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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USNS Mission San Carlos (T-AO-120)
Mission San Carlos (AO-120) (1947 - 1949)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Hotel - November - Zulu
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
National Defense Service Medal

Mission Buenaventura Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 1 November 1943, as a Maritime Commission type (T2-SE-A2) tanker hull under Maritime Commission contract (MC 1279) at Marinship, Sausalito, CA.
  • Launched, 12 February 1944
  • Delivered to the Maritime Commission, 15 April 1944 and chartered to Pacific Tankers, Inc for the remainder of World War II
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 20 April 1946
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Mobile, AL.
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 12 November 1947, operated by Marine Transport Inc. and placed in service by the Naval Transportation Service (NTS) as Mission San Carlos (AO-120)
  • Operational control transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) 1 October 1949 and placed In-service as USNS Mission San Carlos (T-AO-120)
  • Placed out of service, 6 November 1957 and laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Beaumont, TX.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 6 November 1957
  • Sold to Transwestern Associates, 16 May 1966, renamed SS Seatrain Maryland
  • Resold to Hudson Waterways Corp., September 1966, name retained
  • Converted to a Vehicleship in April 1967
  • Reacquired by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), 30 December 1972, renamed SS Maryland
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 5,532 t.(lt) 21,880 t.(fl)
    Length 523' 6"
    Beam 68'
    Draft 30' 10"
    Speed 15.1 kts (trial)
    52 CivMar
    17 US Navy Armed Guard
    one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    four single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four twin 20mm AA gun mounts
    Cargo Capacity 15,300DWT
    Oil 120,400 Bbls
    Gasoline 575,000 Gals
    Fuel Capacity NSFO 9,235 Bbls
    one General Electric turbo-electric engine
    two Babcock and Wilcox D-type boilers, 600psi 825°

    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 400Kw 450V A.C.
    two turbo-drive 85Kw 120V D.C.
    two turbo-drive 55Kw 120V D.C.
    one turbo-drive 50Kw 450V A.C.
    single propeller, 10,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Mission San Carlos (War Shipping Administration)
    Mission Carmel
    Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Río Carmelo - first built in 1797, is one of the most authentically restored Roman Catholic mission churches in California. Located at the mouth of Carmel Valley, CA., it is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.
    The facade of the chapel, 27 August 2016. Photo by ©Cristiano Tomás
    Tommy Trampp
    Mission San Carlos 175k Mission San Carlos on the builder's way #3 at Marinship, Sausalito, CA., 26 November 1943, 26 days after keel laying.
    US Maritime Commission photo by Marinship courtesy Auke Visser's Famous T - Tankers Pages.
    Robert Hurst
    USNS Mission San Carlos (T-AO-120)
    Mission San Carlos 1242k USNS Mission San Carlos (T-AO-120) under way in the harbor at San Pedro CA., date unknown. David Buell
    BB-44 California 138k Reserve Fleet Basin, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Pennsylvania. Photographed on 19 May 1955 with numerous cruisers, escort carriers, and auxiliaries in reserve. The nearest ship is the never-completed
    Hawaii (CB-3), which lacks her previously-installed three 12" gun turrets.
    The cruisers outboard of Hawaii are (in unknown order)
    Honolulu (CL-48),
    Columbia (CL-56),
    Denver (CL-58),
    Galveston (CL-93), and
    Portsmouth (CL-102).
    To their left are
    Tranquility (AH-14),
    Sanctuary (AH-17), and
    Pocono (AGC-16).
    Behind Hawaii (from left to right) are
    Montpelier (CL-57),
    Houston (CL-81),
    Huntington (CL-107),
    Savannah (CL-42),
    Cleveland (CL-55), and
    Wilkes-Barre (CL-103).
    Beyond them (from left to right) are
    Wichita (CA-45),
    Oregon City (CA-122),
    Chester (CA-27), and
    New Orleans (CA-32).
    The cruisers on the left side of the basin (from front to rear) are
    Minneapolis (CA-36),
    Tuscaloosa (CA-37),
    San Francisco (CA-38),
    Augusta (CA-31),
    Louisville (CA-28), and
    Portland (CA-33).
    Among the other ships in reserve in the basin are
    Fomalhaut (AE-20),
    Webster (ARV-2),
    Albemarle (AV-5),
    Tangier (AV-8),
    Pocomoke (AV-9),
    Chandeleur (AV-10),
    Abatan (AW-4),
    Mission San Carlos (AO-120),
    Prince William (CVE-31),
    Anzio (CVE-57),
    Block Island (CVE-106),
    Palau (CVE-122), and
    San Carlos (AVP-51).
    Moored in the shipyard at the extreme left are
    Tennessee (BB-43),
    California (BB-44), and
    Cabot (CVL-28).
    US Navy Photo # 80-G-668655, now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Robert Hurst
    Merchant Service Seatrain Corp.
    Mission San Carlos 339k Ex-USNS Mission San Carlos (T-AO-120) rebuilt as the heavy lifter SS Seatrain Maryland moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    Possibly © US Maritime Historian Wm. Schell.
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus

    USNS Mission San Carlos (T-AO-120)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    Fleet Tankers Association
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Data Base
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 12 February 2021