Upshur II AP-198 - History

Upshur II AP-198 - History

Upshur II

(T-AP-198: dp. 11,203 (f.); 1. 633'9"; b. 73'3"; dr. 27'1"; s. 19 k.; cpl. 216; tr. 2,500; cl. Barrett; T. P2-S1-DN3)

Passenger cargo liner President Hayes was laid down in 1949 under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 2916) at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., for the American President Lines. However, late in June 1950, before the ship could be completed in her civilian configuration, war broke out in Korea. The Navy acquired President Hayes on 15 September 1960, renamed the liner Upshur, and designated her T-AP-198 on 2 January 1951. Launched on 9 January 1951 and sponsored by Mrs. Charles Sawyer, the wife of President Truman's Secretary of Commerce, Upshur was converted by her builder to a troop and dependent transport and, on 20 December 1952 at Camden, was placed in service with the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS).

For the next two decades, Upshur operated out of New York providing service for troops and dependents on numerous transatlantic cruises to Bremerhaven, Germany; Mediterranean ports in North Africa, Turkey, Greece, and Italy; and Caribbean ports. She operated under the aegis of MSTS, Atlantic, until transferred to the Maritime Administration on 2 April 1973. Simultaneously retransferred on that day to the Maine Maritime Academy, the ship was renamed State of Maine and based at Castine.

Soon after beginning this service, the erstwhile troop transport got underway for a two-month training cruise to the Caribbean and to South America with cadets from the Maritime Academy embarked. In 1974 State of Maine cruised to northern Europe and visited Leningrad, Helsinki, Antwerp, and Glaegow. The cruise marked the first time in many years that an American training vessel had called at a Russian port.

7.92×57mm Mauser

The 7.92×57mm Mauser (designated as the 8mm Mauser or 8×57mm by the SAAMI [2] and 8 × 57 IS by the C.I.P. [3] ) is a rimless bottlenecked rifle cartridge. The 8mm Mauser cartridge was adopted by the German Empire in 1903–1905, and was the German service cartridge in both World Wars. In its day, the 8mm Mauser cartridge was one of the world's most popular military cartridges. In the 21st century it is still a popular sport and hunting cartridge that is factory-produced in Europe and the United States.

Upshur II AP-198 - History

Military Sea Transportation Service
US Navy

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me .

Capt. John M. Will, USN, of Perth Amboy, N. J. has been named MSTS representative for Europe, and is directing the organization of the service on the Continent and in Great Britain. He is making his headquarters in Heidelberg in order to maintain closer liaison with the EUCOM transportation division, which has been handling the sea and land transportation of EUCOM personnel.

Within the next few months, MSTS will take over the operation of Army transports.

Headquarters of MSTS ELM is located at Grosvenor Square in London.

The article goes into some detail on the organization and operations of the command.

From a recent article that appeared in the SERVICE FAMILY JOURNAL:

Since the Bremerhaven MSTS Office was opened in 1961, some 1,500,000 passengers have been processed through the port for return to the United States.

Approximately 20 MSTS (nucleus and controlled) ships called at Bremerhaven and other ports served by MSTSO Bremerhaven each month.

Seven of these transports -- USNS Darby, Rose, Buckner, Patch, Gordon, Upshur, and Geiger -- run a tight schedule between Bremerhaven and New York. Two other vessels - the reefers USNS Bals Eagle and Blue Jacket -- stop regularly at Bremerhaven.

As of July 1, the MSTS area headquarters in Europe will be moved to Bremerhaven, Germany. (Headquarters has been located in London since 1951.) In addition, an MSTS Office will be established at Rota, Spain, to replace the closing Naples office, and a new office will open at Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Commander of the new MSTS setup in Bremerheven is Capt J. M. Seymour.

After the reorganization, the Eastern Atlantic sub-area at Bremerhaven will have under its direct control Rotterdam St. Nazaire, France and London. The Mediterranean sub-area is headquartered at Leghorn (Livorno), Italy and will include the new Rota office. The command also has a representative at Frankfurt, Germany.

MSTS at Bremerhaven will have a headquarters staff of 50 and will consist of a personnel and administration section, chief of staff, chief of operations, vessel operations section, cargo operations section and passenger operations section.

The Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean section of the MSTS command (at Bremerhaven) assumes operational control of these ships after they reach midway in the Atlantic. Their movements are directed by the US Navy's European Command Center in London until the ships enter the AOR of the Pacific MSTS command.

MSTSELM, which includes a sub-area commander in Leghorn, Italy and MSTS offices in Rotterdam and London, is commanded by Capt Gerald W. Rahill. The command also has representatives in 15 locations throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East who serve MSTS on a part-time basis whenever ocean transportation of DoD cargo is involved.

The bulk of military cargo coming into Europe moves through the Northern Europe ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Bremerhaven, Bremen and Hamburg and into the inner regions by truck, rail and barge.

Cargo to the United Kingdom moves primarily through London and Felixstowe on container services.

The Mediterranean area still lags in facilities for container service but is moving to a greater use of container service as improvements come about.

Headquarters, MSTS Office Bremerhaven

The MSTS mission - a troop ship pulls away from the pier at Bremerhaven in 1958,
as it begins its voyage back to the States with US service members and their
dependents returning from a tour of duty in Europe.

USNS General Hugh J. Gaffey (T-AP-121) (Jim Gibson)

USNS General Simon B. Buckner (T-AP-123)

USNS General William O. Darby (T-AP-127)

USNS General Alexander M. Patch T-AP-122
USNS General Simon B. Buckner T-AP-123
USNS General Maurice Rose T-AP-126
USNS General William O. Darby T-AP-127

From 1946 to 1950, the transports served as part of the Army Transport Service .

In 1950, the ships were transferred back to the US Navy and assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service .

Other ships were added to the regular Atlantic service at a later date:

The Buckner was formerly known as the transport Admiral E. W. Eberle. The ship was converted for its new role at a cost of $4.5 million. The Buckner is one of ten TC vessels (1) that make up the TC fleet - five of the transports are earmarked for Atlantic service, the others wil be used in the Pacific.

Troop accomodations consist of compartments four-bunks high.

Dependent quarters consist of two, three, four and six-bunk cabins, most with connecting baths. Some of the cabins have settee berths, the upper berth folding into the ceiling.

Troops and dependents have separate dining areas.

The transports are also equipped with a playroom and playpens on the top deck, as well as nurseries.

(1) Looking at the information provided on Wikipedia ( it appears that only 8 of the ships actually entered into service as part of the Army Transport Service (T-AP-120 thru T-AP-127). Only four of these (the Patch, Buckner, Rose and Darby) were part of the regular Atlantic passenger service in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Throughout the following months the battalion went through intense training to prepare for the trans-Atlantic move and the new overseas mission.

In early February, the battalion was transported by train to the Brooklyn Army Terminal, N.Y. where it was embarked on the USNS Geiger for shipment to Germany.

Bremerhaven officials reported that port calls for servicemen and US Forces families due to return to the US aboard MSTS ships would be rescheduled for air transportation. Affected were passengers scheduled to leave Bremerhaven aboard the transports Buckner on July 31, the Geiger on Aug 6, the Rose on Aug 13 and the Geiger on Aug 30. Passengers scheduled to leave Bremerhaven on the Rose on July 17 would not be affected.

The DoD announcement also stated that the current MSTS fleet of 15 transports would be cut to 8 in the next 12 months. All but one of the trans-Atlantic service ships would be used to support Vietnam operations. The four Atlantic-run ships to be used to support military operations in SE Asia are the Patch, Darby, Buckner and Geiger. The ships are required to move more combat and support troops to Vietnam during the current buildup.

(In June, sailings of the Patch and Darby were cancelled and passengers were given a new port call for air travel from Rhine-Main.)

MSTS ships generally carry 400 to 450 cabin-class passengers and some 1,000 servicement in troop compartments.

Cargo runs by MSTS and MSTS-chartered ships are not affected by this announcement and will continue in the Atlantic and Pacific areas.

All eight played important roles in the past 25 years carrying troops, dependents, refugees and war brides between Europe, the US and the Far East. During the US military buildup in Vietnam, the troopships were taken off their normal trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific runs and carried two-thirds of the troops from the US to Vietnam combat.

