U.S. ARMY Y-Boats in Vietnam and Petroleum Distribution
from Bill Sadler, Ralph Grambo and Dave Brasell


Self-propelled liquid-cargo vessels regardless of size carry the designation "Y". The vessel shown above, design 7014, was used to transport cargo such as petroleum products or water along coastal routes to bases and airfields not served by the MSTS. Its has an overall length over 222feet and a beam of 38 feet. Her two main propulsion engines develope 700 bhp each at 900 rpm. Speed is about 12 knots and the cruising range is 8,800 miles. Capacity is about 11,000 barrels.List of Army Boats in Vietnam

The Flags Say Homeward Bound

from the Cam Ranh Bay Window
Seventeen years in the Orient is what you could call a long, long, long tour. That is exactly the length of time the US Army oil tanker Y-487 has been in service without return to the United States. However when the train engine powering the vessel, which is the second largest ship operated by the Army, sustained permanent damage it was "DEROS time" for this seaworthy combat veteran.
With the vessel on the trip home to Sharf Army Depot at Rio Vista, California will be a crew of seven enlisted men and two officers, where the normal crew is 22 EM and six officers. On the bridge will the the Army's equivalent of ship's captain, CW2 William C.Sadler, Master of the Y487. CW2 Sadler has been with the vessel since February 1971 and has amassed over 19 years sea experience for the Army. He and the crew have been reassigned to Ft. Eustis, Virginia, the home port of all marine Warrant Officers.
The primary mission of the Y-487 in Vietnam has been in coastal operations between the ports of Nha Trang, Da Nang and Cam Ranh Bay, its home port since 1967. Now it faces a 32 day journey to the United States, towed by the seagoing tug Lucky, and an uncertain future. Commissioned as an Army vessel in 1954 and with many years of service gone by the Y-487 deserves a "well done" and a well deserved rest.

A Y-vessel anchored at Newport, Y-66

Wayne Ferguson on the deck of Y-73 on a run to bring JP-4 to the Mekong Delta.

POL Distribution in Vietnam

from Dave Brasell

Countrywide Petroleum Consumption
(In Thousands of Barrels)
Date Quantity
1964 2,700
1965 6,785
1966 21,850
1967 36,280
1968 43,650
1969 41,725
1970 36,450

There were five Army tankers engaged in petroleum operations before I left in July, 1967. List of Army Boats in Vietnam

Y 67; Y 73; Y 86; and Y 100 in addition to the Y 487.

In addition to these five vessels the following ex US Army vessels were in country under charter to the U.S. Army operated under the direction of Hq. 1st Log Command:

Additionally the ex Y 45 (LSCO BALINTAWAK) was in country under charter to USAID transporting potable water.

The MSTS tanker COSSOTAT was used in supplying Cam Ranh Bay and Qui Nhon directly from off shore locations (Japan and Singapore). We were also using the MSTS chartered vessel PELICAN.

At Qui Nhon, there were three U.S. Army tank farms.
Tank farm no. 1 had a 66,000 bbl capacity; tank farm no. 2 was built with a 46,000 bblcapacity while tank farm no, 3 was being built when I departed and it was to have had a capacity of 193,000 bbls.

Tank farm no. 3's primary purpose was to have been the origin point for the Qui Nhon - Ane Khe pipeline (a 6" pipeline). At pump station No, 1 on the line at Qui Nhon was a sign posted that said "PUMPING THE LIFE GIVING BLOOD OF WAR." Also at Qui Nhon, we leased tankage from Esso in their downtown commercial tank farm. At this tank farm in the spring of 1967, Co lRobert M Dill (Director of POL operations - 1st Log Command) received the Silver Star for meritorious service for climbing a burning tank of jet fuel (ignited after a VC rocket attack) to gauge the volume of fuel left in the tank (this was done after one of his subordinates, a LTC refused to order one of his men up the tank to perform the gauging operation.

To receive fuel at Qui Nhon from direct overseas shipments, and from transshipment from Cam Ranh Bay via y - tankers was both a POL jetty and a 8" submarine pipeline.At An Khe, their was a 65,000 bbl tank farm in addition to a 10,000 bbl bladder known as a "Hasty Tank." this was the only one of its kind in Viet Nam (that's not 10,000 gals., but 10,000 bbls). DA civilians had to come over to help with the erection of this monster bladder as well as assisting in getting it into operation. The pipeline was eventually to be extended onto Pleiku which in 1967 had only a 9,000 bbl tank farm plus bladders. It was supplied out of An Khe by convoy.

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