The USS Tamalpais AO-96 was laid down at Sausalito, California, on 18 September 1944 under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1831) by the Marinship Corporation; launched on 29 October 1944; acquired by the Navy on 20 May 1945; and commissioned that same day, Lt. Commander A.J. Church, in command.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships of the U.S. Navy 1940-1945 lists:

AO-96 USS Tamalpais

bullet Escambia class Fleet Oiler
bullet Displacement: 21,880 tons
bullet Length: 523'6"
bullet Beam: 68'
bullet Draft: 30'
bullet Speed: 15.5 knots (max); 13 knots (econ).
bullet Armament: 1 5"/38 DP, 4 3"/50 DP, 4x2 40mm, 4x2 20mm
bullet Complement: 267
bullet Capacity: 140,000 barrels
bullet Turbo-electric engines, single screw, 8,000 hp
bullet Marine Commission T2-SE-A2 type

Commander Church was an experienced captain with service in the Merchant Marine and as captain of the USS Patapsco AOG-1. The Tamalpais crew was assembled at the Boat Pool on Treasure Island, San Francisco, California. Working parties were sent to the ship for several days to become familiarized with it's operation prior to sailing to the Alameda Navy yard to have special equipment installed.

On June 7th the ship departed San Francisco for shakedown training out of San Diego. On the 15th, she was ordered to San Pedro to load potable water; and, eight days later, she headed for the Marshall Islands, On 8 July, Tamalpais reached Eniwetok and discharged her cargo. The following day, she continued on to Manus, in the Admiralty Islands, where she loaded another cargo of water which she delivered to Ulithi on 22 July. She returned to Manus on the 26th. She put to sea again on 8 August, headed for the Philippines with a fresh water cargo, and arrived at Leyte on 10 August. Four days later, as hostilities in the Pacific were ending, she stood out of Leyte Gulf to rendezvous with Task Group 30.8 off the coast of Japan. The ship entered Sagami Bay on the 28th and anchored in Tokyo Bay on the 30th. There, she issued water to hospital ships and small craft. She remained in Japan - either at Tokyo, Yokosuka, or Sasebo - until March 1946.

On 4 March, Tamalpais departed Sasebo for Hong Kong, where she stayed almost two months. On 25 April, she sailed from Hong Kong to return to the United States. She transited the Panama Canal between 2 and 24 May and arrived in Mobile, Alabama, on the 28th. On 21 June 1946 she was decommissioned and returned to the War Shipping Administration for lay-up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 8 July 1946.

On 10 March 1948, Tamalpais was reacquired by the Navy, and she was operated by a civilian contractor for the Navy until 1 October 1949, when she was transferred as a non-commissioned naval vessel manned by civilian personnel. On 28 April 1950, her name was reinstated on the Navy List. For the next eight years, she plied the oceans of the world as USNS Tamalpais (TAO-96), visiting major ports the world over and carrying petroleum for the Navy. On 18 December 1957, her name was again struck from the Navy list; and she was transferred to the Maritime Commission's-James. River Group (Virginia), National Defense Fleet. Sometime between 31 December 1965 and 30 June 1966, Tamalpais was turned over to the Department of the Army.

Tamalpais was converted by the Army along with other ships to an electric power platform to supply electric power to an Army base in Vietnam. When it was finally pulled off line, the ship was sold as scrap at Nha Trang Vietnam, to the China Dismantled Vessel Trading Corp, Ltd. in Taipei, Taiwan. View the RECORD OF SALE BELOW.


Record of sale for Tamalpais

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Last modified: April 09, 2008