Six of the eight (including the four former trans-Atlantic vessels) are now moored in New York and will be transferred to the Maritime Administration reserve fleet at James River, Va. (The other two are now in San Francisco and they will be taken to the reserve fleet at Suisun Bay, Calif.)

Upshur II AP-198 - History

(A copyrighted publication of West Virginia Archives and History)

Virginia Frontier Defenses 1719-1795

By Roy Bird Cook

Volume I, Number 2 (January 1940), pp. 119-130

The story of the defense of the frontier of Virginia begins about the year 1719, by which time there seems to be reasonable evidence of settlers south of the Potomac River, on what is now the soil of West Virginia. The Indian, with some misgivings, of course, viewed the gradual encroachment of the white man in this region with a certain degree of tolerance. Indeed, for thirty years the two groups lived to some extent in peace and harmony. However, entrance of the French into the Ohio Valley led to the opening of the French and Indian War in 1754, which, while it ended in America by 1762, actually swept on into the fields of Europe. The opening marked the beginning of border warfare between settlers and colonial and state troops and the Indians that did not end until the power of the tribes was broken by General Anthony Wayne, in the treaty of 1795.

Robert Dinwiddie, Royal Governor of Virginia, gave more than passing attention to the western border of that day. In March, 1756, the Virginia Assembly authorized the erection of a chain of defenses on the west. Colonel George Washington, who had achieved distinction in the operations of the British Army and the local troops in the Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh) region, was placed in charge. A long region reaching out from the head of the Ohio River, swinging east to Wills Creek (Cumberland), and thence roughly following the Allegheny Mountains to North Carolina, received attention. A chain of forts about twenty miles apart, designed to afford some protection for the settlers, was constructed during the next year. Many were the scenes of tragic episodes in which numerous lives were lost, especially in the region now along the South Branch of the Potomac.

The Ohio Valley was the key to the possession of the continent. The ten years of comparative peace following the close of the French and Indian War disclosed a continual movement from eastern Virginia to western Virginia, and a like movement down along the Ohio River from the Pittsburgh entrance. The old line of defense fell more or less into disuse. Then came the hectic days of 1774, and a new outbreak between the settlers and the Indians, called Dunmore's War, of which the most important episode was the Battle of Point Pleasant. A new line of defense was then developed, running from Fort Pitt, and "old Fort Redstone," following generally the Monongahela and West Fork of the Monongahela, and the Ohio Valley, together with the regions along the Great Kanawha as far west as Maysville, Kentucky. In western Virginia there then sprang up a long series of forts, stockades, and blockhouses, located at strategic points to safeguard the pioneer settlers in this region.

The defenses of the frontier may be classified into three general groups. First, the fort, which was the strongest type of a fortress, and generally but not always erected under the direction of the Executive Council of the State, and garrisoned in like manner. Second, the stockade, which was usually a large log house with a palisade around it, embracing enough ground to shelter several families in time of need. Third, the blockhouse, which was to be found of several types. Some had a second story, overhung, and others simply had provision made for rifle defense. In the preparation of the list appended, no attempt has been made to go into extensive details. There is merely a brief statement as to location. It provides a check list, arranged alphabetically, of names of posts of defense on the border, which has been compiled from records, and letters, and in some cases from pension applications of participants.

Forts, Stockades and Blockhouses

A stockade erected about 1774 by Captain Mathew Arbuckle at the mouth of Mill Creek, a branch of Muddy Creek, Greenbrier County.

A stockade, located on the east bank of Patterson's Creek, on the site of the village of Alaska, formerly Frankfort, Mineral County. Erected by a company of men commanded by Lt. John Bacon, In 1755, and named for Captain John Ashby. One of the buildings erected therein Is the only remaining structure of its kind in West Virginia dating back to the frontier posts of defense.

See Davidson.

Erected in 1782, by Captain John Baker. Located at the head of Cresap's Bottom, Mead District, Marshall County. Also designated In many contemporary records as "Baker's Station," and sometimes as "Cresap's Fort."

A blockhouse situated on the site of Blacksville, Clay District, Monongalia County.

See West.

A small stockade, situated in Buffalo District, Brooke County, twelve miles above Wheeling. The garrison participated in the first siege of Fort Henry in 1777, and also in Indian incursions of March, 1789.

