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Sappa Creek

 

A stream in Kansas and Nebraska.

 

(AO-141: dp. 5,782 (It.); l. 523'6"; b. 68'; dr. 29'11"; s. 14.5 k.; cl. Suamico; T. T2-SE-A1)

 

Sappa Creek, built under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 544), was laid down on 17 April 1943 by the Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co., Mobile, Ala.; launched on 15 September 1943; sponsored by Miss Martha Carroll; and delivered to the Maritime Commission on 29 October 1943.

 

Operating for the Maritime Commission during World War II by the American Trading and Production Corp., Baltimore, Md., Sappa Creek shuttled petroleum products across the Atlantic to the United Kingdom into November 1944. Then transferred to Pacific runs, she moved fuels into the Marshalls, Marianas, and Carolines. In November 1945, she retransited the Panama Canal and commenced peacetime runs from oil ports on the Texas coast and in the Caribbean to eastern American and western European shipping centers.

 

In the spring of 1948, Sappa Creek was transferred to the Navy. She was delivered to Marine Transport Lines, Inc., on 6 April for operation; and, on the 28th, she commenced her Naval Transportation Service career as USNS Sappa Creek (T-AO-141). As a contract-operated Navy ship, she continued her north European runs into 1949. Then, with the establishment of the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) in October of that year, she extended her range. In November and December, she moved from Hamburg, through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal, to the Persian Gulf; thence she retraced her route to the Atlantic and the east coast of the United States.

 

Sappa Creek next proceeded to New Orleans, where she remained inactive into April 1950; then she resumed her tanker operations with a run from Freeport, Texas, to Norfolk and Bremerhaven. From there, she proceeded to Bahrein before returning to Norfolk and the gulf coast. In mid-July, she moved north. In August, she delivered petroleum products to Narsarssuak, Greenland. From that Danish island, she returned to Freeport, whence she completed another voyage to Europe and the Persian Gulf. At the end of September, she departed Ras Tanura; moved east instead of west; and, in late October, she arrived in Japan to deliver her cargo for further distribution as needed by the United Nations effort in Korea.

 

She completed delivery of her vital supplies at Yokohama and continued eastward. On 17 November, she transited the Panama Canal. By the end of the month, she had filled her cargo tanks at Port Arthur, Tex. In early December, she reentered the Pacific; and, at the end of that month, arrived back at Yokohama. By 4 January 1951, she had offloaded at Yokosuka and was en route to the United States.

 

Between 19 January and 6 February, Sappa Creek shuttled oil between San Francisco and Pearl Harbor; then, in mid-February, she departed Long Beach for Yokohama. In March, she continued on to Bahrein, whence she headed for the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and Norfolk. In June, she returned to Port Arthur; and, at the end of the month, she sailed east to Dover and Rotterdam. In July, she resumed Texas, Caribbean, and east coast shuttle runs. In early December, she completed another transatlantic run to England; and, on the 22d, she again transited the Panama Canal, en route to Japan.

 

Arriving at Yokohama in January 1952, Sappa Creek completed a Japan-Persian Gulf-Japan run in late February. During March, she shuttled oil products from Sasebo to Pusan and Ulsan on the embattled Korean peninsula; and, in April, she returned to Bahrein, whence she continued on to the United States.

 

In late May, the tanker resumed operations on the gulf and east coasts and in the Caribbean. In October, she returned to the Pacific; and, by January 1953, she was again employed in carrying petroleum products from the Persian Gulf to Japan. The truce agreement in July brought a change in her schedule; and, in mid-August, she sailed for the United States.

 

After hostilities ceased in Korea, Sappa Creek remained in the MSTS fleet and, with only one interruption, Persian Gulf-Mediterranean runs in the fall of 1957, she was employed in the Pacific with frequent runs to the Persian Gulf for the next six years. On 7 December 1959, the T2 tanker was inactivated and returned to the Maritime Administration, the successor to the original Maritime Commission, and laid up at Suisun Bay, Calif., as a unit of the National Defense Reserve Fleet. Struck from the Navy list on 1 July 1961, she was still in the Suisun Bay Reserve Group as of July 1974.