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Mission San Gabriel


A merchant name retained. A Franciscan mission in colonial California founded in 1771.




(AO‑124: 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 San Gabriel was laid down 31 January 1944 under a Maritime Commission contract by Marine Ship Corp., Sausalito, Calif.; launched 17 April 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Ralph Meyers: and delivered 27 May 1944.


Chartered to Deconhill Shipping Co., 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 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 our 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 tankerís 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 U.S. Naval Vessel Register on the same date.


In early 1966, Mission San Gabrielís call to duty came again. Sold to the Hudson Waterways Corp., on 24 June 1966, she was converted into a containership and train ferry and renamed Seatrain Delaware on 21 November 1966. In early 1967, she departed the yards and begun her new life, carrying cargo to Caribbean Islands and occasionally to Vietnam. Into 1969, she is still performing these duties.