A stockade erected in 1779 by Colonel Joseph Beeler at Beeler Station Church, eight miles from the site of the town of Cameron, Marshall County. Designated as "Beeler's Station." A garrison of fifty men was stationed there in 1781.

A rather extensive fort, erected on the site of Belleville, Wood County, In 1785, under direction of Captain Joseph Wood. Composed of a group of four blockhouses, embracing a square 100x300 feet, in which was located a central fort building, 20x40, two stories high.

A small fort situated four miles south of Petersburg, in Grant County. Named for Samuel Bingaman.

See Randolph.

The exact location has never been ascertained, but records indicate its existence in the "panhandle" above Wheeling.

A small fort situated at Red Rock, about two and one-half miles west of Buckhannon, Upshur County. Scene of an Indian foray March 8, 1781.

Mentioned in contemporary records. Situated in territory now embraced in Monroe County. Also listed as Byrnside.

A small fort located on the "Flats" on the east side of the Monongahela River, Morgan District, Monongalla County.

This fort was situated about a mile and one-half northeast of Buckhannon, above where Turkey Run joins the Buckhannon River in Upshur County. Location of settlement by Hackers, Jacksons, and others, as early as 1769.

A small fort erected about 1774 at the mouth of Roaring Creek, on the east side of Cheat River, Preston County.

A stockade located on the South Branch of the Potomac, three miles above the present town of Moorefield, Hardy County. Sometimes referred to as "Fort Waggoner," a title derived from the fact that Captain Thomas Waggoner once commanded troops at that point.

A stockade located at the "forks of Capon," in the Great Cacapon River valley, Hampshire County.

See Currence.

A blockhouse erected by the Chapman family in 1784, near the site of New Cumberland, Hancock County.

The history of this fort is not clear. On August 10, 1776, Col. John Stuart, at Greenbrier, reported that he "expects to have a fort soon completed at Camp Union," now Lewisburg. On Sept. 20, Captain McKee reported to Colonel William Fleming, "I arrived at Fort Charles in the Savannah on the 27th with only 17 men."

A small stockade fort erected by Henry dark in 1771, on Pleasant Hill, Union District, Marshall County. Consisted of four cabins, with a ten-foot palisade wall.

A small fort erected by Jacob Warwick at Clover Lick, Pocahontas County. Also mentioned as Warwick's Fort.

See Tackett.

A small stockade fort erected by Jonathan Cobun in 1770, near Dorsey's Knob, on Cobun's Creek, Monongalia County.

A stockade located on Patterson's Creek, six miles southeast of Keyser, and nine miles from Fort Ashby. Named for Captain Thomas Cocke.

A large stockade fort embracing one and one-half acres with four blockhouses erected under direction of Captain John Cook, situated on Indian Creek, just below Greenville, Monroe County. It sheltered over three hundred settlers in 1778.

A small fort located on the west bank of Coon's Run, about three miles from the West Fork of the Monongahela, in Marion County.

A blockhouse erected by Leonard Cooper In 1792, on the north bank of the Great Kanawha River, eight miles above Point Pleasant.

See Baker's.

A stockade fort located at the mouth of the Little Cacapon River, on the eastern side of the stream. Named for Friend Cox.

A stockade erected in 1774 by Captain James Robertson. It was situated on the site of a settlement established by Andrew Culbertson in 1753, now known as Crump's Bottom, on New River, Summers County. Frequently mentioned in early records as "Fort Byrd," and "Fort Field."

A small fort erected in 1774, one-half mile east of the site of the town of Crickard (Mill Creek), Huttonsville District, Randolph County. It has also been called "Fort Cassino."

A small blockhouse erected about 1780 by John G. Davidson and Richard Bailey, near the head of Beaver Pond Springs, a short distance from the site of present Bluefield.

A small blockhouse type dwelling erected by Daniel Davisson near the corner of Chestnut and Pike Streets, Clarksburg.

See Keckley.

Located on the South Branch of the Potomac, about twenty miles above the "Trough."

A stockade situated on the site of Stewartstown, Monongalia County. Appears to have been erected by John Rogers, and sometimes called "Fort Rogers."

