T3-S2 Class, U.S. Tankers

Photograph of T3 tanker converted to
        Cimarron-class fleet oiler

National Archives #19-N-30121

T3-S2-A1 type


Tonnage 11,335 tons light displacement
24,830 tons fully loaded displacement
Dimensions 553' by 75' by 32'
168.6m by 22.9m by 9.8m
Maximum speed       18 knots (trial)
2-shaft geared turbine (12,000 shp)
4 Babcock and Wilcox boilers
Range 14,500 nautical miles (26,900 km)
Cargo 146,000 barrels

The T3s were standard Maritime Commission tankers. The first twelve T3-S2-A1 tankers were built for Standard Oil with subsidies and technical assistance from the Navy to ensure that the ships would be usable as fleet oilers in the event of war. This required more powerful machinery and a better hull form to permit a higher sustained speed than was the norm for civilian tankers. As it turned out, the Navy was so anxious to obtain modern fleet oilers that it took over the contracts for the first few T3-S2s that were completed. These became the Cimarron class fleet oilers.

At the time of completion, they were the fastest tankers ever built in U.S. yards and among the largest in the world. Their hull form was developed in Navy test basins and included a bulbous clipper bow to reduce wave resistance. Cimarron's trial performance actually exceeded the design specification, at 16,900 shp and 19.28 knots. The ships had three deck houses over a hold subdivided by twin longitudinal bulkheads and several transverse bulkheads into 24 tanks. Two smaller tanks were squeezed into the bow. There were two 5-ton mast booms and two one-ton Samsom posts. Carbon dioxide fire suppression systems were fitted in each tank. There were two pump rooms, one admidships and the other aft, with a total of five main pumps and two stripping pumps.

A number of T3-S2 hulls were converted to Sangamon class escort carriers.

Units in the Pacific:

About eleven T3 tankers were completed as civilian merchant ships. The remainder are tabulated under the Cimarron and Sangamon classes


American Merchant Marine at War (accessed 2008-6-28)
NavSource.Org (accessed 2011-7-7))
Wildenberg (1996)

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