantail was also added to provide vertical replenishment capabilities.

Carrier underway replenishment

Nitro/Jouett UnrepNitro/Jouett Unrep

as of 08/27/2001 Unrep pictures of USS Nitro (AE-23) and USS Jouett (DLG/CG 29) were taken during the 1972 WestPAC cruise and are courtsey of Jerry Backstrom of the USS Jouett Association. Notice the "Narragansett Express" banner on the Signal Bridge of the second picture.
Intrepid underway replenishment

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Page created: 02/26/99 Updated: 3/6/2006
Page maintained by: Jim Timmons,
Copyright ©2002,2006 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED for The USS Nitro (AE-2/AE-23) Association by Jim Timmons