USS Poinsett (AK-205)

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Career (USA) Union Navy Jack 100x35px
Name: USS Poinsett
Namesake: a county in Arkansas
Builder: Leatham D. Smith Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Laid down: 6 November 1943, as a type (C1-M-AV1) hull, MC hull 2159
Launched: 22 May 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. Robert L. Rote
Acquired: by the U.S. Navy, 22 January 1945
Commissioned: 7 February 1945 as USS Poinsett (AK-205) at Houston, Texas
Decommissioned: 25 January 1946, at Norfolk, Virginia
Struck: 12 March 1946
Honors and
one battle star for World War II service
Fate: sold in 1947 for commercial service
General characteristics
Type: Alamosa-class cargo ship
Tonnage: 2,382 tons
Tons burthen: 7,435 tons
Length: 388' 8"
Beam: 50'
Draft: 21' 1"
Propulsion: diesel engine, single screw, 1,700shp
Speed: 11.5 knots
Complement: 85 officers and enlisted
Armament: one single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount; six single 20mm AA gun mounts

USS Poinsett (AK-205) was an Alamosa-class cargo ship acquired by the U.S. Navy just prior to the end of World War II. She carried supplies and ammunition to the Pacific Ocean battle areas and was awarded one battle star for her operations in the Borneo area.

Service history


Poinsett (AK–205) was laid down as MC hull 2159 by Leatham D. Smith Shipbuilding Co., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. 6 November 1943; launched 22 May 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Robert L. Rote; acquired by the Navy 22 January 1945; and commissioned at Houston, Texas, 7 February 1945, Lt. Comdr. Robert M. Baughman, USNR, in command.

World War II service

After shakedown off Galveston, Texas, Poinsett loaded ammunition at Theodore, Alabama, and departed for the Panama Canal 21 March. She steamed to Ulithi thence to Zamboanga, Philippine Islands, arriving 11 May.

After issuing ammunition there, she proceeded to Tawi Tawi, Sulu Archipelago, and joined the main forces for the invasion of Balikpapan (1 July). On 10 July she departed Borneo for Morotai and the Philippines, whence she sailed southeast to Manus. There, while loading fleet issue clothing and small stores, she received word of the war’s end. Poinsett then proceeded to Manila and Guiuan, Samar, to discharge her cargo. She departed 19 November for the Panama Canal and Norfolk, Virginia, for inactivation. Decommissioned 25 January 1946, she was returned to the U.S. Maritime Commission, 29 January 1946, and her name was struck from the Navy List, 12 March 1946.

Honors and awards

Poinsett received one battle star for World War II service:

  • Borneo operations Balikpapan operation, 1 to 10 July 1945