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USS Taurus (AF-25) on 30 November 1942.
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Class: TAURUS (AF-25)
Refrig. Cargo, 1921
6,600 full load
325.25' oa, 325.0' wl x 46.3' e x 23.0' full
1-4"/50 1-3"/50 6-20mm (1942)
Machinery: Thompson Houston Curtis turbine, turbo-electric drive, 1 screw
||2 Oct 42
||12 Aug 21
||28 Oct 42
||11 Dec 45
||3 Jan 46
||11 Dec 45
FY 1942. Often regarded as the eighth unit of the class of which DELPHINUS (AF-24) was part, TAURUS differed by having turbo-electric drive (she was said to be the first ocean-going ship so equipped). Her dimensions and cargo capacity differed slightly as a result. The owners, evidently concerned over her possible fate in Navy hands, took pains to remind the Navy that this ship was "a fully refrigerated, electrically driven vessel" and asked that they bear this in mind when assigning engineering personnel.
On 9 Jul 42 CNO directed the acquisition of "three AKs with approximately 100,000 cubic feet of refrigerator space and 26,000 cubic feet of general cargo space" which were required for urgent use to supply island bases in the South Pacific Area by 1 Oct 42. The Auxiliary Vessels Board endorsed this action on 21 Jul 42. On 1 Aug 42 VCNO informed WSA that the three vessels that most nearly met the Navy's needs were SAN BRUNO, LA PERLA, and SAN BENITO. He noted that the last two had been allocated for Army use in services to Hawaii and requested that WSA substitute equivalent tonnage so that these ships could be made available to the Army, which was agreeable to the change. He explained that "it is essential that small vessels be used in the South Pacific due to the vulnerability of larger ships and the requirement of discharging small quantities at various ports. On the other hand, large vessels may be used for reefer cargo between San Francisco and Hawaii and higher temperatures allowed since the entire cargo is discharged at one port." The three "small" ships became AF 23-25. BuShips noted that these three ships would have to have separate machinery allowance lists as they were all very different from each other mechanically, and added that the only comparable vessels in the Navy were AF-16 and AF-18, which were similar to but not identical with AF 23-24.
||Ex merc. SAN BENITO (completed 20 Sep 21). Converted by Bethlehem Steel, Alameda, Cal. Merc. SAN BENITO 1946. Scrapped 1953.
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2001