A merchant name retained. A Franciscan mission in early California.
(AO‑116: dp. 21,880; l. 524'; b. 68'; d. 30'; s. 16.5 k.; cpl. 52; a. none; cl. Mission Buenaventura; T. T2‑SE‑A2)
Mission Loreto was laid down on 27 April 1944 under a Maritime Commission contract by Marine Ship Corp., Sausalito, Calif.; launched 28 June 1944; sponsored by Mrs. S. D. Bechtel; and delivered 22 July 1944.
Operated, under charter, by Los Angeles Tanker Operators Inc., she spent the remainder of the war transporting fuel to our forces in the western Pacific. She continued in these duties until 26 April 1946 when she was returned to the Maritime Commission and laid up in the Maritime Reserve Fleet at Mobile, Ala.
Acquired by the Navy 20 November 1947, she was placed in service with Naval Transportation Service on the same date as Mission Loreto (AO‑116). On 1 October 1949 she was still performing these duties, but was under control of the new Military Sea Transportation Service and was designated USNS Mission Loreto (T‑AO‑116). She continued in these duties until 25 August 1955, when she was struck from the U.S. Naval Register and transferred to the Maritime Administration for layup in the Maritime Reserve Fleet at Beaumont, Tex.
Reacquired by the Navy 25 June 1956, she was placed in service with MSTS on the same date and served until 13 July 1959 when she was once again returned to the Maritime Administration and laid up in the Maritime Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, Calif. Into 1969, Mission Loreto is still berthed at Suisun Bay.