USNS Sgt. Truman Kimbro (T-AK-254)

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Name: Sgt. Truman Kimbro
Namesake: Truman Kimbro, awarded the Medal of Honor
Ordered: as type (VC-2S-AP2) hull 547
Builder: Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California
Laid down: 30 September 1944, as Hastings Victory
Launched: 30 November 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. John A. Mc Keown
Acquired: by the United States Navy, 5 August 1950
Commissioned: 31 October 1947 as USAT Sgt. Truman Kimbro
Decommissioned: 19 January 1950
In service: September 1950 as USNS Sgt. Truman Kimbro (T-AK-254)
Out of service: date unknown
Renamed: Sgt. Truman Kimbro on 31 October 1947
Struck: 15 June 1973
Honors and
two battle stars for Korean War service
Fate: scrapped, 1 October 1982
General characteristics
Type: Boulder Victory-class cargo ship
Displacement: 15,589 tons
Length: 455'
Beam: 62'
Draft: 29' 2"
Propulsion: steam turbine, single propeller, 8,500shp
Speed: 15.5 knots
Complement: 53 personnel
Armament: four single 40mm gun mounts

USNS Sgt. Truman Kimbro (T-AK-254) was a Boulder Victory-class cargo ship built for the U.S. Maritime Commission during the final months of World War II.

She was acquired by the U.S. Army in 1946 and renamed USAT Sgt. Truman Kimbro and served the Army until 1950 when she was acquired by the United States Navy. She served the Navy worldwide until 1973 when she was struck and sold.

Victory built in California

Sgt. Truman Kimbro (AK-254) was laid down under Maritime Commission contract (MCV hull 547) as Hastings Victory on 30 September 1944 by the Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California; launched on 30 November 1944; sponsored by Mrs. John A. Mc Keown; and delivered to the War Shipping Administration on 22 December 1944 for operation by the Grace Line.

U.S. Army service

Hastings Victory was operated by the Grace Line during the remainder of World War II and into the spring of 1946. She was then returned to the Maritime Commission and, on 18 June 1946, was transferred to the U.S. Army. Renamed Sgt. Truman Kimbro on 31 October 1947, she was operated by the Army Transportation Service through the 1940s and, on 19 January 1950, was laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Olympia, Washington.

U.S. Navy service

Korean War service

By July, however, war had broken out in Korea, and she was ordered reactivated for transfer to the Navy. On 5 August, she was assigned to the Navy's Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) ; and, manned by a civil service crew, she was placed in service in September as USNS Sgt. Truman Kimbro (T-AK-254).

Throughout the Korean Conflict, the ship was primarily employed in moving vital cargo across the Pacific Ocean to United Nations forces fighting on that embattled peninsula. She also made shorter runs to Alaskan ports and to central Pacific bases.

Post-war service

After the war, her itinerary was extended to include most large Far Eastern ports. In the spring of 1958, she was shifted temporarily to Greenland, transatlantic, and Mediterranean runs.

She completed her last voyage to the Mediterranean in October; transited the Suez Canal in November; and resumed cargo operations in the Pacific in December. Since then, into 1974, the Victory ship continued to carry cargo for MSTS, now called the Military Sealift Command.

Post-war decommissioning and career

Sgt. Truman Kimbro was placed out of service at an unknown date and struck from the Navy list on 15 June 1973. She was placed into reserve at the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay , Benecia, California until sold for scrapping on 1 October 1982.

Honors and awards

The Sgt. Truman Kimbro earned two battle stars during the Korean War:

Communist China Aggression - 25 to 30 December 1950
First UN Counter Offensive - 8 to 10 March 1951

Qualified vessel personnel were authorized the following:

National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal (2)
United Nations Service Medal
Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)