USNS Haiti Victory (T-AK-238)
|Name:||USS Haiti Victory|
|Builder:||Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California|
|Yard number:||Yard No. 1|
|Laid down:||24 April 1944, as type (VC2-S-AP3) hull, MCV hull 532|
|Launched:||20 July 1944|
|Acquired:||by the U.S. Navy, 1 March 1950|
|In service:||1 March 1950 as USNS Haiti Victory (T-AK-238)|
|Out of service:||date unknown|
|Renamed:||USNS Longview (T-AGM-3), 27 November 1960|
|Fate:||disposed of by MARAD; fate unknown|
|Type:||Greenville Victory-class cargo ship|
|Tons burthen:||15,589 tons|
|Propulsion:||cross compound steam turbine, single propeller, 8,500shp|
|Armament:||(AK) one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount (stern), one 3"/50 gun mount (bow), eight 20mm AA guns; (AGM) none|
In 1960 she was renamed USNS Longview (T-AGM-3) Longview-class missile range instrumentation ship and converted to use as a missile tracking ship which operated in the Pacific Ocean Western Test Range until she was placed out of service and eventually disposed of.
Constructed in California
Haiti Victory (T-AK 238) was laid down under U.S. Maritime Commission contract by Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California, 24 April 1944; launched 20 July: sponsored by Mrs. Lucius Booner; and delivered to the War Shipping Administration (WSA) 18 September.
World War II commercial operation
Acquired by the Navy 1 March 1950, Haiti Victory was assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), for cargo operations in the Atlantic Ocean. From 1950 to 1957, sailing from New York City, she made cargo runs to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean. On 6 May 1953, she collided with the British ferry Duke of York which resulted in the Duke of York having its bow section sheered off.
On 15 June 1957, Haiti Victory sailed on her first MSTS cruise to the Pacific Ocean. Steaming via the U.S. West Coast, the veteran cargo ship arrived Pusan, Korea, 1 August. Following several Far East cruises, she resumed operations in the Atlantic in July 1958. Departing New York 11 July she steamed for the Eastern Mediterranean to support United States peacekeeping efforts in Lebanon. Units of the U.S. 6th Fleet had landed U.S. Marines at request of Lebanese President Chamoun who wished to prevent a coup against his regime by communist oriented insurgents.
While operating in the Mideast, she twice steamed through the Suez Canal, for cargo runs to Karachi, Pakistan. Returning to New York 3 January 1959, Haiti Victory made another Mediterranean cruise prior to assignment in the Pacific. Arriving San Francisco, California, 4 April she operated off the West Coast until sailing for Hawaii 3 months later.
Conversion to missile support
Arriving Pearl Harbor 3 July, she underwent conversion and training for a role in America's young space program.
Haiti Victory found a place in history, when she became the first ship to recover a space vehicle from orbit. On 11 August 1960, her helicopter retrieved a 300-pound capsule that was launched into orbit the previous day by a Thor-Agena rocket as part of the Central Intelligence Agency's Corona spy satellite project.
Haiti Victory was renamed Longview and re-classified T-AGM-3 on 27 November 1960. She continued operations in the Pacific Missile Range supporting the United States space program, performing a variety of scientific duties for the U.S. Air Force Western Test Range.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive – T-AK-238 Haiti Victory – T- AGM-3 Longview