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Private John R. Towle

An Army name retained.

(AK–240: dp. 15,199 (f.); l. 455’3”; b. 62’1”; dr. 29’2”; s. 15.5 k.; cpl. 24; cl. Greenville Victory; T. VC2–S–AP3)

Private John R. Towle (AK–240) was laid down, under Maritime Commission contract, as Appleton Victory (MCV hull 162) by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, Ore., 9 December 1944; launched 19 January 1945; sponsored by Mrs. John Goodland, Jr.; and delivered to the Maritime Commission, thence to the American Mail Line for operation, 23 March 1945.

Appleton Victory, after operating along the Pacific coast by the American Mail Line for a year, was returned to the Maritime Commission and transferred to the Army Transportation Service, at New York, in June 1946. Later returned to the west coast, she was renamed Private John R. Towle, 31 October 1947, and, under that name, continued to serve ATS until returned to the Maritime Commission; transferred to the Navy, and designated AK–240 in March 1950.

Between 1950 and 1955, the victory ship, assigned to MSTS and manned by a civil service crew, continued cargo operations in the Pacific. Then reassigned to MSTS, Atlantic, she began preparations for her first Antarctic resupply mission. During the southern summers of 1956–57, 1957–58, 1959–60, and 1960–61 she steamed south to deliver cargo to McMurdo Sound. Needed elsewhere, the ice-strengthened AK did not return to Antarctic waters until the 1963–64 season. Since then, however, into 1970, she has returned annually to support the military and civilian personnel working there.

Published: Tue Nov 10 07:54:57 EST 2015