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S.S. Mobilube, later USS YO-164, circa 1939
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Class:        TANKER HULKS (YO-164, 234)
Design        Tankers, 1913-1939
Displacement (tons):        4926 light, 15,850 dwt.
Dimensions (feet):        501.6' oa, 488.2' pp x 68.2' x 30.75'
Original Armament:        1-3"/50 4-.50 cal mg (YO-164)
Other armament:        2-3"/50 6-20mm (YO-234)
Complement        --
Speed (kts.):        --
Propulsion (HP):        --
Machinery:        Non-self propelled

YO Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
164 YO-164 (ex MOBILUBE) 5 Jul 43 Bethlehem Sparrows Pt. -- 29 Apr 39 5 Jul 43
234 YO-234 (ex EDWARD L. DOHENY) 27 Aug 45 Swan Hunter -- 20 Aug 13 27 Aug 45

YO Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
164 YO-164 (ex MOBILUBE) -- 25 Feb 47 10 Feb 47 MC 15 Apr 47
234 YO-234 (ex EDWARD L. DOHENY) 9 Aug 46 28 Aug 46 9 Aug 46 MC 23 Jul 47

Class Notes:
FY 1943 (YO-164), not stated (YO-234). The specifications above are for YO-164, those for the much older YO-234 are in the Ship Notes.

YO-164: Directives AVB68 of 3 Apr 43. On 18 Feb 38 the Socony-Vacuum Oil Co. ordered two tankers, MOBILFUEL and MOBILUBE, from the Bethlehem Steel Co. yard at Sparrows Point (Baltimore), Md. These, delivered in early 1939, were designed by N. J. Pluymert, a designer at the shipyard, proved very economical to operate, and were regarded as very successful. Socony-Vacuum soon ordered six more sisters to MOBILFUEL from the Sparrows Point yard, four on 1 Nov 39 and two on 10 Jan 40. On 9 Feb 40 the MC announced that it had reached agreement with Socony-Vacuum to build these six ships as high speed national defense tankers, and their engine rooms were modified to squeeze a 12,000 hp, 16.5 knot plant into the space occupied by the original 4,000 hp, 13.5 knot plant. The Navy soon acquired all six of the fast tankers as the KENNEBEC (AO-36) class (q.v.), but the original pair remained in commercial service with Socony-Vacuum. MOBILUBE was torpedoed off New South Wales, Australia, on 18 Jan 43 by the Japanese submarine I-21. She sank in shallow water but was salvaged and towed into Sydney. Commander Service Force, Southwest Pacific Force, determined that the ship could be repaired for use as non-self-propelled floating storage for fuel oil, and on 3 Apr 43 the Auxiliary Vessels Board recommended her acquisition. On 5 Jul 43 the Navy acquired the hulk and placed it in service as YO-164. YO-164 was then towed to Noumea, where she and several non-self-propelled concrete barges (see the YO-144 class) replaced PASIG (AO-89, q.v.) as station tanker. By late 1944 YO-164 was in Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. Returned to the Maritime Commission at Subic Bay, MOBILUBE was delivered to her buyer on 15 Apr 47 for further operation. She was fully reconditioned as a tanker, was lengthened and widened in 1957, and operated until 1972.

YO-234: The old tanker EDWARD L. DOHENY was tentatively selected in August 1944 to become a station tanker with the designation IX-184 (see the IX-131 class). On 6 Sep 44 a Navy board inspected her while she was being repaired at Galveston, Texas, and found her not suited to Naval service, and on 7 Sep 44 CNO cancelled her acquisition. (Her poor condition was due in part to her extensive use in the gasoline trade.) On 17 Mar 45, while again rejecting EDWARD L. DOHENY as a station tanker, this time for possible acquisition as IX-219 or IX-220, VCNO explained that she could not be used in the forward area without strengthening the hull to allow vessels to come alongside for refueling, the cost of which would have been prohibitive. At about this time the ship was assigned to the Bureau of Yards and Docks as equipment for possible use in breakwater construction. CNO asked CinCPOA on 26 Mar 45 if her equipment was still intact, noting that he anticipated a requirement for bunkering facilities at Eniwetok to serve transiting merchant shipping. CinCPOA responded the next day that he would be willing to accept the ship despite her faults provided she was delivered to Eniwetok under her own power by her merchant crew in good enough condition to be used there as non-self-propelled dead storage for fuel oil. On 10 Apr 45 CNO relayed this acceptance to the MC and stated that the Navy would provide an armament of 1-3"/50 (two were fitted) and 6-20mm guns. The Auxiliary Vessels Board endorsed the acquisition on 25 Apr 45. In mid-June 1945 the ship loaded a full cargo of fuel oil at Curacao and then proceeded to Pearl Harbor. ComServPac reported on 28 Jul 45 that the ship had arrived with all fresh water tanks except domestic leaking. After repairs the ship continued on to Eniwetok where she was accepted and placed in service on 27 Aug 45. On 7 May 46 OPNAV directed that she be towed to San Francisco for disposal. She joined the reserve fleet at Suisun Bay, Calif., on 22 Nov 46 and was delivered to her buyer on 23 Jul 47 for scrapping.

Ship Notes:
YO Name Notes
164 YO-164 (ex MOBILUBE) (ID-5004A, completed Jun 39). Original speed 15 kts with one steam turbine. To YON-164 ca. May 1946. Merc. MOBILUBE 1947, WINAMAC 1954, lengthened and enlarged 1957, scrapped 1972.
234 YO-234 (ex EDWARD L. DOHENY) (ID-4754, completed Sep 13). 5,000 light, 10,427' deadweight tons, dimensions 418' oa, 415' pp x 54.5' x 26.9'. Built by Swan, Hunter, & Wigham Richardson, Newcastle, England. Original speed 10.4 kts with one 3,000 HP triple expansion steam engine. To YON-234 ca. May 1946. To buyer 23 Jul 47, scrapped by 11 Sep 47.

Page Notes:
YO        1943
Compiled:        14 Sep 2010
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2010