photo of ss lompoc and other t2 tankers I served on

As a follow-up to the previous post, below is a photo of one of the coastal tankers I worked on, the Steamship (SS) Lompoc.

SS Lompoc, a T2 Tanker, at anchor in  San Francisco Bay

The Lompoc was named after the city in California, located near Santa Barbara and Buellton. She was an old T2, a standard design built during World War II. She was about 530 feet long and carried about 17,000 tons of oil. The captain and mates (like myself) lived in the midships house (located in the middle of the ship), just below the bridge, where the steering and navigation equipment were located. The job of the mates was to navigate and pilot the ship when at sea, and to load the oil when in port.

In the early years of my career as a ship’s officer, I worked on many T2 tankers (there were hundreds still in service in the years after World War II). The T2 tankers were all built from the same basic design, so if you knew the layout on one, you could find your way around on any of them.

Update 3-30-2013:

This post has generated so much interest from all over the world, that I’ve decided to add to it. See the new material below.

The T2 tankers were designed and built during World War II and were considered a cutting edge technology in their day. When I started going to sea in the late 1960s, there were quite a few of them still around, and I served on several of them. Most of these were owned by Chevron, and several are pictured in this post. Interestingly enough, my dad, Phil Marton, also served on a T2 tanker in 1944: the SS Quebec. I recently found his name on a crew list from 1944, when he was serving on the Quebec as First Assistant Engineer.

The first T2 tanker I sailed on was the J.H. MacGaregill in 1969, my very first ship as third mate. At the time she was carrying San Joaquin Valley heavy crude from Estero Bay to Richmond, California — a very short trip.

An early photo of the J.H. MacGaregill

An early photo of the J.H. MacGaregill

A few years later, I was second mate on the MacGaregill when we took her across the Pacific and delivered her to Su-Ao, on the east coast of Taiwan, to be scrapped — a sad journey!

Another older photo of the MacGaregill

Another older photo of the MacGaregill

Other T2s I served on included the J.L. Hanna, the Arizona Standard, the Oregon Standard, the Washington Standard, the Idaho Standard, the Nevada Standard, and there are probably some others I’m not thinking of.

The SS J.L. Hanna, one of the T2 tankers I served on board while I worked for Chevron in the early 1970s.

The SS J.L. Hanna, one of the T2 tankers I served on board while I worked for Chevron in the early 1970s.

In an ironic and frightening coincidence, two of the T2s I had worked on, both owned by Chevron, collided in heavy fog under the Golden Gate bridge in 1971. Luckily for me I wasn’t on board either of them when it happened. There was no loss of life, but quite a large oil slick resulted.

The Oregon Standard after her collision with the Arizona Standard in 1971.

The Oregon Standard after her collision with the Arizona Standard in 1971.

When the T2s were introduced in the early 1940s they represented a genuine leap forward technologically. One of the modern improvements in their equipment was the use of centrifugal pumps instead of reciprocal pumps for the main cargo discharge system. The cargo tanks were divided into three groups, each with a dedicated pump. These three systems could be isolated from each other or made common by means of crossover valves in the upper and lower piping, and also in the pumproom. I searched the internet, and below is the best diagram I could find of the T2 piping system (click on the diagram to enlarge).

The T2 cargo piping consisted of three systems, each with a dedicated centrifugal pump. The systems could be isolated from each other or made common by means of crossover valves.

The T2 cargo piping consisted of three systems, each with a dedicated centrifugal pump. The systems could be isolated from each other or made common by means of crossover valves. (Click on diagram to enlarge.)

As indicated in the diagram above (although it’s less than clear to the inexperienced eye), the forward system consisted of tanks 1,2,3, and 4; the midships system consited of tanks 5 & 6; and the aft system consisted of tanks 7,8, and 9. Each group of tanks (except #1) consisted of three separate tanks: for example 5 port, 5 center, and 5 starboard. The only exception was #1, which consisted of port and starboard tanks only.

An overall plan of a typical T2 is included below:

General plan for a T2 tanker.

General plan for a T2 tanker (click to enlarge).

The propulsion for all of the T2s on which I served was virtually identical: turbo electric drive, consisting of a steam turbine that generated electricity, which in turn drove the propeller. Generally speaking, the design of the T2s was highly standardized, at least on board the ships I worked on. Although there were minor and superficial differences, the equipment was very much the same, and the ships behaved very predictably both at sea and in port.

T2 tanker












22 thoughts on “photo of ss lompoc and other t2 tankers I served on

  1. nice to see this post.
    i worked 3 summers on t2 tanker’s for my dad’s company out of port arthur texas. great way for a teenager to see the eastern seaboard just out of high school.
    started the day after graduation in 1965. and again summers of ’66 & 67.
    loved being at sea, working hard and seeing beauiful things in the guld and atlantic and seeing new places.

