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The U.S.S. CACAPON (AO-52), named after the Cacapon River in West Virginia, is a twin screw, geared turbine propelled tanker of the con­tinuous single deck type.  The profile shows the conventional tanker arrangement of forecastle, bridge, and poop, with a raked stem, a cruiser stern, and the machinery located aft, abaft the cargo tanks.

The vessel bears the design designation T3-S2-A1. This design was prepared by the U.S. Martime Commission in collaboration with tanker operators and builders to provide a large fast tanker suitable for naval operation during wartime.  The construction group, of which U.S.S. ASHTABULA (A0-5l) is the first of the class, is exactly similar to the national defense tankers built early in the Commission's shipbuilding program, except the conversion features necessary for naval use were incorporated in the design.  Conversion changes included the re­arrangement of the accommodation spaces, provision of a structural deck above the main deck, and addition of a considerable amount of military equipment.

Characteristics of the vessel are presented below.

Length overall553'-0"

Length between perpendiculars525'-0"

Beam, molded                                              75'-0"

Depth, molded39'-0"

Full load draft, even keel32'-4'5/8"

Displacement at full load draft25,466 tons

Light ship weight7,136 tons

Deadweight at full load draft (cargo) 18,310 tons

Gross tonnage, U.S.12,155 tons

Net tonnage, U.S,7,144 tons

Cargo tank capacity149,286 bbls.

Fuel tank capacity16,348 bbls.

Shaft horse power, normal (both shafts) 13,500

Designed speed, (knots)18

There are nine main cargo tanks.  Tank number 1 is subdivided in­to port and starboard sections by a centerline bulkhead; tanks 2 to 9 inclusive are subdivided into centerline and port and starboard sections by two continuous longitudinal bulkheads.

II - Building and Commissioning

The CACAPON, second of her construction group to be completed, was built under special survey of the American Bureau of Shipping at Bethle­hem - Sparrows Point Shipyard, Inc., as Maritime Commission Hull Number 718.  The keel was laid on November 16, 1942; the vessel was launched June 12, 1943; she was delivered to the Maritime Commission on Septem­ber 21, 1943 and the same day was accepted by the U.S. Navy and placed in full commission as the U.S.S. CACAPON (AO-52) by Commander L. Augustine, USNR, representing Captain E. N. Ward, USN (Ret), as

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