USNS Private Frank J. Petrarca (T-AK-250)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Career (USA) 100x35px
Name: Private Frank J. Petrarca
Namesake: An Army name retained: Frank J. Petrarca, awarded the Medal of Honor
Ordered: as type (C1-M-AV1) hull, MC hull 2329
Builder: Consolidated Steel Corporation, Long Beach, California
Laid down: 18 April 1945 as MS Long Splice
Launched: 8 July 1945/7 August 1945
Sponsored by: Mrs. Eloi J. Amar
Commissioned: date unknown as USAT Private Frank J. Petrarca
Decommissioned: 1 March 1950
In service: 1 March 1950 as USNS Private Frank J. Petrarca (T-AK-250)
Out of service: 9 April 1959
Struck: 15 October 1973
Honors and
National Defense Service Medal
Fate: sold, 1 December 1977; fate unknown
Notes: The vessel was placed again in service on 7 April 1960 by Military Sealift Command for an unknown length of time for duty in the Antarctic.
General characteristics
Type: Alamosa-class cargo ship
Tonnage: 2,382 tons
Tons burthen: 6,240 tons
Length: 388' 8"
Beam: 50'
Draft: 21' 1"
Propulsion: Diesel, single screw, 1,700shp
Speed: 11.5 knots
Complement: 85 officers and enlisted
Armament: none

USNS Private Frank J. Petrarca (T-AK-250) was an Alamosa-class cargo ship that was constructed for the U.S. Navy during the closing period of World War II. However, the war ended, and she was transferred to the U.S. Army as USAT Private Frank J. Petrarca who kept her in service until transferred to the U.S. Navy in 1950.

Built in Long Beach, California

Private Frank J. Petrarca was laid down as Long Splice (MC hull 2329) by the Consolidated Steel Corporation, Ltd., Long Beach, California, 18 April 1945; launched 8 July 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Eloi J. Amar; and delivered to the U.S. Maritime Commission, thence to Lykes Brothers, 20 September 1945.

As Long Splice, the cargo ship was operated by Lykes Brothers under General Agency Agreement until returned to the U.S. Maritime Commission and transferred to the War Department, 29 August 1946.

U.S. Army service

Renamed Private Frank J. Petrarca, 31 October 1947, she operated with the Army Transportation Service until again transferred, to the Navy, 1 July 1950.

U.S. Navy service

Placed in service, with the designation T–AK–250 on 6 July 1950, she was assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) and served the Mid-Pacific Ocean area until 1959.

Between 9 April 1959 and 4 July 1960, the AK was laid up at Suisun Bay, California, as a unit of the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet.

Reacquired by the Navy on the latter date, she was again assigned to MSTS, under which she resumed cargo carrying duties between Pacific Ocean ports. In 1962, she participated in a cost and feasibility study of year round ocean service in Alaskan waters.

Antarctic service

Four years later, she delivered supplies to McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, to support Deep Freeze ‘66. In accomplishing that mission she became the first cargo ship to be so employed without benefit of an ice-strengthened hull. Since that time, into 1970, Private Frank J. Petrarca continued to carry vital supplies and equipment, particularly to southeast Asia, for MSTS, Pacific.

Final inactivation

She was struck from the Navy list on 15 October 1973 and subsequently sold on 1 December 1977, her ultimate fate unknown.

Honors and awards

Qualified vessel personnel were authorized the following: