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USNS Haiti Victory (T-AK-238)
Career (USA)
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
Struck: date unknown
Fate: disposed of by MARAD; fate unknown
General characteristics
Type: Greenville Victory-class cargo ship
Displacement: 4,512 tons
Tons burthen: 15,589 tons
Length: 455'
Beam: 62'
Draft: 29'
Propulsion: cross compound steam turbine, single propeller, 8,500shp
Speed: 15.5 knots
Complement: 99 personnel
Armament: (AK) one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount (stern), one 3"/50 gun mount (bow), eight 20mm AA guns; (AGM) none

USNS Haiti Victory (T-AGM-238) was originally a Greenville Victory cargo ship which operated for the U.S. Navy as a cargo carrier in both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. 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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

During World War II she operated as a merchantman and was chartered to Waterman Steamship Company.

Acquired by the Navy as a cargo carrier[edit | edit source]

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.[1]

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[edit | edit source]

USNS Longview with helicopter landing aft

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.[2]

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.

Final disposition[edit | edit source]

Longview was transferred to the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, and was disposed of by MARAD at an unknown date.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Times 7 May 1953
  2. Taubman first=Philip (2003). Secret Empire: Eisenhower, the CIA, and the Hidden Story of America's Space Espionage. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 320. ISBN 0684856999. OCLC 51294139. 

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