USS Mission Santa Ynez (ex-AO-131) (T-AO-131) (Disposed)
The liquid-bulk tanker, Mission Santa Ynez was constructed by the Marinship Corporation of Sausalito, California in March of 1944. The U.S. Navy operated the tanker during World War II, before it was laid-up in the Maritime Commission’s James River Reserve Fleet (JRRF) in March of 1946. After only two years of active service life, the vessel was reactivated for further service in October of 1947. The ship was assigned to the Naval Transportation Service, and later the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), as the USNS Mission Santa Ynez (T-AO-131). Mathieson Tankers operated the ship under charter until March of 1975. Thereafter, the vessel was maintained by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) in a retention status until March of 1990. Tankers of the “T2” type were the counterparts to the dry cargo Liberties and Victories of the wartime construction program. Among the most common of the T2 tankers were the T2-SE-Al and A2 classes. The two classes were essentially identical, but for installed horsepower. Although the T2 is commonly referred to as the “Mission” tanker, that nomenclature was only applied to a select group ofT2s constructed in California. The Maritime Commission employed alternative naming conventions for T2s constructed elsewhere in the country. The Mission Santa Ynez is the last T2-SE-A2 tanker in the Maritime Administration’s inventory. The vessel is thought to be substantially unaltered from its original construction and no other unaltered T2 class tankers are known to exist.
The Mission Santa Ynez was withdrawn from the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet on March 31, 2010 and is now being recycled in Brownsville, Texas.