USS Willamette (AO-180) (Non-Retention)
The USS Willamette was the fourth ship in the Cimarron-class of U.S. Navy fleet replenishment oilers. Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans, Louisiana built the ship and it was launched on July 18, 1981. Willamette was commissioned in 1982 at its homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, making it the first U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned there since 1917. Willamette wasalso the first ship of its class to be protected by two MK 15 Phalanx Weapon Systems. On September 27, 1991, Willamette was the second ship of the Cimarron-class to complete “jumboization,” where a 108-foot mid-body section was added to the center of the ship. The mid-body increased fuel capacity by 30,000 barrels and added an ordnance cargo capability of 625 tons. The mid-body also featured an additional emergency diesel generator and two cargo stations. Ballast and cargo transfer systems were fully automated and designed to effect safe and efficient transfer of bulk petroleum cargo. On February 10, 1986, approximately 75 miles southwest of Pearl Harbor, Willamette collided with the repair ship USS Jason (AR-8) during a formation steaming exercise, killing one and injuring eight. The collision smashed Willamette's starboard bow from the rail to below the waterline. Jason had to be towed back to port due to a large vertical rupture on its port side from the deck to the waterline. The Navy decommissioned the ship in 1999 and transferred tile of the vessel to the Maritime Administration in 2001. Willamette is now located at the Maritime Administration’s Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in Benicia, California.