The break-bulk cargo ship Cape Breton was originally built as the SS Dolly Turman at the Avondale Shipyards in Avondale, Louisiana in 1966. The ship was delivered to its owner, Lykes Brothers Steamship Company later that year. The Dolly Turman was a traditional break-bulk cargo vessel that transported cotton and other palletized and bulk cargoes from the Gulf of Mexico to the West Indies, Great Britain, and from the northern border of Portugal to the southern border of Denmark.
Dolly Turman was one of a number of ships acquired by the Maritime Administration in 1985 and assigned to its Ready Reserve Force. Dolly Turman was renamed Cape Breton, placed on a five-day activation status, and homeported in Alameda, California.
Five years later, Cape Breton was among the 78 Ready Reserve Force ships activated to support Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. The vessel was ordered to activate on August 24, 1990, and placed under the operational control of the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. It continued in service until September 1991.
Cape Breton was maintained in a reduced operating status (partially crewed) in Alameda, California, after which it was laid-up in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet.
The MARAD's National Register Eligibility Assessment for Cape Breton, available in the Documents section, contains a detailed history of the vessel.