Ships of the Nitro Class AEs

Nitro PatchPyro PatchHaleakala Patch

The three ships comprising the Nitro Class are the USS Nitro (AE-23), USS Pyro (AE-24) and the USS Haleakala (AE-25). This class of ammunition ship was designed to take advantage of the experiences gained in replenishment procedures during WWII and Korea, and to replace the aging ammunition ships that were in existence at that time. The mission of the AE ships was to deliver ammunition, either independently or with other combat logistic ships, to combatants and/or battle group station ships using both connected replenishment or vertical replenishment. These ships and their crews served proudly from the late 1950s through the mid 1990s.

These ammunition ships share many of the same characteristics of the Suribachi Class, but both classes differ from the newer Kilaueau Class ammunition ships.Kilaueau Class ships differ from the Nitro and Suribachi Class AE primarily in additional armament (Phalanx) and in on board aircraft (CH-46 Sea King helicopters). The original configuration of the Nitro and Suribachi class had neither of these elements.

The following information, gathered from the Ships Factsheets from United States Navy's BBS, provides general statistics of the Nitro and Suribachi class:

NITRO CLASS Ammunition Ships:
Displacement: 15,500 tons full load
Length: 512 feet
Beam: 72 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: AEs 23, 24 and 25: Aprox. 325
Builders: Bethlehem Steel, Sparrows Point, MD

I am seeking generalized work .jpg or .gif scanned photos of these ships to show on this page. If you are a former crew member and have some photos (they could be from your personal collection or from a cruise book) that you would like to share, please email them to: I am also looking for information and dates concerning any conversions (such as helo deck addition or FAST equipment additions) to add to each ship's section.

You may view the specifics on each ship by clicking on the hull number listed under Nitro Class AEs.
Go to Nitro Class Ammunition Ships' Page
Go to Nitro Class Quarterdeck Log Crew Registration
Go to Cruise Stories for USS Nitro (AE-2/AE-23) Association

Page created: 01/21/99 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