SS Gopher State (T-ACS-4)

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SS Gopher State (T-ACS-4)
United States
Name: SS Export Leader (MA 257)
Owner: United States Maritime Administration
Operator: American Export Isbrandtsen Line
Ordered: 20 October 1970
Builder: Bath Iron Works
Laid down: 26 July 1971
Launched: 8 July 1972
In service: 22 January 1973 to 1986
Homeport: Newport News, VA
Identification: IMO number7226689
Fate: Acquired by the United States Navy
United States
Name: SS Gopher State (T-ACS-4)
Namesake: Named in honor of the state of Minnesota.
Acquired: 1986
In service: 12 October 1987 to the present
Notes: Five days needed to activate.
General characteristics
Class and type: Gopher State-class crane ship
  • 13900 tons (light)
  • 31500 tons (full)
Length: 668 ft 7 in
Beam: 76 ft 1 in
Draft: 33 ft 6 in
  • Steam turbines
  • 2 boilers
  • 1 shaft single propeller
  • 17,500 shp
Speed: 17 knots
  • 300 plus containers
  • four 30 ton capacity cranes

SS Gopher State (T-ACS-4) is a crane ship in ready reserve for the United States Navy. The ship was named for the state of Minnesota, which is also known as the Gopher State.


Gopher State was laid down on 26 July 1971, as the container ship SS Export Leader, ON 545126, IMO 7226689, a Maritime Administration type (C5-S-73b) hull under MARAD contract (MA 257). Built by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, hull no. 358, she was launched on 8 July 1972, and delivered to MARAD 22 January 1973, entering service for American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines. She was sold to Farrell Lines in 1978 without name change. The ship was returned to MARAD in 1986 and laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF). In 1987 she was converted to a type (C5-S-MA73c) Crane Ship by Norfolk Shipbuilding & Drydock, Norfolk, Virginia. Completed on 12 October 1987, she was placed in service as SS Gopher State (T-ACS-4) and assigned to the Ready Reserve Force (RRF), under operation control of the Military Sealift Command (MSC).[1][2]

Gopher State in Boston's dry dock number 3 in December 2016

Gopher State is in ready reserve, laid up at Newport News, Virginia. As of December 2016, she is in Drydock No. 3 in Boston.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Polmar 2005 p. 308
  2. ^ Silverstone 2011 p. 237


  • Polmar, Norman (2005). The Naval Institute Guide to the Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Flee. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1591146852. 
  • Silverstone, Paul (2011). The Navy of the Nuclear Age, 1947-2007. Routledge. ISBN 1135864667. 


External links[edit]