The hull of U.S.S. Wichita was laid down in Quincy, Massachusetts by General Dynamics Quincy Shipbuilding Division in 1966. She was the first of the Wichita Class Replenishment ships to see service. (She was later joined by USS Milwaukee, USS Kansas City, USS Savannah, USS Wasbah, USS Kalamazoo and USS Roanoke.)
She was comissioned in July 1969, after a final outfitting at the Boston Naval Shipyard.
U.S.S. Wichita was equiped with twin Phalanx Close-In Weapons Systems for anti-missile/anti-aircraft defence. Eventually, this was supplemented with single Sea Sparrow MK 29 missile launchers which protected against surface and air threats by utilizing the Rim-7 NATO SeaSparrow Missile. She also had the ability to support (2) CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters if necessary.
After a long trek through the Panama Canal she arrived on the West Coast in Long Beach, which became her temporary home port, where she remained for a few months before being deployed to support ships in the Vietnam War. During her time there, she earned four battle stars and an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, which was for replenishing 23 ships within one day, and years later was also awarded a "Battle Efficiency Award" (Battle E).
Her last West Pacific tour of duty was in 1989, but she had some short deployments to British Columbia, Oregon and Mexico.
She provided over 30,000,000 gallons of oil and gasoline and 10,000 tons of ammunition to over 240 ships throughout her 24 years of service until she was decomissioned in 1993.
In 1998 she was transfered to Suisun Bay and became a member of the Reserve Fleet where she has sat ever since.
Inside the 'Treatment Room' where two operating tables and a dentist chair were installed for patient care.
Dentist chair inside the 'Treatment Room' on the 01 Level.
Inside the 1st deck crew mess.
Crew bunks on the 1st deck.
Checker tables on the 1st deck.