Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup

(AG-175: dp. 2,474; l. 338'8"; b. 50'3"; dr. 16'10"; s. 10.7 k.; cpl. 62; cl. Alamosa; T. C1-M-AV1)

Curtis F. Shoup was born in Napenoch, N.Y., and entered the Army at Buffalo. On 7 January 1945, near Tillet, Belgium, Staff Sergeant Shoup's company attacked German troops on rising ground. Intense machine gun, mortar, and artillery fire pinned down the American unit in an exposed position where frozen ground made it impossible to dig in for protection.

Realizing that the machine gun had to be silenced, Sergeant Shoup crawled to within 75 yards of the enemy emplacement. On finding that his fire was ineffective from that position, he completely disregarded his own safety, stood up, and grimly strode ahead into the stream of bullets, firing his rifle as he went. Hit several times and knocked to the ground, Sergeant Shoup nevertheless struggled to his feet and staggered forward until close enough to hurl a grenade, wiping out the enemy machine gun nest with his dying action.

By his heroism, determination, and supreme sacrifice, Sergeant Shoup eliminated a hostile weapon which threatened to destroy his company and turned a desperate situation into victory. For this courageous sacrifice, Staff Sergeant Shoup was awarded, posthumously, the Medal of Honor.

Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup was laid down on 16 April 1945 under a Maritime Commission Contract as Spindle Eye (MC hull 2381) by Kaiser Cargo Inc., Richmond, Calif.; launched on 25 May 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Edgar Buttner; and delivered to the Lykes Bros. Steamship Co. on 9 July 1945.

Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup was designed to ferry war correspondents, but World War II ended before she could perform this duty. Hence, most of her early career was spent in the Maritime Administration's National Defense Reserve Fleet.

On 16 January 1963, Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup was transferred to the Military Sea Transport Service (MSTS), and she was placed on the Navy list on 1 March. After conversion by Willamette Iron & Steel in Portland, Oreg., for service as a helicopter freighter, Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup was assigned to MSTS, Pacific Area. Reporting on 14 June, she teamed up with Harris County (LST-822) in the southwest Pacific, servicing survey sites which were being established to support the nation's missile and space projects.

Air Force helicopter's flew from her deck, and she carried four to six oceanographers from the Naval Oceanographic Office in Washington. Charts and sailing directions for the historic World War II area were revised as a result.

In May 1968, USNS Shoup conducted various oceanographic operations along a track pattern from roughly 20 to 140 miles from the Egyptian coast.

Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup was withdrawn from service and stripped of oceanographic equipment on 20 December 1969. On 22 January 1970, she was returned to the Maritime Administration and laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, Calif. Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup was struck from the Navy list on 28 April 1970. On 9 May 1973, she was sold to Mr. John Liu of Washington, D.C., for non-transportation purposes.

Published: Wed Sep 09 08:02:14 EDT 2015