USNS Aiken Victory (T-AP-188)

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SS Aiken Victory
SS Aiken Victory in San Francisco Bay, c. 1947–48
Career
Name: USNS Aiken Victory (T-AP-188)
Builder: Bethlehem Steel, Fairfield yard
Laid down: 13 October 1944
Launched: 30 November 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs E. H. Wyman
Acquired: (By the Navy): 21 July 1950
In service: Commercial: 1945–1948
MSTS: 21 July 1950 – December 1952
Struck: 12 February 1953
Identification: MC hull type VC2-S-AP2, MC hull no. 616
Honors and
awards:
Eight battle stars for Korean War service
Fate: Sold for scrap, 10 August 1971
General characteristics
Displacement: 4,480 tons (lt), 10,680 t. (fl)
Length: 455 ft
Beam: 62 ft
Draft: 29 ft 2 in
Propulsion: Cross compound steam turbine, single screw, 8,500 shp
Speed: 15.5 knots
Armament: None
The Aiken Victory arriving in Boston with 1,958 troops from Europe, 26 July 1945

USNS Aiken Victory (T-AP-188) was a Victory ship-based troop transport that served with the United States Army Transport Service during both World War II and the Korean War. She was one of a class of 84 dedicated troop transports.[1]

She was laid down as a VC2-S-AP2 hull[2] on 13 October 1944 at Baltimore, Maryland, by the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Inc., under a Maritime Commission contract (MCV hull 616); launched on 30 November 1944; and delivered to the Maritime Commission on 30 December 1944. She was operated under Maritime Commission contract by Mississippi Shipping. She was put in the reserve fleet in Suisun Bay on February 22, 1947.[2]

She was reactivated on July 21, 1950 to join the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) during the Korean War. She was returned to the reserve fleet on December 19, 1952, and remained there until allocated for scrapping to American Ship Dismantlers, Inc., on August 10, 1971, and physically delivered August 26.[2]

World War II[edit]

During World War II, Aiken Victory was operated by the firm Mississippi Shipping, under a contract with the Maritime Commission.

Following the end of hostilities, that company continued to operate her under contract until she was put in the reserve fleet in Suisun Bay on February 22, 1947.[2]

MSTS service[edit]

The United States Navy acquired the ship on 21 July 1950 in the wake of the outbreak the Korean War the previous month. Designated T-AP-188, the ship was assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service as a troop transport. In May 1951, she transported the Colombia Battalion to Korea, with a stop-over in Hawaii.[3] Operated by a civil service crew, USNS Aiken Victory carried troops in the Korean War combat zone for almost 30 months. Late in 1952 the transport returned to the United States and was transferred back to the Maritime Commission on 19 December 1952. She was berthed with the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Olympia, Washington. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 12 February 1953. She remained with the National Defense Reserve Fleet until 10 August 1971 at which time she was sold to American Ship Dismantlers, Inc., for scrapping.

Awards[edit]

Aiken Victory received eight battle stars for her Korean War service.

References[edit]

  1. ^ APPENDIX B: VICTORY TROOPSHIP CONVERSIONS [1] p. 13
  2. ^ a b c d Maritime Victory ship history at US DOT Maritime Administration [2]
  3. ^ Coleman, Bradley Lynn (October 2005). "The Colombian Army in Korea, 1950–1954" (PDF). The Journal of Military History (Project Muse (Society for Military History)) 69 (4): 1137–1177. doi:10.1353/jmh.2005.0215. ISSN 0899-3718.