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USNS Capt Arlo L Olson (T-AK 245).

USNS Capt Arlo L Olson (T-AK 245).
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Class: CAPT ARLO L OLSON (T-AK 245, C1-M-AV1)
Design: MC C1-M-AV1
Displacement (tons): 2,410 light, 7,440 full
Dimensions (feet): 339' oa, 320' wl x 50' e/wl x 21' max nav
Armament: none
Accommodations: 11 officers, 27 unlicensed
Speed (kts.): 10
Propulsion (HP): 1,700
Machinery: Diesel, 1 screw

245CAPT ARLO L OLSON1 Mar 1950J A Jones, Brunswick2 Mar 19458 May 19451 Mar 1950
246COL WILLIAM J O'BRIEN1 Mar 1950Consolidated Steel, Long Beach17 Jan 194513 Feb 19451 Mar 1950
247PVT JOHN F THORSON1 Mar 1950Southeastern SB8 Jan 194526 Feb 19451 Mar 1950
248SGT GEORGE PETERSON1 Mar 1950Leathem D Smith SB9 Mar 194513 May 19451 Mar 1950
249SHORT SPLICE1 Mar 1950Consolidated Steel, Wilm.15 Jan 19453 Mar 19451 Mar 1950
250PVT FRANK J PETRARCA1 Jul 1950Consolidated Steel, Long Beach18 Apr 19457 Aug 19451 Jul 1950

AKNameTInact/CustStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale
245CAPT ARLO L OLSONT25 Oct 1956/C22 May 195822 May 1958MA/T4 Mar 1971
246COL WILLIAM J O'BRIENTAug 19731 Sep 197319 Nov 1973MA/S--
247PVT JOHN F THORSONT2 Aug 19541 Oct 19581 Aug 1960MA/S--
248SGT GEORGE PETERSONTca Mar 195922 Mar 195927 Mar 1959MA/T15 Dec 1971
249SHORT SPLICET15 Jun 197315 Jun 197331 Aug 1973MA/S--
250PVT FRANK J PETRARCAT21 Nov 1973/C15 Oct 197316 Nov 1977MA/T--
Fates: MA/S (Title to MA and ship sold by MA); MA/T (Title to MA, ship sold later)

Class Notes:
In mid-1943 the Joint Chiefs of Staff asked the Maritime Commission to add to its building program a new type of coastal cargo ship. Unlike in Europe where the advance against Germany was overland, the advance against Japan could take place only by the successive reoccupation of hundreds of islands. Since the beginning of the war the Army had been building large numbers of small coastal cargo ships (its FS type), tugs, and barges for island use in the Southwest Pacific, but in 1943 it became clear that a larger type of inter-island vessel was needed to continue the advance to the Japanese homeland. A new diesel-propelled cargo ship with a displacement of about 7,500 tons and draft of about 18ft was designed and designated C1-M-AV1, and orders were placed for 86 vessels in August-September 1943 out of an initial program of 100 vessels. Eventually construction of over 300 C1-M-AV1's was authorized and slightly over 200 were delivered to the Maritime Commission before the end of the war and contract adjustments intervened. 65 early C1-M-AV1s became the Navy's ALAMOSA (AK 156) class and 17 of the refrigerated R1-M-AV3 variant became the ADRIA (AF 30) class. After World War II the Army began to acquire ships of the C1-M-AV1 and R1-M-AV3 types for its post-war permanent fleet. As of 31 August 1948 it had 21 of them excluding eight ex-Navy units in SCAJAP (see below), of which four were fitted as small troop transports (see APC 116-119) and five were reefers (see AF 53). All were Army-owned except for one cargo C1-M-AV1 (HONDA KNOT, converting to a mortuary ship) and all five R1-M-AV3s, which were under bareboat charter. By 28 February 1950 the Army's holdings of the C1-M-AV1 and R1-M-AV3 types had fallen to 12 ships, including four passenger (APC 116-119), six cargo (AK 245-250), and two refrigerated (AF 44 and AF 53).

AK 245-249 were among the Army ships operating out of continental US ports that were to be acquired on 1 March 1950 for which Navy names, classification, and hull numbers were approved on 21 February 1950. AK 250 was among the Army ships then operating under commands in the Far East that were to be transferred to the Navy about 1 July 1950 for which names, classification, and hull numbers were approved on 7 June 1950. Also on 1 July 1950 five former Navy ALAMOSA class C1-M-AV1s (AK 180, 187, 188, 198, and 200) that had been passed to the Army for operation with Japanese crews under the direction of the Shipping Control Authority, Japanese Merchant Marine (SCAJAP) and that were still in service were returned to the navy by the Army, though they were not transferred from SCAJAP to MSTS operation until 1 April 1951. They rejoined on the Naval Vessel Register six ALAMOSA class sisters (AK 157, 162, 170, 179, 184, and 213), which the Navy had retained after the war.

