Naval History and Heritage Command

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Wright III (T-AVB-3)

1994–

The third U.S. Navy ship named Wright. The first honored Orville Wright (19 August 1871–30 January 1948); the second and third ships of the name honored both Orville and his brother Wilbur (16 April 1867–30 May 1912).

III

(T-AVB-3: displacement 23,800; length 602'; beam 90'; draft 34'; speed 19 knots; complement 40 plus carry 325; armament none; class Wright)

The third Wright (T-AVB-3) was laid down as breakbulk, container ship Mormacsun (MA-224) on 24 June 1968 at Pascagoula, Miss., by Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc.; launched on 29 July 1969; entered service with Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc., on 2 February 1970, renamed Young America and delivered to American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines, Inc. (Mediterranean Marine Line, Inc.) on 19 October 1970; acquired by American Export Lines, Inc., on 31 August 1977; sold to Farrell Lines, Inc., on 38 March 1978; acquired by the Maritime Administration on 15 December 1981; laid-up in the James River Reserve Fleet, Va.; began conversion at Todd Shipyards-Galveston Division, Texas, on 12 June 1984; renamed Wright (T-AVB-3) on 14 May 1986; and was placed in service with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) on 7 September 1986.

About 330 marines from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., and up to 40 civilian contractors sailed on board Wright when she deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom I, from January–July 2003. The marines provided avionics support during the fighting to liberate Iraq. From 22–31 October 2012, Hurricane Sandy cut a wide swatch of destruction across the eastern United States. The following month, Wright provided berthing for American Red Cross volunteers, Americorps, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Montana Conservation Corps, Washington Conservation Corps, and Virginia Military Institute relief workers, while anchored near Staten Island, N.Y., in company with Massachusetts Maritime Academy-manned training ship Kennedy (T-AK-5059). The Maritime Administration maintains Wright in reduced operating status with a “cadre crew” on board as part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet.

Wright III (T-AVB-3) 1986-MSC
With her helicopter deck forward and large cranes, Wright displays a distinctive silhouette. (Unattributed and undated U.S. Navy photograph, Wright (T-AVB-3), Ship Inventory, MSC)

Detailed history pending.

Mark L. Evans

23 December 2015

Published: Mon Jan 11 13:44:17 EST 2016