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Cowpens / Saranac
Suamico Class Fleet Oiler:
USS Saranac (AO-74) off Okinawa while refueling TG38.1 ships, being approached by
USS Harrison (DD-573), 31 May 1945.
USS Saranac (AO-74) (stern view) in San Francisco Bay, 20 June1943.
USS Saranac (AO-74) (bows on view) in San Francisco Bay, 20 June1943.
U.S. Navy Oiler USS Saranac (AO-74), December 19, 1950.
USS Saranac (AO-74).

History :
Built by Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pennsylvania.
Yardnumber 276. UMSC No. 337. Official nr. AO-74.
Keel laid 27-08-1942. Launched 21-12-1942. Completed 22-02-1943. GR. 10195 t., Net. 6375 t., Dw. 16613 t. L.o.a. 159,57 m., Br. 20,78 m., Dr. 9,31 m. Engine: 2 steam turbines, manufactured by General Electric Company, Lynn, Massachussetts. 7240 B.h.p., 5401 kW. Speed 15 knots. 26 Tanks.
Launched as COWPENS-1942 for United States War Shipping Administration, Philadelphia, USA..
SARANAC-1942 Renamed 16 September.
SARANAC-1942 Acquired by the US Navy, 31 December.
SARANAC-1943 Commissioned, USS Saranac (AO-74), 22 February.
AO-74 SARANAC-1943 Converted to a Floating Power Barge at Alameda, CA., March-une 1946
AO-74 SARANAC-1948 Decommissioned, 19 July, at Guam, M.I., for service as a floating power plant
AO-74 SARANAC-1951 Loaned to the US Army, 25 August.
AO-74 SARANAC-1952 Towed to Inchon, Korea for service as a floating power plant.
AO-74 SARANAC-1953 Returned to US Naval custody, 15 October.
YFP-9-1953 Reclassified Floating Power Barge, name withdrawn.
YFP-9-1956 Struck from the Naval Register, 26 March.
SARANAC-1957 sold to Seatankers, Inc., Monrovia(D. K. Ludwig, New York)for conversion.
SOMERSET-1957 for Seatankers Inc., Monrovia, Liberia.
SOMERSET-1957 sold, 4 December, to Hugo Neu Corporation, New York, NY, for use as a power facility abroad by International Steel and Metal Corporation
SOMERSET-1957 Final Disposition, not known.
Additional Reports:
Reported YFP-9 used as Floating Power barge 1953.
Reported Saranac sold for conversion
Reported Somerset used as power barge from Jul. 1971. No further info.

Additional information by Gerhard L. Mueller-Debus :
According to Lloyd's Index dated Jan. 23, 1958, the ship (as SARANAC) was towed to Kure (Japan), arriving there in
Sept., 1957 (exact day not confirmed by Lloyd's). Since then, vessel was laid up at Kure and no decision regarding
her future was made. During that time she was registered as being owned by Seatankers Inc., Monrovia, which is, as
far as I know, a Daniel K. Ludwig company. During the time of her lay up, in 1959, she was renamed the SOMERSET.
Perhaps the reason for towing the ship to Kure was that the whole former Imperial Shipyard in Kure was rented by
Daniel K. Ludwig after WW II for many years in order to build tankers for Ludwig there.

It was later considered to either convert the SARANAC into a dredger or into a propane gas carrier, but nothing
happened to the vessel. Finally the ship was removed from official registers and classified as a "laid up hulk".
In July, 1971 the ship was still at Kure, in use as a power barge.

I do not have more actualized information right now, but can confirm that I did not see the vessel in the port
of Kure, when I was there in March, 1974.