Private Joe E. Mann
An Army name retained.
(AK–253: dp. 15,580 (f.); 1. 455’6”; b. 62’; dr. 28’6”; s. 17 k.; cpl. 49; cl. Boulder Victory; T. VC2–S–AP2)
Private Joe E. Mann (AK–253) was laid down, under Maritime Commission contract, as Owensboro Victory (MCV hull 719) by the Permanente Metals Corp., Yard #2, Richmond, Calif., 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.
A month and a half after delivery, Owensboro Victory departed San Francisco carrying cargo and passengers to occupied Japan. In December, she sailed for the United States, via the Suez Canal, and arrived Boston 7 February 1946. Shifting to New York the following month, she made cargo runs to European ports until returned to the Maritime Commission in September for transfer to the Army Transportation Service. Renamed 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.
Designated AK–253, the victory ship was manned by a civil service crew and operated under MSTS as a cargo ship until October 1958. Then fitted out as a missile range instrumentation vessel, she was reassigned by MSTS to the Pacific Missile Range. Renamed and reclassified Richfield (AGM–4) on 27 November 1960, she operated off the California coast, in cooperation with the US Air Force, until transferred to the Maritime Administration, 21 November 1968. Since then, into 1970, she has been berthed with the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay.