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Sgt. Archer T. Gammon
(AK-243: dp. 15,199 (f.) ; l. 455'3"; b. 62'; dr. 28'6"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 51; a. 4 40mm.; cl. Boulder Victory; T. VC2-S-AP2)

Staff Sergeant Archer T. Gammon, a native of Virginia, was serving with Company A, 9th Armored Infantry Battalion, 6th Armored Division, near Bastogne, Belgium, on 11 January 1945. On that day, he charged through hip-deep snow to demolish an enemy machine gun position and allow his platoon to advance from an open field to nearby woods. As the platoon started its advance, a machine gun supported by riflemen and a Tiger Royal tank opened fire on the unit.

Sgt. Gammon rushed forward; cut across the width of his platoon's skirmish line; then, despite intense enemy fire, charged and silenced the automatic weapon and attacked the enemy tank. Advancing to within 25 yards of his objective, he put the enemy on the defensive and forced the tank back a short distance before he was struck and killed by a direct hit from the tank's heavy gun. For his action in clearing the way for his platoon, Sgt. Gammon was awarded, posthumously, the Medal of Honor.

Sgt. Archer T. Gammon was laid down under Maritime Commission contract as Yale Victory (MCV hull 725) on 13 December 1944 by the Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, Calif.; launched on 31 January 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Richard W. Owens; and delivered to the Maritime Commission's War Shipping Administration on 24 February for operation by the Olympic Steamship Company.

On 18 June 1946, Yale Victory was transferred to the Army and commenced operations between San Francisco and the Far East. Six months later, she changed her home port to Seattle; and, 31 October 1947, she was renamed Sgt. Archer T. Gammon. Two years later, the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) was established; and, in March 1950, the cargo ship was transferred to the Navy for use in that organization and was placed in service as USNS Sgt. Archer T. Gammon (T-AK-243).

During the early 1950's, she operated out of Seattle to Japan, Korea, and Alaska. After the end of the Korean Conflict, her range was extended. In the mid and late 1950's, she operated out of San Francisco to central and western Pacific ports and, during the periods of conflict in the Middle East, to Caribbean and western and eastern Atlantic areas. In 1961, administrative control of the ship was transferred to MSTS, Atlantic, at New York; and, since that time, Sgt. Archer T. Gammon continued to carry cargo for the Navy's transportation service, since renamed the Military Sealift Command, until the spring of 1973 when she was transferred to the Maritime Administration for disposal. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 May 1973, and her hulk was sold to Chi Shun Hua Steel Co., Ltd., of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on 19 November 1973.

Published: Wed Sep 09 08:00:04 EDT 2015