USNS Paoli (T-AO-157) was a Gettysburg-class fuel tanker, built at Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. in Chester, Pennsylvania. A Type T2–SE–A1 tanker, it was hull number 401 and Maritime Commission number 1734. The ship was laid down on 18 July 1944, launched on 31 October 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Lina Martin, and delivered to the Maritime Commission on 11 November 1944 for operation by War Emergency Tankers, New York City.

USNS Paoli (T-AO-157)
Type T2-SE-A1 tanker in 1943
United States
NamePaoli (1944–1966)
NamesakePaoli, Pennsylvania
  • Maritime Commission (1944–1947)
  • Cities Service Oil Co. (1947–1955)
  • Maritime Commission (1955–1956)
  • US Navy (1956–1957)
  • Marine Navigation Sulphur Carriers (1966–)
BuilderSun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Chester, Pennsylvania
Yard number401
Laid down18 July 1944
Launched31 October 1944
Sponsored byMrs. Lina Martin
In service15 October 1956
Out of service2 October 1957
Stricken2 October 1957
FateSold, 1966
NameMarine Floridian (1966–c.1997)
NameBelofin Floridian (c.1997)
IdentificationIMO number5270208
FateScrapped, 1997
General characteristics
TypeT2–SE–A1 tanker
  • 5,782 long tons (5,875 t) light
  • 21,880 long tons (22,231 t) full
Length523 ft 6 in (159.56 m)
Beam68 ft (21 m)
Draft30 ft (9.1 m)
PropulsionTurbo-electric, single screw, 8,000 hp (5,966 kW)
Speed15.5 knots (28.7 km/h; 17.8 mph)
Capacity140,000 barrels (22,000 m3)

Service history edit

Paoli made oil runs to the United Kingdom, between the Caribbean and the east coast; and to the Persian Gulf during World War II.

On 5 January 1946, the ship was transferred to Sieling & Jarvis of Newport News, Virginia, and then sold to Cities Service Oil Co., on 14 January 1947, for $1,797,871.78. The ship was returned to the Maritime Commission on 23 March 1955, at Beaumont, Texas, for lay up.

Paoli was acquired by the United States Navy from the Maritime Administration as political tensions in the Middle East heightened. The ship was assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), as USNS Paoli (T-AO-157) on 15 October 1956, and was operated by Marine Transport Lines Inc. Paoli served until returned to MARAD custody and struck from the Navy List on 2 October 1957.

SS Marine Floridian edit

On 2 February 1966, the ship was transferred to Marine Navigation Sulphur Carriers Inc., and rebuilt into a liquid sulfur carrier at Baltimore and renamed SS Marine Floridian. She was a 5,700 ton, 523-foot-long (159 m) ocean-going tanker. On February 24, 1977, Marine Floridian collided with the Benjamin Harrison Bridge, a drawbridge over the James River near Hopewell, Virginia. The collision closed the bridge to traffic for 20 months and resulted in damages totaling $9.7 million. The ship was later renamed SS Belofin Floridian shortly before being scrapped in 1997.

References edit

  •   This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
  • Photo gallery of Paoli (T-AO-157) at NavSource Naval History
  • "T2 Tanker".
USNS Paoli (T-AO-157)