USS Caliente
USS Caliente AO-53
USS Caliente AO 53

From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Displacement 7,236
Length 553'
Beam 75'
Draw 32'4"
Speed 18 k
Complement 304
Armament 1 5", 4 3"
Class Cimarron

Caliente (AO 53) was launched 25 August 1943 by Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard, Inc., Sparrows Point, Md, under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs H. Kasary; commissioned 12 October 1943, Commander E. G. Genthner, USNR, in command, and reported to the Pacific Fleet.

Caliente departed Norfolk 11 December 1943 and arrived at Majuro 2 months later to support the fast moving TF 68 at sea during the Marshalls and Hollandia operations, and the raids on Palau, Yap, Ulithi, Woleai, Truk, Satawan, and Ponape. Shifting to Eniwetok in June 1944, she provided vital support for the invasion of the Marianas, then in August moved to Manus to assist the westward advance of the fleet in the Western Carolines. On 2 October Caliente arrived at the newly won base of Ulithi and for the next 4 months, the oiler was actively engaged in providing fuel to keep the 3d Fleet at sea for strikes against northern Luzon and Formosa, and in support of Leyte and Luzon landings in the Philippines.

After overhaul at San Pedro Calif., Caliente returned to Ulithi in May 1946, and from this base rendered invaluable service during the Okinawa assault and the smashing 3d Fleet raids on the Japanese homeland until the end of the war, then sailed for Tokyo Bay where she supplied fleet and occupation units until late 1946. During her stay in the Far East, she made two voyages to oil-rich Bahrein in the Persian Gulf, visiting Singapore; Colombo, Ceylon; and the Chinese ports of Tsingtao and Shanghai.

Caliente kept busy carrying fuel to Pacific ports and the west coast until the outbreak of war in Korea. Returning again to wartime operations, Caliente serviced fleet units at sea operating with the Formosa Patrol Force for the last 4 months of 1950 and with the 7th Fleet for the first half of 1951. During the next year she provided support for United Nations forces blockading and patrolling the east coast of Korea. Since 1952 she has made cargo runs between United States and Japan, operating with the 7th Fleet while in the Far East, and exercised on the west coast. This schedule continued for Caliente through 1960.

Caliente received 10 battle stars for World War II and 4 for Korean war service. The Caliente was still servicing the fleet in 1969 during the vietman war.