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The T2 tanker Hat Creek in August 1943

The T2 tanker, or T2, was an oil tanker constructed and produced in large quantities in the United States during World War II. The largest "navy oilers" at the time, nearly 500 of them were built between 1940 and the end of 1945.




T2 design

Standard T2s were 501 feet 6 inches (152.86 m) in total length, with a beam of 68 feet (21 m). Rated at 9,900 tons gross (GRT), with 15,850 long tons deadweight (DWT), standard T2s displaced about 21,100 tons. Steam turbines driving a single propeller at 12,000 horsepower (8,900 kW) delivered a top speed of 15 knots (28 km/h). Six were built for commerce by Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard in Maryland, only to be taken over by the United States Navy following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

T2-A design

The T2-A type tanker was an early design variation. Bigger but faster, they were 526 feet (160 m) in total length, displaced about 22,445 tons, and were rated at 10,600 tons gross with 16,300 DWT -- yet they attained a top speed approaching 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h).


By far the most common variety of the T2-type tanker was the T2-SE-A1, another commercial design already being built in 1940 by the Sun Shipbuilding Company for Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. They were 523 feet (159 m) long, 68 feet (21 m) abeam, with 10,448 gross register tons (GRT) and 16,613 DWT. Their turbo-electric propulsion system delivered 6,000 shaft horsepower, with maximum thrust of 7,240 horsepower (5,400 kW), which produced a top-rated speed of about 15 knots (28 km/h) with a cruising range of up to 12,600 miles (20,300 km). After Pearl Harbor, the United States Maritime Commission ordered this model built en masse to supply U.S. warships already in accelerated production. 481 were built in extremely short production times by the Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company of Mobile, Alabama, the Kaiser Company at their Swan Island Yard at Portland, Oregon, the Marinship Corp. of Sausalito, California and the Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Chester, Pennsylvania. During that period, average production time from laying of the keel to "fitting out" was 70 days. The record, however, was held by Marinship, which had the SS Huntington Hills ready for sea trials in just 33 days.


The T2-SE-A2 variation, built only by Marinship of Sausalito, was nearly identical to the T2-SE-A1 version, only with maximum thrust of 10,000 horsepower (7,500 kW) rather than the former’s 7,240.

The T2 tanker Schenectady broke in two due to brittle metal and bad welding


  • Lane, Frederic Chapin (2001) [1951]. Ships for Victory: A History of Shipbuilding under the U.S. Maritime Commission in World War II. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. ISBN 9780801867521. OCLC 45799004.  
  • Ship Failure Laid to Steel, Welding New York Times, March 18, 1943

See also

External links


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