A large, two-story double log house surrounded by a palisaded wall erected by Col. Andrew Donnally prior to 1771, on Rader's Run, near present Wllllamsburg, Oreenbrier County. Scene of a most important action of the border wars in May, 1778, and one of the most important military posts on the frontier.

A small fort situated at Edray, Pocahontas County. Named for Thomas Drennan.

A small blockhouse, situated on the site of Dunmore, Pocahontas County.

A small fort situated near the mouth of Harmon's Creek (opposite Steubenville, Ohio), in Cross Creek District, Brooke County.

A small fort situated five miles south of present Boothsville, in Booth's Creek District, Taylor County.

A stockade located on or near the site of present Capon Bridge, Hampshire County. Named for the family of that name, owners of the land thereabouts.

Situated on the Great Cacapon River, fifteen miles from its mouth, at or near the present village of Largent.

A stockade fort situated two miles south of present Martinsburg, at the head of Big Spring, Berkeley County. Erected by John Evans, in 1756-66.

Situated on New River at what is known as "Warford," on Crump's Bottom, Summers County. Erected by Thomas Farley.

See Culbertson.

See Fort Henry.

A small blockhouse erected at what is now the corner of Main and Second Streets, in the city of Weston. Contemporary records indicate as "Flesher's Station."

A small stockade erected under direction of members of the Flinn family, located on the upper point, at the junction of Lee Creek with the Ohio River, In Wood County. In early records frequently designated as "Flinn's Station."

A small fort erected by Jonas Friend, at Maxwell's Ferry, on Leading Creek, Randolph County. Scene of important Indian forays in 1781.

A stockade situated three miles north of Romney, Hampshire County. Erected under direction of William Furman. Also called Forman and Foreman.

A small stockade situated on the east bank of the South Branch of the Potomac, near present Petersburg, Grant County. Presumably erected by the Welton family about 1754.

Erected about 1771 by Captain Peter VanBibber, situated on Wolf Creek near site of Lowell, Summers County. Scene of attack on Graham family in 1777. Possibly also known as Jarrett's Fort.

A small station erected by Andrew Lewis on the site of Marlinton, 1765.

A small fort erected by John Hadden, near the mouth of Becco's Creek, Randolph County.

A strong fort situated on the point of land on the west side of the stream at the Junction of Elkwater Creek with the Tygarts Valley River, Randolph County. Named for the family of that name who came to this location from the South Branch of the Potomac. Sometimes mentioned as Old Fort.

A blockhouse erected on Jones Run, a branch of Ten Mile Creek, about two miles from Lumberport, Harrison County. Scene of an Indian attack, March 3, 1778.

Situated, according to the Washington papers, "81 miles west of Fourt Loudoun (Winchester), and on the South Branch," for the protection of the inhabitants of the "trough" region of the valley.

A stockade fort erected by Richard Harrison at the source of Crooked Run, in Cass District, Monongalia County, on the west side of the Monongahela River.

A small stockade on the west side of Back Creek, near Hedgesville, on the road leading from Martinsburg to Berkeley Springs.

A local fort in Greenbrier County, the exact location of which is not known. In command of Captain James Henderson, September 12, 1777.

This was one of the largest and most important forts on the Virginia border. It was erected in part on the high bluff along what is now Market Street, in the city of Wheeling, in 1774, by Ebenezer Zane and John Caldwell, under the military direction of Major Angus McDonald. It was first designated as Fort Fincastle, in honor of the Viscount Fincastle, better known to Virginians as Lord Dunmore. He visited the post in the fall of 1774, with a command of twelve hundred men, during the "Point Pleasant Campaign." In 1777 the fort was rebuilt and much enlarged, embracing in all more than half an acre of ground, and renamed Fort Henry, in honor of Patrick Henry. The fort underwent a siege by Indians in 1777, and in September, 1782, was the scene of the last engagement of the American Revolution.

A stockade fort erected about 1760 by John Justus Hinkle, near the site of Riverton, on the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac, in Pendleton County.

A small fort erected In 1776 on the site of Holliday's Cove, Hancock County.

Situated on the South Branch of the Potomac, at a location unknown. Mentioned in Washington Papers in 1754.

A small blockhouse, located about three miles west of Bush's Fort, on Fink's Run, Upshur County.

