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(T-AO-l54: dp. 21,880; 1. 524'; b. 68'2"; dr. 30'2"; s. 14 k; T. T2-SE-A1)
Lynchburg (T-AO-l54) was laid down as Chalmette under Maritime Commission contract by Kaiser Co., Inc., Portland, Oreg., 5 April 1944; launched 20 May 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Carl J. Watt; and delivered to Pacific Tankers, Inc., San Francisco, Calif., 19 June 1944.
During and after World War II Chalmette operated as a merchant tanker. In 1948 she was sold to Standard-Vacuum Oil Co. of New York and renamed Stanvac Brisbane. In 1951 she was purchased by Esso Standard Oil Co. of New York City and renamed Esso Lynchburg. She served on the merchant sealanes until 1955 when the Maritime Administration acquired her on a "trade in" basis and placed her in the National Defense Reserve Fleet in the James River, Va.
Following the outbreak of hostilities between Great Britain, France, and Israel on one side and Egypt on the other late in October 1956, the Navy sent the mighty 6th Fleet to the eastern Mediterranean to help contain the clear threat to world peace. With the closing the Suez Canal 1 November, the Maritime Administration reactivated Esso Lynchburg for emergency tanker duty. Acquired by the Navy 17 November, she was assigned to MSTS at Norfolk, Va.
Esso Lynchburg was renamed Lynchburg 28 November and during the next year was operated under General Agency Agreement by Marine Transport Lines, Inc., of New York City. Carrying shipments of bulk fuel, she made several runs between ports in the Persian Gulf and American bases in the Philippines and the western Pacific. She was returned to the Maritime Administration at Beaumont, Tex., 29 October 1957 and remains in the NDRF there into 1969.
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