Engraved "Biggy Rat" on the back
Town and Country Image on Zippo
Shipping in USA $5.00 outside USA $7.50
My ship actually took on ammo from the USS Vesuvius AE-15 while off the
coast of Vietnam during October / November 1967
The fourth USS Vesuvius (AE-15) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1381) by the
North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, Wilmington, N.C.; launched on 26 May 1944; acquired by the United States Navy on
4 July 1944; and commissioned on 16 January 1945, Comdr. Flavius J. George in command.
The ship underwent builder's trials out of Brooklyn, N.Y., and then began shakedown out of Hampton Roads, Va., in the Chesapeake
Bay. On 17 February, she sailed to Earle, N.J., to onload ammunition. She then headed for the island of Ulithi, via the Panama Canal,
on 5 March. She reached her destination on 5 April and promptly unloaded and took on more cargo. Vesuvius departed for Okinawa
on 10 April w she became part of Service Squadron 6. In this role, she replenished ammunition to the Fleet in the waters around
Okinawa. In July 1945, Vesuvius joined a rearming group off Honshu, Japan, to support raids on Japan by the 3d Fleet. She detached
on 2 August and set sail for Leyte Gulf, Philippines. While t, word of the Japanese capitulation was received on 15 August 1945.
The ship remained in the Philippines until 28 October, when she left for the United States. After transiting the Panama Canal, Vesuvius
joined the Service Force, Atlantic Fleet. The ship arrived at Yorktown, Va., on 14 December 1945.
Vesuvius departed Yorktown on 10 January 1946, bound for Leonardo, N.J., to discharge her cargo and ship's ammunition to the
Naval Ammunition Depot. On 7 February, she headed for Orange, Tex., arriving t on 13 February to commence her pre-
inactivation overhaul. Vesuvius was placed out of commission, in reserve, at Orange on 20 August 1946.
In response to the needs imposed by the Korean conflict, Vesuvius was recommissioned on 15 November 1951. She remained at
Orange and Beaumont, Tex., for outfitting and readying for sea until 7 January 1952, when she departed for San Diego. Having
arrived on 14 February, the ship conducted exercises and loaded ammunition at Port Chicago, Calif., before sailing on 22 March for
She arrived at Sasebo on 3 May 1952 and, after voyage repairs, began supplying ammunition to the ships of Task Force (TF) 77 on
patrol off the east coast of Korea. On 1 December, Vesuvius headed for the United States, arriving at San Francisco on 18 December
Over the next decade, Vesuvius was to make 11 more extended deployments to the western Pacific w she serviced units of the 7th
Fleet. These operations were interspersed with port visits to Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. Periods on the
west coast of the United States were spent in overhaul and in the conduct of underway training.
On 24 June 1963, Vesuvius commenced her 13th post-World War II deployment to the western Pacific, making stops at Pearl Harbor
and at Guam for repairs and arriving at Yokosuka on 4 August. She serviced the 7th Fleet throughout August. In October, she visited
Sasebo and Kagoshima, Japan; Subic Bay, Philippines; and Buckner Bay, Okinawa. In November, she visited Hong Kong and spent
the entire month of December 1963 in and out of Yokosuka, Japan.
Vesuvius began the year 1964 in Yokosuka making final preparations for her homeward passage. On 7 January, she got underway for
San Francisco via the great circle route. She arrived on 31 January and spent February and March moored to the pier at Port Chicago.
A brief trip to San Diego and participation in an exercise with other units of the 1st Fleet occupied April, and Vesuvius spent May in
an upkeep status at Concord. On 6 ...