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Petaluma

 

A town and a small river in Sonoma County, Calif.

 

(AOG–69: dp. 5,970; l. 325’2”; b. 48’2”; dr. 19’; s. 14.6 k.; a. 1 3”, 2 40mm; cpl. 80; cl. Klickitat; T. T1–M–A2)

 

A former name retained.

 

Petaluma (AOG–69) ex M.C. hull 2629, was to be acquired on loan charter basis from the Maritime Commission upon completion in 1945 by the St. Johns River Shipbuilding Corp., Jacksonville, Fla., but acquisition was cancelled 29 August 1945.

 

I

 

(AOG–79: dp. 6,047; l. 325’; b. 48’; dr. 19’; s. 10 k.; cpl. 28; cl. Rincon; T. T1–M–BT2)

 

Petaluma (AOG–79) was laid down as Tavispan (MC hull 2647) by the Todd-Houston Shipbuilding Corp., Houston, Tex., 3 May 1945; launched as Raccoon Bend, 9 August 1945; sponsored by Mrs. J. G. Tompkins; delivered to the Maritime ommission, 28 November 1945, operated under contract as a merchant tanker until acquired by the Navy, 14 August 1950; and was placed in service as USNS Petaluma (T–AOG–79), 11 September 1950.

 

Assigned to MSTS and manned by a Civil Service crew, Petaluma departed New Orleans 15 September 1950 on the first of two oil runs to Newfoundland. Between 19 January and 16 February 1951 she completed a run to the Azores, then commenced shuttling clean petroleum products between the Texas oil ports and the east coast. Reassigned that fall, she departed Port Arthur 13 November, transited the Panama Canal and steamed into the Pacific. On 2 January 1952 she arrived at Yokohama, whence she shifted to Sasebo to begin shuttle runs to Korea to supply needed fuels to United Nations forces fighting there. After the truce, she continued that shuttle service into the 1960’s with few interruptions, once to Haiphong (13 April–6 May 1954) and occasionally to Okinawa and to Iwo Jima. With the build up of American forces in South Viet Nam after 1964, runs to that embattled coast were added to her schedule. Into 1970, Petaluma, with her sister ships, continues to transport jet fuel, gasoline, and diesel fuel as directed by ComMSTS Far East.

 

Petaluma earned one battle star for service during the Korean Conflict.