These were the first tankers
completed under the Maritime Commission's long range 500 ship
program begun in 1938. All were acquired by the US Navy for use as fleet oilers, either before
completion, or shortly thereafter. The ships were 553 feet long overall, 75 feet wide with a gross
tonnage of 11,335 tons, deadweight capacity of 18,300 tons, and a full load displacement of 24,830
tons. Propulsion was provided by two steam turbine sets (HP & LP) geared to two shafts, giving the ships an 18 knot service speed.
Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Co, Chester, PA
Hull# USMC Hull#
CIMARRON 2/39 172 2
USS CIMARRON (AO 22). Stricken, 1 October, 1968, scrapped San Jose, CA, September 1969.
Acquired by the Navy and renamed USS SANTEE (AO 29), 1940. Completed conversion to escort
carrier (CVE 29) in August, 1942. Scrapped Hamburg, May, 1960.
Esso New Orleans
Acquired by the Navy in May, 1941 and renamed USS CHENANGO (AO 31). Conversion to escort carrier (CVE 28) completed September 1942. Scrapped Bilbao, August, 1962.
Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co, Kearny, NJ
Acquired by the Navy in 1940 and renamed USS SUWANEE (AO 33). Completed conversion to escort carrier (CVE 27). in September, 1942. Scrapped Bilbao, June, 1962.
USS NEOSHO (AO 23). Scuttled after being hit by Japanese bombs in the Battle of Coral Sea, May, 1942.
Esso Trenton (I)
Acquired by the Navy in October, 1940 and renamed USS SANGAMON (AO 28). Completed conversion to escort carrier (CVE 26), August, 1942. Scrapped Osaka, August, 1960.
Bethlehem Steel Company, Sparrows Point, MD
USS PLATTE (AO 24). Stricken from the Navy list, 1970. Sold for scrapping, May, 1971.
Acquired by the Navy in June, 1941 and renamed USS CHEMUNG (AO 30). Stricken from the Navy list, May, 1971 and sold for scrapping.
Completed as USS SABINE (AO 25). Transferred to MARAD in 1958, reacquired by the Navy in 1961. Laid up in MARAD reserve fleet, James River, VA in 1969.
Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co, Newport News, VA
Acquired by the Navy in October, 1940 and renamed USS KASKASKIA (AO 27). Stricken from the Navy list, 1970 and scrapped.
Acquired by the Navy in June, 1941 and renamed USS GUADALUPE (AO 32). Stricken from Navy list, 5/15/75 Disposed of by MARAD Sale 10/16/75
Esso Columbia(I) 1940 372 13
Completed as USS SALMONIE (AO 26). Stricken from the Navy list, September, 1969. Scrapped, 1971.