Perhaps an unlucky omen, she was launched on Halloween--October 31, 1942--as the tanker Marquette. She was built by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation's yard in Sparrows Point, Maryland as an oiler for the U.S. Navy. The vessel was commissioned, however, as the USS Neshanic (AO-71), and entered service in April 1943. During her first year, she was involved in several close encounters with both enemy submarines and air attacks on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. On June 18, 1944, her luck ran out, as she was hit with a bomb from a Japanese plane while refueling a destroyer. She tied up alongside a sister ship, the Saranac, and some of the Saranac's injured crew (she was also attacked) were treated aboard the Neshanic. The Neshanic was later repaired and was decommissioned in December, 1945.