Canisteo (AO-99) was launched 6 July 1945 by Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard, Inc., Sparrows Point, Md., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. J. N. Chambers; and commissioned 3 December 1945, Lieutenant Commander E. L. Denton, USNR, in command.
Canisteo cleared Norfolk 4 February 1946 for Melville, R.I., where she loaded diesel oil for naval units taking part in the occupation of Germany. Returning from Bremerhaven and Farge, Germany, she carried out training operations in the Caribbean, and then sailed to Iceland and Greenland, returning to New York City 27 May.
The tanker sailed south from Norfolk 27 November 1946 as a unit of Operation "Highjump," the largest Antarctic expedition to that time. Steaming through the Panama Canal to the Antarctic, Canisteo reached Scott and Peter Islands, and through her logistic support, played a critical role in this historic exploratory and scientific project, carrying on the Navy's traditional role in expanding man's frontiers. Canisteo returned to Norfolk 23 April 1947 after calling at Rio de Janeiro and Caribbean ports.
Between 4 June 1947 and 23 October 1948, Canisteo served four tours of duty supporting the 6th Fleet by carrying oil from Bahrein to the Mediterranean. The winter and spring of 1948-1949 found Canisteo operating on fueling duty from Norfolk to Caribbean ports; Argentia, Newfoundland; and Grondal, Greenland. A pattern of alternating exercises in the Caribbean with overhauls and tours of duty in the Mediterranean in the following years was highlighted by her fueling in support of many fleet exercises. She played a part in augmenting the growing strength of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization through Operation "Mainbrace" (26 August-11 October 1952) and in combined operations with Canadian forces (16-20 September 1956). Active with the Fleet, Canisteo continued to operate out of Norfolk through 1960, participating in fleet and NATO exercises.
**Special thanks to the United States Navy for making this information
and photos available to us!**