The USS Genesee (AOG-8) was launched on September 23, 1943, in Savage, Minnesota, through Cargill, Incorporated. On May 27, 1944, the Genesee was commissioned. The Genesee began its duty of transporting high octane aviation gasoline on July 14, 1944 in Aruba. On August 11, 1944, the ship entered Pearl Harbor. Between the summer of 1944 and the spring of 1945, the Genesee completed five trips between Pearl Harbor and the Phoenix Islands and the Canton Islands.
Service in the Pacific
On August 26, 1945, the Genesee headed to Tokyo Bay with aviation and motor fuel. The ship traveled to several Japanese ports until December 14, transporting fuel. On January 19, 1946, the Genesee arrived in Long Beach, California. The ship continued its operations in the Pacific stopping in Guam, Korea, China and Alaska. On December 14, the ship was decommissioned in San Francisco until the start of Korean War.
On January 8, 1952, the Genesee headed for Japan. The ship’s duties included assisting the United Nations Command forces by transporting fuel. On May 2, 1952, the Genesee arrived in Guam and remained there until the beginning of August. The Genesee was based in Pearl Harbor until the spring of 1960. On May 31, the ship went to Sasebo, Japan, which became her new home base. The Genesee changed home ports several times. In 1962, the ship was transferred to Subic Bay. In July of 1964, the Genesee went back to Pearl Harbor and participated in Operation Hardnose.
The Genesee was undergoing maintenance when the Vietnam War began. When the ship’s maintenance was completed, the Genesee was sent to the war zone, where was responsible for transporting fuel. During the ship’s service, she transported approximately two million gallons of fuel. In November 1965, the Genesee went back to Pearl Harbor for maintenance. On May 2, 1966, the ship headed out to the Far East again, but returned to Pearl Harbor in October of 1967. In 1968, the Genesee returned to Vietnam.
Sometime later the Genesee was decommissioned. On June 25, 1972, the USS Genesee was removed from the Naval Vessel Register and was then relocated to Chile under the Security Assistance Program. The ship was renamed the Beagle and remained under commission in South America until 1992. The Genesee was awarded one battle star for both World War II and Korea, as well as five campaign stars for Vietnam.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, some tankers and oilers also posed a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.