USNS Private Joe E. Mann (T-AK-253)
USNS Pvt. J.E. Mann (T-AK-253), right, circa 1960
|Name:||USNS Private Joe E. Mann|
|Namesake:||Joe E. Mann, awarded the Medal of Honor|
|Builder:||Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California|
|Yard number:||Yard #2|
|Laid down:||12 June 1945, as Owensboro Victory, type (VC2-S-AP3) hull, MCV hull 719|
|Launched:||21 July 1945|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Robert A. Nieman|
|Acquired:||by the U.S. Army on 31 October 1947 as USAT Private Joe E. Mann; by the United States Navy on 7 August 1950|
|In service:||7 August 1950 as USNS Private Joe. E Mann (T-AK-253); 27 November 1960 as USNS Richfield (T-AGM-4)|
|Out of service:||21 November 1968|
|Tons burthen:||15,589 tons|
|Propulsion:||cross compound steam turbine, single propeller, 8,500shp|
In 1960, the Navy converted the ship to a Longview-class missile range instrumentation ship and renamed her USNS Richfield (T-AGM-4). Richfield served on the Pacific Missile Range, based out of California, and was placed out of service in 1968.
Victory ship constructed in California
Private Joe E. Mann (AK–253) was laid down, under U.S. Maritime Commission contract, as Owensboro Victory (MCV hull 719) by the Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard #2, Richmond, California, 12 June 1945; launched 21 July 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Robert A. Nieman; and delivered to the Maritime Commission, thence to Coastwise Lines for operation, 27 August 1945.
Post-World War II commercial service
A month and a half after delivery, Owensboro Victory departed San Francisco, California, carrying cargo and passengers to occupied Japan. In December, she sailed for the United States, via the Suez Canal, and arrived Boston, Massachusetts, 7 February 1946.
U.S. Army service
Renamed USAT Private Joe E. Mann, 31 October 1947, she served the Army until she was again returned to the Maritime Commission and simultaneously transferred to the Navy, 7 August 1950.
Conversion to a missile tracking ship
Then fitted out as a missile range instrumentation ship, she was reassigned by MSTS to the Pacific Missile Range. Renamed and reclassified USNS Richfield (AGM–4) on 27 November 1960, she operated off the California coast, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force.
Richfield continued her missile tracking until transferred to the Maritime Administration, 21 November 1968 when she was berthed with the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, Benicia, California.
Richfield’s subsequent fate is not known.
- 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-253 Private Joe E. Mann - T- AGM-4 Richfield
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