Skip to main content
Related Content
  • Boats-Ships--Support Ships
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

Lt. James E. Robinson (AKV-3)

(AKV‑3: dp. 5,614 (lt.); l. 455'; b. 62'; dr. 29'; s. 17 k.; cpl. 55; a. none T. VC2‑S‑AP3)

James D. Robinson, Jr., was born In Toledo, Ohio, and was serving as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army near Untergriesheim, Germany, on 6 April 1945. Eight hours of desperate fighting over open terrain had decimated Lieutenant Robinson's company, robbing it of its commanding officer and most key enlisted personnel, when he rallied the remaining 23 riflemen and led them in a charge against the objective. Ten German infantrymen in foxholes threatened to stop the assault, but the gallant leader killed them all at point‑blank range. He then pressed on with his men and cleared the area. Ordered then to take the defended town of Kressbach, he went to each of the 19 exhausted survivors, instilling in them renewed courage and fortitude, before leading them forward once more. In the advance he was seriously wounded in the neck by a shell fragment. Refusing medical attention, Lieutenant Robinson continued the attack and directed supporting artillery fire, even though mortally wounded. Only after victory was attained did he leave the command and walk nearly 2 miles to an aid station where he died from his wound. For his intrepid leadership, devotion to duty, and the supreme sacrifice, Lieutenant Robinson was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

An Army name retained.

Lt. James E. Robinson (AKV‑3) was laid down under Maritime Commission contract as Czechoslovakia Victory by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, Oreg., 25 November 1943; launched 20 January 1944; sponsored by Miss Barbara Vickery; and delivered to her operator, American‑Hawaiian Steamship Corp., 11 March 1944. Owned by the Maritime Commission, she served on the merchant sealanes under the control of the War Shipping Administration during the remainder of World War II and later saw service in the Army Transportation Service. On I March 1950 she was transferred by the Maritime Administration to the Navy and assigned to duty under MSTS.

Manned by a civilian crew, Lt. James E. Robinson operated out of east coast ports, primarily New York City, while making runs to ports in West Germany and the British Isles. In September 1953 she expanded the scope of her operations with a supply and logistics run to the Mediterranean which sent her to Greece, Turkey, and Trieste. She maintained this pattern of Mediterranean and western European cruises during the next 7 years. In addition, during the periods of August 1955, August-September 1956, and July‑October 1958, she carried cargo to Thule, Greenland, in support of military defense construction projects. Late in November 1958, again expandIng her area of operations, she cruised to ports in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Persian Gulf before returning to New York 31 January 1959.

Lt. James E. Robinson was reclassified AK‑274 in May 1959 while operating in the Atlantic. Between 1 August 1960 and 9 September she steamed from New York to Saigon, South Vietnam, carrying cargo for the American military effort there. After making ports in Formosa, South Korea, and Japan, she returned to New York via the west coast 29 November, thence resumed transatlantic cargo service 16 December. During April and May 1961 she cruised to the Indian Ocean and back; and between 19 August and 5 January 1962, she circumnavigated the globe steaming from Davisville, R.I., and back via the Panama Canal, Australia, the Suez Canal, and Gibraltar.

During much of 1962 and 1963 Lt. James E. Robinson took part in special logistics operations in the South Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. Reclassified AG‑170 in December 1962, she operated out of Cape Town and Durban, South Africa, and ranged the African coast from Liberia to Kenya. She continued these operations during the first 4 months of 1964 and returned to New York 31 May via Suez and Rota, Spain. She again reclassified AK‑274 on 1 July 1964 and resumed transatlantic cargo runs to western European ports. Continuing this duty through 1969, at present she remains assigned to the Atlantic Area of MSTS.

Lt. James E. Robinson received one battle star for World War II service.

Published: Wed Jul 29 11:46:08 EDT 2015