A small stockade erected in 1774 on Ten Mile Creek, Sardis District, Harrison County.

See Greenbrier.

A small fort erected about 1772 at present Millpoint, Little Levels District, Pocahontas County. Subsequently sometimes designated as Fort Day, and Price's Old Fort, and Keekley.

A small fort situated near Keeney's Knob, Summers County.

A small fort erected by Captain William Morris In 1774, on the site of Cedar Grove, Kanawha County, at the mouth of Kellys Creek. Named for Walter Kelly, who attempted to establish a settlement at this point, but was killed by the Indians. Appears as "Kelly's Station" in many contemporary records.

A stockade fort erected about 1772 by Michael Kerns at the mouth of Deckers Creek, now the Greenmont section of the city of Morgantown. An important frontier post.

An important military post erected in April, 1788, at the corner of present Brooks and Kanawha Streets, on the site of Charleston, by a company of Virginia Rangers under Colonel George Clendenin. Named for Henry Lee, governor of Virginia, but better known as General "Light Horse Harry" Lee, of the American Revolution. Sometimes referred to as "Clendenin's Station."

A blockhouse, situated on the site of West Liberty, Ohio County. Sometimes called the "Court House Fort."

A blockhouse erected by Jacob Link In 1780, near the site of Triadelphia, Ohio County. Scene of an important Indian attack In 1781.

A stockade situated on the point at the mouth of the Great Cacapon River, Morgan County. Erected 1756.

A small fort erected by Adam and Jacob Mann, about 1770, situated on Indian Creek, ten miles west of Union, Monroe County.

A stockade erected by Presley Martin at the mouth of Fish Creek, Franklin District, Marshall County.

A fort erected by Charles Martin in 1773, situated on the west side of the Monongahela River, on Crooked Run, in Casa District, Monongalia County. Scene of an Indian attack in June, 1779.

Situated near Upper Tract, Pendleton County.

This fort was situated on the site of St. George, Tucker County, erected in 1774 by John Minear. Scene of Indian depredations in 1780 and 1781.

A small stockade fort erected about 1772, by members of the Morgan family, on the site of the city of Morgantown. Near "Fort Kerns."

A stockade embracing about an acre of ground, on Hog Run of Sandy Creek, Grant District, Preston County. Constructed under the direction of Richard Morris, in 1774.

A stockade fort erected by Captain John Morris in 1774-75. It was located on the south bank of the Great Kanawha River, opposite the mouth of Campbells Creek, near what is now known as South Malden, Kanawha County.

Situated at an undetermined location on the South Branch of the Potomac. Named for Captain Robert McKenzie. Mentioned in Dinwiddie Papers 1757.

A stockade fort erected in 1786, under direction of Captain James Neal. It was situated on the south bank of the Little Kanawha River, one mile from its mouth, in what is now the "Fort Neal" section of the city of Parkersburg. It was an important place of refuge during the Indian wars, and the object of Indian forays In August, 1789. Appears in many contemporary records as "Neal's Station."

A small stockade on Opequon River, Berkeley County. Scene of an Indian attack and massacre, September 17, 1756.

A stockade fort erected by the family of that name in 1772, on the east bank of Elk Creek, now embraced in the "Nutter Fort" section of the city of Clarksburg.

Situated on Difficult Creek, Grant County, southeast of Gormania. Also called "Logsdon Fort."

A blockhouse erected in 1750, for the Ohio Company on the site of Ridgeley, Mineral County.

Situated on the South Branch of the Potomac, ten miles from Fort Ashby.

Location unknown. Mentioned in Washington Papers, May 13, 1756, indicating that it was near Ashby's Fort.

Said to have been situated on the South Branch of the Potomac.

Small fort situated on Pawpaw Creek, not far from the town of Rivesville, Marion County.

A stockade erected by Job Pearsall, 1765-1766, on the site of present Romney.

A small stockade situated on the South Branch of the Potomac, two miles above the mouth of the North Branch, Grant County. Erected 1756.

A small fort erected in 1769 by John Pierpont. It was located about one mile from the village of Easton, and about four miles from Morgantown, in Union District, Monongalia County.

