Private Frank J. Petrarca
An Army name retained.
(AK–250: dp. 8,370 (f.); l. 338’8”; b. 50’1”; dr. 29’; s. 10 k.; cpl. 85; cl. Alamosa; T. C1–M–AV1)
Private Frank J. Petrarca was laid down as Long Splice (MC hull 2329) by the Consolidated Steel Crop., Ltd., Long Beach, Calif., 18 April 1945; launched 8 July 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Eloi J. Amar; and delivered to the Maritime Commission, thence to Lykes Brothers, 20 September 1945.
As Long Splice, the cargo ship was operated by Lykes Brothers tinder General Agency Agreement until returned to the Maritime Commission and transferred to the War Department, 29 August 1946. Renamed Private Frank J. Petrarca, 31 October 1947, she operated with the Army Transportation Service until again transferred, to the Navy, 1 July 1950. Placed in service, with the designation T–AK–250 on 6 July 1950, she was assigned to MSTS and served the Mid-Pacific area until 1959.
Between 9 April 1959 and 4 July 1960, the AK was laid up at Suisun Bay, Calif., as a unit of the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet. Reacquired by the Navy on the latter date, she was again assigned to MSTS, under which she resumed cargo carrying duties between Pacific ports. In 1962, she participated in a cost and feasibility study of year round ocean service in Alaskan waters. Four years later, she delivered supplies to McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, to support Deep Freeze ‘66. In accomplishing that mission she became the first cargo ship to be so employed without benefit of an ice-strengthened hull. Since that time, into 1970, Private Frank J. Petrarca has continued to carry vital supplies and equipment, particularly to southeast Asia, for MSTS, Pacific.