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Mission Soledad


A merchant name retained. A Franciscan mission in colonial California founded in 1791.




(AO‑136: 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 Soledad was laid down 12 July 1943 under a Maritime Commission contract by Maxine Ship Corp., Sausalito, Calif.; launched 28 September 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Atholl McBean; delivered 16 January 1944.


Chartered to Pacific Tankers, Inc., for operations, she spent the remainder of the war carrying fuel to our victorious forces in the western Pacific. She remained in this capacity until mid‑February 1946, when she returned to her building yard and was laid up in reserve.


Acquired by the Navy 16 October 1947, she was chartered to Pacific Tankers, Inc., for operation and placed under the operational control of the Naval Transportation Service as Mission Soledad (AO‑136). When operational control of this tanker was assumed by the newly created Military Sea Transportation Service 1 October 1949, she was redesignated USNS Mission Soledad (T‑AO‑136). In October 1957, while on one of her voyages to the Middle East, she received an SOS from the Merrimack (AO‑37) after the oiler had lost all propulsive power. Mission Soledad rushed to the scene and rendered assistance until Pecos (AO‑65) arrived and began towing the stricken ship into Bombay, India. Upon her arrival in the United States, she was returned to the Maritime Administration on 31 October 1957, struck from the U.S. Naval Register on the same date and laid up in the Maritime Reserve Fleet.


Sold to the Hudson Waterways Corp., 4 November 1966, she was renamed Seatrain California 7 November 1966. She begun conversion to a containership, but before conversion was complete, she was sold to Transwestern Associates, Inc., and renamed Transontario. Upon completion of conversion, she began hauling freight to countries all over the world, which she is still doing into 1969.