A large stockade comprising cabins, palisades and blockhouses. It was situated on the "Indian Old Fields," in Hardy County, a mile and one-half above the "Trough." Erected in 1756 by Captain Thomas Waggoner. Often called "Fort Van Meter," and later "Town Fort," because of proximity to Moorefield. Near here in 1756 was fought by the Indians and white settlers the "battle of the Trough," so widely known in the annals of the border.

A small stockade erected, presumably by James Powers, in 1771. It was located about one mile north of the town of Bridgeport, on Simpson's Creek, in Harrison County.

A stockade fort erected by the family of that name in 1774, situated at the mouth of Prickett's Creek, on the east side of the Monongahela, River, five miles below the city of Fairmont. It was here in 1779 that the celebrated encounter between David Morgan and the Indians took place.

This fort stood on the site of the city of Point Pleasant, and along with Fort Henry and Fort Donnally was one of the most important frontier military posts. The first stockade was erected here, under the direction of General Andrew Lewis, following the battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774, during Dunmore's War. Later in the fall of the same year. Captain Williams Russell, with a company of rangers, appeared, and erected a new fort composed of two blockhouses, and a palisade, which was named Fort Blair, In honor of John Blair. It was evacuated and abandoned in June, 1775, and presumably destroyed by the Indians. During the summer of 1776, under the direction of Captain Mathew Arbuckle, a larger and more pretentious fort was erected, which was named Fort Randolph, in honor of Peyton Randolph. This in turn was abandoned by the garrison in July, 1779, and was burned by the Indians. About 1786 another fort was erected a short distance above the previous sites, in which a garrison was stationed until 1795, commanded most of the time by Colonel Thomas Lewis. Fort Randolph underwent a siege by the Indians in May, 1778.

A large stockade fort erected by the Rice family, located on Buffalo Creek, about fifteen miles from its mouth, in Brooke County, near the present location of Bethany College. It was the scene in September, 1782, of one of the most important episodes in the Indians wars, during which six defenders drove away a band of over a hundred Indians.

This was an important fort erected in 1774, by Arnold Richards, located on the west bank of the West Fork of the Monongahela, half a mile southeast of West Millford, Harrison County. Also designated as Lowther's Fort and West Fork Fort.

A small stockade on Lost River, Hardy County. Scene in 1766 of a battle between a body of Indians commanded by a French officer, and a company of Virginia frontiersmen. Also listed as Ruddle.

A blockhouse erected by Captain Isaac Robinson In 1794, located on the Ohio River opposite the foot of Six Mile Island, Mason County. It was attacked by Indians the same year.

See Dinwiddie.

A blockhouse situated on the site of New Salem, now Salem, erected by a group of settlers from Salem, New Jersey.

A most important military post located on the site of Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, presumably between 1769 and 1774. It was the meeting point for the Virginians who marched under General Andrew Lewis to Point Pleasant, In the fall of 1774. Some authorities suggest that a fort may have been erected on this site as early as 1755, under orders issued by General Braddock.

A small stockade at the mouth of Patterson's Creek, erected 1756. Named for Thomas Sellers.

A large stockade having cabins, palisades and blockhouses, situated on the South Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac, twelve miles northeast of Franklin, Pendleton County. Scene of Indian massacre, April 28,1758.

Situated on the Potomac River, near "Old Pack Horse Fort," where Shepherd College now stands, Shepherdstown. History obscure.

A most important stockade fort, erected in 1775, under direction of Captain David Shepherd, situated at the forks of Wheeling Creek, near present Triadelphia, Ohio County. It was evacuated in September, 1777, and burned by the Indians, but rebuilt in 1786, and further extended In 1790.

A stockade fort erected by John Statler after 1770, on Dunkard Creek, Clay District, Monongalia County. Scene of a bitter Indian attack in 1779 when many settlers lost their lives.

A blockhouse erected by John Stewart in 1773, on Stewart's Run, about two miles from Georgetown, Grant District, Monongalia County.

A fort erected by Colonel John Stuart, at a large spring, four miles southwest of Lewisburg, Fort Spring District, Greenbrier County. It is often referred to as "Fort Spring," and this title has been much used in other directions. An important military post, and here was held the first court of Greenbrier County. The builder was one of the most remarkable men on the border.

