The first U.S. Navy ship named Grand Canyon State, a nickname for the state of Arizona.
(T-ACS-3: displacement 31,500; length 669'; beam 76'; draft 33'; speed 20 knots; complement 64; armament none; class Keystone State)
Breakbulk-container ship President Polk (MA-164) was laid down on 20 March 1964 at San Diego, Calif., by National Steel & Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 23 January 1965; entered service with American President Lines on 4 November 1965; acquired by the Maritime Administration in 1982; laid-up in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. Margaret H. Sagerholm, wife of Vice Adm. James A. Sagerholm (Ret.); converted to an auxiliary crane ship (T-ACS-3) at Dillingham Corp., San Francisco, Calif., October 1985–October 1987, renamed Grand Canyon State on 9 September 1985 and was placed in service with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) on 12 December 1986.
Grand Canyon State is maintained in a five-day readiness status at Alameda, Calif. Her missions include lifting and carrying heavy cargo, acting as a heavy lift ship, and pulling alongside a pier that does not have its own cargo handling equipment and serving as the unloading gear for other ships. Grand Canyon State generally accomplishes that by nesting with one side to the dock and the other to the ship to be unloaded, using her cranes to discharge the other vessel’s cargo. While she has comparatively limited cargo capacity, the ship nonetheless provides a viable logistics option for area commanders operating in unimproved ports.
Detailed history pending.
Mark L. Evans
7 January 2016