USS Wichita AOR-1 
by John F. Quilter 

1/400 USS Wichita AOR-1 (Scratchbuild)

This is a scratch built model of the USS Wichita (AOR-1) a multi-product replenishment ship commissioned in 1969 and the first of its class of eight.  I served on this ship as an ensign and lieutenant (jg) from February 1971 to November 1973 during multiple deployments to the Western Pacific in support of carrier task forces in the Gulf of Tonkin.  The model's hull and superstructure are sections of balsa wood, the kingposts are sections of Evergreen plastic, the refueling hoses are black telephone phone wire, the 40' motor whale boast, captain's gig and 26' life boats are resin cast using patterns from a same scale Revell model.  The many deck winches were also resin cast from a scratch built pattern.  This model replicates the ship with its twin 3 inch mounts.  About 1976 these were removed and replaced with helo hangers as from this point forward the ship carried its own helo detachment for vertical replenishment work.  The reference material for construction were my own files of 8 X 10 official photos and other photos taken at the time I served aboard.

John F. Quilter

Gallery updated 2013