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USNS Mission San Gabriel (T-AO-124)

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Mission San Gabriel T-AO-124.jpg USNS Mission San Gabriel (T-AO-124) prepares to get underway in the harbor at Long Beach, California, date unknown.[1]
Laid down: 31 January 1944
Launched: 17 April 1944
Delivered: 27 May 1944
Struck: 20 December 1957
Fate: Scrapped
General Characteristics
Hull type: T2-SE-A2
Displacement: 5,532 tn light;
23,350 tn full
Length: 524 ft (160 m)
Beam: 68 ft (21 m)
Draft: 30 ft (9.0 m)
Speed: 16.5 kt (31 km/h)
Complement: 52
Propulsion: Turbo-electric, single screw, 6,000 hp
Armament: None

USNS Mission San Gabriel (T-AO-124) was the fourteenth of twenty-seven Mission Buenaventura-class tankers built during World War II for service as fleet oilers in the United States Navy. Named for California's Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to have borne the name.

Operational history

Originally laid down as SS Mission San Gabriel on 31 January 1944 as a Maritime Commission type (T2-SE-A2) tanker hull under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1817) by Marine Ship Corporation of Sausalito, California; launched 17 April 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Ralph Meyers: and delivered 27 May 1944. Chartered to Deconhill Shipping Company, on 28 May 1944 for the remainder of the War, she supplied oil to U.S. and Allied Forces in the Pacific. Returned to the Maritime Commission in early February 1946, she was transferred to the Reserve Fleet and laid up on 28 February 1946. Acquired by the Navy on 14 October 1947, she was transferred to the Naval Transportation Service on the same day for service as Mission San Gabriel (AO‑124) and was operated, under charter, by Pacific Tankers, Inc. Upon the founding of the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) on 1 October 1949, she was absorbed into this service and continued operations until 28 December 1949, when she was returned to the Navy and laid up at San Diego as part of the U.S. Navy Pacific Reserve Fleet.

With the commencement of the Korean War, the Mission San Gabriel was taken out of mothballs and placed in service with MSTS on 18 July 1950 as USNS Mission San Gabriel (T‑AO‑124). She helped support U.S. forces in Korea until 31 March 1954, when she was taken out of service and mothballed at the San Diego group of the Pacific Reserve Fleet. Once again, the faithful tanker’s service was needed and on 8 October 1956, she was taken out of mothballs and placed in service for duty with MSTS. Her service with MSTS was short this time, and on 20 December 1957, she was taken out of service and transferred to the Maritime Administration Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay for berthing. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on the same date. In early 1966 Mission San Gabriel’s call to duty came again. Sold to the Hudson Waterways Corporation on 24 June 1966 she was converted into a container ship and train ferry and renamed SS Seatrain Delaware on 21 November 1966. In early 1967, she departed the yards and begun her new life, carrying cargo to the Caribbean Islands and occasionally to Vietnam; she was still performing these duties into the late 1960s. The ship was sold for scrapping in 1975.


  1. (PD) Photo: United States Navy