A commercially manufactured product of petroleum.
(AO–164: dp. 10,296; l. 524’; b. 68’2”; dr. 30’; s. 14.5 k.; cpl. 52; cl. Suamico; T. T2–SE–A1)
Petrolite, a T–2 military auxiliary tanker, was laid down 12 October 1943 as Hanging Rock (MC Hull 1723) by Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Chester, Pa., launched 13 January 1944; and delivered to the Navy at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard 31 January 1944.
Operating briefly out of Philadelphia as Hanging Rock, she transported oil between various east coast ports. Transferring her operations to the Pacific during the closing months of the war, she transported oil to many of America’s island bastions. With the end of hostilities she was laid up in the Maritime Commission Reserve Fleet at Puget Sound, Olympia, Wash.
In November 1956 the tanker was activated by the Maritime Commission for charter to MSTS as USNS Petrolite (T–AO–164). She operated under contract with a civilian crew until 5 September 1957, when she was struck from the Navy List and again laid up with the Maritime Administration Reserve Fleet at Olympia.
Petrolite was sold to Sea Land Service, Inc., 18 April 1969 and scheduled for conversion to a containerized cargo ship at Todd Shipyards Corp., San Francisco Yard.