As the U.S. Navy began to assume worldwide responsibilities, it developed the need for a massive "Fleet Train" of supporting ships. While most such ships were converted from merchant vessels, Congress in 1916 authorized the construction of a series of new ships that served as the nucleus of the auxiliary forces in the years between the two world wars. Boston was selected to construct five of these vessels, including three "fuel ships," better known as oilers. The first of these vessels, USS Brazos (AO-4), is seen during fitting out in 1919. She was the only one of the trio to survive World War II, her sisters Neches (AO-5) and Pecos (AO-6) both being lost to Japanese forces in early 1942.
Development of ship building at the Charlestown Navy Yard-USS Brazos
Last updated: February 26, 2015