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Curtiss II (T-AVB-4)


The second U.S. Navy ship named for aviation pioneer Glenn Hammond Curtiss (21 May 1878–23 July 1930). For additional information see The National Aviation Hall of Fame

(T-AVB-4: displacement 23,800; length 602'; beam 90'; draft 34'; speed 19 knots; complement 40 plus carry 325; armament none; class Wright)

The second Curtiss (T-AVB-4) was laid down as breakbulk, container ship Mormacsky (MA-222) on 16 April 1968 at Pascagoula, Miss., by Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc.; launched on 28 December 1968; entered service with Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc., on 21 July 1969, renamed Great Republic on 19 October 1970; acquired by the Maritime Administration in 1981; sponsored by Mrs. Patricia H. Hittle, wife of Brig. Gen. James D. Hittle, USMC (Ret.); renamed Curtiss (T-AVB-4) on 27 January 1986; converted at Todd Shipyards-Galveston Division, Texas; and was placed in service with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) on 11 April 1987.

The ship’s initial mission was to enhance the U.S. Marine Corps’ aviation maintenance support ability, and she served with the MSC’s Sealift Program Office, Logistics Prepositioning Force. Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16 deployed on board Curtiss for the Persian Gulf War, from 22 August 1990–18 March 1991. On 20 April 2001, the marines again embarked in Curtiss as she was temporarily reactivated and began her participation in Pacific Provider 21, a month-long shipborne aviation logistics exercise in southern Californian waters. The Maritime Administration maintains Curtiss in reduced operating status with a “cadre crew” on board as part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet.

Curtiss II (T-AVB-4) 1987-MSC
When Curtiss is equipped with mobile facilities, she can service aircraft while anchored offshore, also utilizing a stern ramp, side ports, and a roll-on/roll-off deck that runs the length of the ship. (Unattributed and undated U.S. Navy photograph, Curtiss (T-AVB-4), Ship Inventory, MSC)

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

21 December 2015

Published: Mon Jan 11 13:39:49 EST 2016