Laurentia (AF-44) was laid down under Maritime Commission contract by Pennsylvania Shipyards, Inc., Beamont, Tex., 23 October 1944; launched 12 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Oscar Hayes; acquired by the Navy 19 May 1945 for transfer to Galveston, Tex.; and commissioned 5 June 1945, Lt. John Janus in command.
After shakedown, Laurentia loaded frozen and refrigerated provisions at Mobile, Ala., and departed for the Pacific 27 June. She reached Pearl Harbor 11 July; discharged cargo; then sailed 7 August to carry cold stores to American bases in the Marshalls, the Marianas, and the Palaus. She returned to Pearl Harbor 28 September carrying 250 veterans of the Pacific fighting. After loading more cargo, she sailed for the Philippines 6 October. She reached Tacloban, Leyte, the 23d and supplied ships in Leyte Gulf until sailing for the United States 9 November. She arrived San Francisco 2 December.
Laurentia stocked her cold storage holds and deployed for the Far East 14 December. She reached Yokosuka, Japan, 10 January 1946. During almost the next 3 months she provisioned ships out of Yokosuka and supported occupation operations along the eastern coast of Honshu. She then returned to the west coast, arriving at San Francisco 15 May. Decommissioning there 18 June, she was returned to the WSA. On 6 November the Maritime Commission transferred her to the Army under bareboat charter for supply operations in the Pacific.
Reacquired by the Navy 1 July 1950, Laurentia was assigned to MSTS and reclassified T-AF-44. Manned by a civilian crew she operated in the Far East during the Korean conflict. Based at Yokohama and Kobe, Japan, she provisioned American ships in various Japanese ports and steamed the vital sea supply line between Japan and South Korea while carrying supplies to Inchon and Pusan. She continued this important duty until departing Yokohama for the United States 27 February 1954. Steaming via Pearl Harbor and the Canal Zone, she reached New Orleans 9 April. After loading provisions, she sailed 10 May on a circular supply run to American bases in the Caribbean, principally to the Canal Zone, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Since 1954 she has maintained this pattern of operations out of New Orleans and Mobile, and at present she continues to serve in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico with MSTS.