  2. My dad, Donald Cameron, was the radio officer on the Standard Oil Tanker LC Stoner during WWII, I believe from ’43 to ’45, and I grew up in Lompoc. Small world. If anyone has any photos or stories about the LC Stoner during the ’40s I would love to see and hear them.
    Thank you for sharing your history.
    Doug Cameron

    • Your dad served on the Stoner when she was brand new — she was built in 1943. My dad also served on a T-2 tanker at that point in the war, the Quebec, but I don’t think he ever worked for Standard Oil. Ironically, years later, I did work for Standard, which became Chevron. I started to work there in 1969. The Stoner went aground at Wake Island in 1967, 2 years before I started with Chevron, and she was a total loss, unfortunately. I enjoyed your comment — best wishes! Greg Marton

    • One further thought — I did some research on the Stoner, and apparently she wasn’t a T2 tanker, although she was almost exactly the same size as a T2. I did serve on a ship at Chevron that was the same design, if I’m not mistaken, the J.H. Tuttle.

  3. My Grandfather, Albert Anderson, was the initial Chief Engineer on the J.L. Hanna when the ship was cristened in PA and sent to CA.
    My mom tells me that the tanker carried hi-octane fuel and hence could not run in convoy due to explosion risk (real or not). Mom said he served on this ship until retirement (maybe later 40’s or early 50’s). She also said that the Hanna routinely carried hi octane to the war theater. Not sure if that was just Hawaii or beyond.

    • Thanks for the information about your grandfather. That’s probably accurate information about her carrying high octane fuel. Actually, when I sailed on the Hanna, she was still carrying quite a bit of that (specifically aviation gasoline) as well as other dangerous cargoes like JP-4 (gasoline-based jet fuel for the air force). We never really thought about it very much, but we were riding around on a powder keg — that much gasoline could produce quite an explosion. Of course, your grandfather (and my father, who sailed on similar ships) had the added hazard of Japanese and German submarines trying to torpedo them. Thanks again!

  4. My name is Mike Boyle and I worked for Chevron from 1970 – 1975. My first tanker was the Mac Garagill I was also on the Oregon Standard (not during the collision inside San Francisco Bay), Henry Wick was the Bosn. I was a deckhand from 1968-2008. I currently live in Seattle area.Email is:

    • There’s a good chance that you and I may have sailed together. I was with Chevron from 1969 to 1972, and I sailed on both the MacGaregill and the Oregon Standard. I’ve definitely heard of Henry Wick, although I’m not sure if I ever worked with him. Thanks for your comment!

      • Hi Greg we may have sailed together as I said my first deck job was the MacGaregill probably 8 or so other Chevron tankers from 1968 until I believe 1975. I was married at the time and lived in San Anselmo, Ca. I have ALL my discharges. I was friends with among couple of others an AB nick named “Red” as he had red hair, his first name was George cant rember last name. I quit sailing in 2008. Keep in touch. Thanks for your reply.

      • It’s great to hear from you. After reading your comments, I would bet money we did sail together at some point. Also, An AB named Red does sound like one of the guys I worked with at Chevron. Best wishes to you.

  5. I’d like to paint several 3d CAD models of a T2; Richfield Oil, Associated, General Petroleum, Union, and Chevron — back in the 50’s all had oil facilities bwtn Oakland and Pittsburg.. I know the Richfield was yellow above a black hull and the Chevron ship looks to be white over a black hull (is that correct?). Any ideas about the other companies?

  6. Do you know anything about the J.H. Tuttle? My grandfather served in the engine room and was injured on board during WWII.

    • I was second mate on the Tuttle in the early 1970s. She was built specifically for Chevron during World War II, I believe in 1943, so she was essentially brand new when your grandfather served on board. At that time, she would have been considered very cutting edge and modern. If I remember correctly, she was custom built for Chevron, so if she was a T2 her design was slightly different from other t2 tankers. Regardless, she was about the same size as a T2, maybe a bit larger. Sorry to hear your grandfather was injured, but glad he survived. The merchant seamen of World War II, especially the people who served on tankers, were the unsung heroes of the war, and many were lost at sea.

  7. The Tuttle and Stoner were designed near the end of WW 2 by the U.S. Government to be Motor Ships.
    If you look at pictures of them you will see they had
    Very large after houses .
    This was due to the extra space needed for the boilers and steam turbine Chevron insisted on fitting them with .

    • This reply is to Captain Dan Keon, and any other’s who might remember me. My name is Michael Boyle. Dan I sailed with your brother John. Have a great Nevada gambling story about John and I. I worked for Chevron Shipping from 1969 – 1976. I too was on the J H Macgeragill, among others. I was also bow lookout, coming in early morning day after the Oregon collision. I could smell the stench of oil coming from the water as we came in under the Golden Gate bridge. Anyone remembering me I am living in Seattle and my email is Thank for the memories. All replies accepted.

  8. The Lompoc was my first merchant ship. In July-September 1969 it was a relief job for PCTC (later Hendy) as Radio Officer. I retired in ’97 after 20 years on LNG carriers for Energy Transportation Corp, Thanks for the photo of the Lompoc.

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