USNS Private Francis X. McGraw (T-AK-241)

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Career (USA)
Name: Private Francis X. McGraw
Namesake: A U.S. Army name retained, Francis X. McGraw
Ordered: as type (VC2-S-AP2) hull, MCV hull 796
Builder: California Shipbuilding Corporation, Los Angeles, California
Laid down: as SS Wabash Victory
Launched: 6 September 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. A. Easterbrook
Acquired: by the U.S. Army, 14 June 1946; by the United States Navy, 1 March 1950
Commissioned: circa 31 October 1947 as USAT Private Francis X. McGraw
Decommissioned: 1 March 1950
In service: 1 March 1950 as USNS Private Francis X. McGraw (T-AK-241)
Out of service: date unknown
Struck: date unknown
Honours and
awards:
American Campaign Medal
Fate: transferred to the reserve fleet on 8 May 1974; scrapped 21 August 1974
General characteristics
Type: Boulder Victory-class cargo ship
Displacement: 15,589 tons
Length: 455'
Beam: 62'
Draft: 29' 2"
Propulsion: steam turbine, single propeller, 8,500shp
Speed: 15.5 knots
Complement: 99 officers and enlisted

USNS Private Francis X. McGraw (T-AK-241) was a Boulder Victory-class cargo ship built at the end of World War II and served the war and its demilitarization as a commercial cargo vessel. From 1946 to 1950 she served the U.S. Army as a transport named USAT Private Francis X. McGraw. In 1950 she was acquired by the United States Navy and assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service. In 1974 she ended her career and was scrapped.

Victory ship built in California[edit]

Private Francis X. McGraw was laid down as SS Wabash Victory (MCV hull 796) by the California Shipbuilding Corporation, Los Angeles, California; launched 6 September 1945; sponsored by Mrs. A. Easterbrook; and delivered to the U.S. Maritime Commission 7 June 1945.

World War II-related commercial service[edit]

Operated by the Interocean Steamship Company under General Agency Agreement, Wabash Victory carried cargo and passengers to Eniwetok, Ulithi, and Okinawa and, from there, back to the U.S. West Coast between 8 August and 3 November 1945. Employed along the Oregon and California coasts for the next four months, she transited the Panama Canal in mid-March 1946, then headed across the Atlantic Ocean to France. On the 28th, she arrived at Le Havre to begin transporting men and equipment between Europe and the United States.

U.S. Army service[edit]

Two and a half months later, on 14 June 1946, she was transferred to the U.S. War Department but continued her transatlantic runs as an Army transport. Renamed Private Francis X. McGraw, 31 October 1947, the Victory ship remained a unit of the Army Transportation Service until 1 March 1950.

Service with the MSTS[edit]

USNS Private Francis X. McGraw is loaded with chemical weapons at Tengan Pier, Okinawa during Operation Red Hat in September 1971

The ship was returned to the U.S. Maritime Commission, she was simultaneously transferred to the Navy, given the designation T–AK–241, and assigned to the newly formed Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS). Since that time, Private Francis X. McGraw, manned by a civil service crew, carried supplies and equipment to "far flung" ports for MSTS, Atlantic.

Although primarily rotated between Caribbean, North Sea, and Mediterranean runs, she has, when necessary, and particularly from the mid-1960s into 1970, been diverted from such assignments to carry cargo to Pacific Ocean ports. Pacific assignments have included delivery of chemical weapons to Okinawa in 1965 and removing those weapons to Johnston Atoll in 1971 under Operation Red Hat.

Decommissioning[edit]

The vessel was decommissioned and struck from the Navy List at unknown dates. She was transferred to the U.S. Maritime Administration on 8 May 1974 and was sold for scrapping on 21 August 1974.

Honors and awards[edit]

References[edit]