A process is described for the vapor phase catalytic cracking of hydrocarbon oils boiling substantially in the gas oil range. The reaction takes place in the presence of a solid catalyst between 700 to 900/sup 0/F under pressure between atmospheric and 400 psi. A gas containing between 20 and 90 mol % of free hydrogen is used. The reaction is allowed to proceed until consumption of the free begins. The reaction is discontinued at that point and the catalyst is regenerated for further use.