Private John R Towle AK-240

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This Month in Naval History
Private John R Towle AK-240

Private John R Towle

(AK-240: dp. 15,199 (f.); 1. 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 eontraet, as Appleton Victory tMCV hull 162) by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, Ore., 9 December 1944, Iaunehed 19 Januaryl945; 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 Antaretie 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 Antaretic waters until the 1963-64 season. Sinee then, however, into 1970, she has returned annually to support the military and civilian personnel working there.


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