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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Haiti Victory

 

A former name retained.

 

(T-AK-238: dp. 4,512; l. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 29'; T. VO2-S-AP3)

 

Haiti Victory (T-AK 238) was laid down under Maritime Commission contract by Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, Calif., 24 April 1944; launched 20 July: sponsored by Mrs. Lucius Booner; and delivered to WSA 18 September.

 

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

 

Acquired by the Navy 1 March 1950, Haiti Victory was assigned to MSTS, for cargo operations in the Atlantic. From 1950 to 1957, sailing from New York, she made cargo runs to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean.

 

On 15 June 1957, Haiti Victory sailed on her first MSTS cruise to the Pacific. Steaming via the 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 6th Fleet had landed 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 4 April she operated off the West Coast until sailing for Hawaii 3 months later. 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.

 

Haiti Victory was renamed Longview (q.v.) and re-classified T-AGM-3 on 27 November 1960. She continued operations in the Pacific Missile Range supporting the United States space program. At present Longview performs a variety of scientific duties for the Air Force Western Test Range.