USS Mark (AG-143)
|U.S. Army service:|
|Builder:||Higgins Industries, New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Out of service:||30 September 1947|
|U.S. Navy service:|
|Acquired:||30 September 1947|
|Renamed:||USS Mark (AG-143)|
|In service:||2 December 1947|
|Reclassified:||AKL-12, 13 March 1949|
|Commissioned:||1 October 1965|
|Decommissioned:||1 July 1971|
|Fate:||Transferred to Taiwan, 1971|
|Struck:||15 April 1976|
|Name:||ROCS Yung Kang (AKL 514)|
|Commissioned:||1 July 1971|
|Status:||Sold outright= 1 May 1976|
|Type:||Design 427 coastal freighter|
|Displacement:||693 long tons (704 t)|
|Length:||180 ft (55 m)|
|Beam:||33 ft (10 m)|
|Draft:||10 ft (3.0 m)|
|Speed:||13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)|
USS Mark (AG-143), was built as the Aircraft Repair variant, Design 427, of the Army FS types as FS-214 for use by the United States Army. She was built at Higgins Industries, New Orleans, Louisiana, completed in December 1944. The ship was designed with the well deck covered to provide shop space for the work of repairing aircraft by an embarked Aircraft Maintenance Unit (Floating)[Note 1]
The ship suffered a casualty when the ship's starboard engine exploded on 13 April 1945. Albert M. Boe, the civilian Chief Engineer, stayed at his post to shut down engines despite burns that were fatal. He was awarded the posthumous Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal. Later a ship was named in his honor.
Mark served as a unit in the Subic–Sangley Ferry Service until reclassified AKL-12 on 13 March 1949. Then, as a light cargo ship attached to Service Force, 7th Fleet, she carried cargo and passengers to various units of that fleet operating in the Philippines area. The ship was placed 'Out of Service' in 1956, but continued operations out of Subic Bay.
With the escalation of U.S. Forces activities in Southeast Asia in 1963-64, the range of her resupply missions were extended to include frequent cruises to South Vietnam. As a result of these trips, she was placed in a commissioned status on 1 October 1965, Lt. F. R. Sanderlin in command. For the next eight months she continued to operate from Subic Bay; but with each passing month, the length of her visits was increased. In June 1966 she commenced full-time operations in the combat area. In addition to supply missions the ship surveyed waters critical to operations in the Dinh River, Dong Nia River and Bassac River of the Mekong Delta. From 1966 to 1969 Mark, with only one interruption for overhaul, kept vital supplies moving from Saigon and Vung Tau to the riverine and coastal surveillance forces conducting operations Game Warden and Market Time.
- See the description of the 16 Aircraft Maintenance Unit (Floating) deployment in the 801 SPECIAL OPERATIONS AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE SQUADRON (AFSOC) factsheet at A.F. Historical Research Agency for sister ship FS-215.
- http://www.shipbuildinghistory.com/history/smallships/armyfreighters.htm | Shipbuilding History: U.S. Army Coastal Freighters - F, FS and T Boats
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2012-02-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) | Army FP/FS Vessels - Design 427 (Vessel, Supply, Aircraft Repair, Diesel, Steel, 180')
- http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/a5/albert_m_boe.htm | Naval History and Heritage Command - DANFS: Albert M. Boe
- https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/45156557 | Col Raymond T Lester grave marker
- http://mrfa.org/akl12.htm Mobile Riverine Force Association: History of The USS Mark (AKL-12)
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Mobile Riverine Force Association: History of The USS Mark (AKL-12) (Vietnam period with photos)
- Photo gallery at navsource.org