On 11 May 1954 MSTS awarded a contract to Todd Shipyards Corp., Brooklyn Division, to fit heavy lift gear to AK 246 and AK 249. The work included installation of two 80-ton heavy lift booms, retention of eight 10-ton booms, and structural alterations to accommodate increased deck loads. (Another C1-M-AV1, the mercantile GADSDEN (ex AK 182), had been converted to a 110-ton heavy lift ship by Bethlehem Steel's Baltimore yard in 1946, making her the American heavy lift champion before the conversion of AK 255 and AK 267, q.v., in 1953-54.) Of their unmodified sisters, AK 250 was retired in 1959 but reactivated in 1960, and the other three (AK 245, 247, and 248) were permanently out of naval service by the end of 1959. Of their ALAMOSA class sisters, AK 157 and 162 were fitted for Arctic operations in 1946 and AK 200 was ice strengthened in 1957.

Ship Notes:
245CAPT ARLO L OLS0N2478Ex merc. BELL RINGER, completed 11 Aug 1945. To Army 13 Aug 1946. To MA temporary custody 25 Oct 1956, permanent custody 22 May 1958. To buyer 26 Mar 1971.
246COL WILLIAM J O'BRIEN2323Ex merc. MAIDEN'S EYE, completed 10 Apr 1945. To Army 11 Jul 1946. Converted 1954 by Todd, Brooklyn, to a heavy lift ship with two 80-ton capacity booms. Scheduled to complete discharge at Piraeus 5 Aug 1973 when available for transfer to MA for disposal. In good condition but obsolete and due for ABS special survey no. 6. Sold by MA at Piraeus, Greece, to buyer in Elefisis Bay 27 Dec 1973.
247PVT JOHN F THORSON2486Ex merc. BECKET BEND, completed 6 Jul 1945. To Army 25 Jul 1946. To USN reserve at Charleston, S.C. 2 Aug 1954. Sold by MA with AK 157 and AK 162. To buyer 29 Aug 1960 at the Charleston Naval Base. Misspelled THORNSON on Navy naming notice.
248SGT GEORGE PETERSON2172Ex merc. COASTAL GUIDE, ex-USS WASHTENAW (AK 218), cancelled, ex-COASTAL GUIDE, completed 17 Dec 1945 at Beaumont, Tex. Operated commercially until to Army 23 Jun 1948. Served in the MSTS Gulf Subarea until inactivated in early 1959. To buyer 17 Feb 1972 for non-transportation use, converted into private yacht MARSHA LYNN. Sold 1979 to TransAlaska Fisheries Corp., a subsidiary of a corporation created by Congress to compensate Alaska Natives for loss of land, and converted to fish factory ship AL-IND-ESK-A SEA ("Aleuts, Indians, and Eskimos of Alaska in Seattle"). Caught fire from a welder's torch 20 October 1982 while undergoing repairs in Port Gardner, Everett, Washington, and sank 22 October 1982.
249SHORT SPLICE2464Ex merc. SHORT SPLICE, completed 18 May 1945. To Army 17 Jul 1946. Converted 1954 by Todd, Brooklyn, to a heavy lift ship with two 80-ton capacity booms. Operated by a Korean crew after arriving in the Far East 3 Nov 1966. To buyer at Yokosuka 18 Sep 1973.
250PVT FRANK J PETRARCA2329Ex merc. LONG SPLICE, completed 20 Sep 1945. To Army 29 Aug 1946. Stricken and to MA (title) 9 Apr 1959. From MA (title) 7 Apr 1960 and reactivated after private industry was unable to support construction on Canton Island of a telemetry tracking station to support Project Mercury. In 1962 she participated in a cost and feasibility study of year round ocean service in Alaskan waters. In 1966 she delivered supplies to McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, to support Deep Freeze ‘66. With sister FENTRESS (AK 180) she was converted to a partial containership (60 containers, 20' x 8' x 8') in 1971 to resupply Adak and Kodiak. In RRS status at San Francisco in Oct 1973 when (with AK 180) declared excess to requirements. In good condition but obsolete and due for an ABS special survey. To MA custody 21 Nov 1973. To buyer 28 Dec 1977.

Page Notes:
Compiled: 7 Aug 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021