(AF-54: dp. 15,500 (f.); l. 459-2-; b. 63-; dr. 25-10-; s. 14 k.; cpl. 241; a. 8 40mm., 12 20mm., cl. Alstede; T. C2-S-B1)
Platono, a single-screw steel-hulled steamer of some 6,000 tons built by Cornwall, Laird & Co., Ltd., was renamed Pictor by the Navy and classified AF-27 on 22 April 1943; but her acquisition by the Navy was cancelled 22 May 1944.
Pictor (AF-54) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract as S.S. Great Republic (MC-187) 18 March 1942 by the Moore Shipbuilding Co., Oakland, Calif.; launched 4 June 1942; sponsored by Mrs. William Craig, Jr.; and delivered 29 June 1943.
From 29 June 1943 until April 1950, she served as S.S. Great Republic for various private companies, including United Fruit Co., and Pacific Far East Lines of San Francisco, Calif. In April 1950, she was returned to the Maritime Commission and was moored in an inactive status in Suisun Bay, Calif.
In September 1950, the Navy acquired this merchant ship from the Maritime Administration for conversion into a store ship. Pictor commissioned 13 September 1950, and reported for duty to the Pacific Fleet.
During the Korean Conflict, she made tours of the Far East to supply perishable foods and dry stores to personnel in Korea and on the Taiwan patrol.
After the Korean War, she continued to store refrigerate, transport, and issue, underway and in port, perishable foods and dry stores for the 1st and 7th Fleets off the west coast and in the western Pacific.
During the Vietnam War, she supplied food and dry goods to the 7th Fleet on station off Vietnam. She decommissioned in December 1969 and was returned to MarAd in August 1970.