A small stockade fort erected by Lewis Tackett, as early as 1787, located one-half mile below the mouth of Coal River, Kanawha County. The site is now embraced in the town of St. Albans. It was destroyed by the Indians on August 27, 1790.

A stockade fort erected in 1770 by Joseph Tomlinson, on a site now embraced in the city of Moundsville, Marshall County. It was located about three hundred yards north of the noted Grave Creek Mound. It was abandoned in 1777, and about that time was destroyed by Indians, but was rebuilt shortly after 1784.

See Pleasant.

Situated at present Trout Rock, four miles south of Franklin, Pendleton County.

A title sometimes by error applied to Fort Savannah, located on site of Lewisburg. Colonel William Fleming, commanding the Botetourt troops in the fall of 1774, records on September 2nd, "we were alarmed by a report that Stuart's Fort four miles from CAMP UNION was attacked by Indians." Other contemporary records agree that the camp was known as "Camp Union" and this has subsequently been by mistake confused with a "Fort Union" and "Fort Savannah."

A stockade erected in 1756, situated a short distance west of the South Branch of the Potomac, at what is now "Upper Tract," Mill Run District, Pendleton County. Destroyed April 27, 1758, during attack by Indians, when many were killed.

A stockade fort, erected in 1774, situated on the north side of Short Creek, about five miles from its confluence with the Ohio, in Richland District, Ohio County. For a time Major Samuel McCulloch was commander.

See Buttermilk.

A small stockade situated in the vicinity of present Wardensville. Hardy County.

Small fort erected by John Warwick at forks of Deer Creek, near Greenbank, Pocahontas County.

A small fort erected by Jacob Warwick, situated in what is now Huttonsville District, Randolph County. This was an important early point of defense in the Tygart Valley River region.

A stockade fort erected in 1773 by Richard Wells. It was situated on the ridge between Cross Creek and Harmon's Creek, in Brooke County. Wells was widely known among both Indians and whites as "Grey Beard."

A stockade fort erected by members of the West family, on the present site of the town of Jane Lew, Lewis County. It was built about 1770 and for a number of years offered some defense to the important settlements on Hacker's Creek, which suffered more severely at the hands of the Indians than most any other region on the border. The fort was destroyed in 1779, but in 1790 some of the settlers ventured back and built another fort a short distance away, which was called Beech Fort.

A stockade fort erected by Jacob Westfall in 1774, located on the southern border of the site of Beverly, Randolph County, near mouth of Files Creek. Scene of an Indian attack in 1782.

See Richards.

A stockade fort erected about 1769 by John Wetzel and his noted sons, twelve miles from Wheeling, on Wheeling Creek, in what is now Sand Hill District, Marshall County.

A palisaded house built by Major Robert White, near Cacapon River.

A stockade situated on the South Branch of the Potomac, two miles below Hanging Rock, Hampshire County.

This fort was located about half a mile above the mouth of Chenoweth's Creek, on the east side of Tygart's Valley River, Leadville District, Randolph County. This was a very important early frontier post and was erected by Colonel Benjamin Wilson, one of the most aggressive and important men on the border. In 1782 twenty- two families took refuge here.

A stockade fort situated on Rich Creek, about four miles east of Peterstown, Monroe County. It was constructed about 1773 by Captain Michael Woods and had many important contacts with operations in southern western Virginia, and with the operations of George Rogers Clark in Illinois regions.

A fort mentioned by Kercheval and others, unnamed, located seven miles above present Romney.

Upshur II AP-198 - History


This page is in honor of all those officers and men of the Upshur, and the members of the 459 th SIGNAL BATTALION (CA), who made the journey to Viet Nam. We honor their sacrifice and service to our country.

October 3rd 2006 marks the fortieth anniversary of the deployment of the 459th SIGNAL BATTALION (CA) to the Republic of Vietnam. After being flown to Oakland Army Terminal in California , from our home base at Fort Huachuca Arizona, we boarded the UNITED STATES NAVAL SHIP UPSHUR (T-AP-198). On the morning of October 3rd 1966 we departed for Vietnam . After a brief stop at Okinawa to refuel, we again departed on the final three-day leg of our journey. Our first stop in Vietnam was at the Port of Qui Nhon where C & D Companies disembarked from the ship. Three days later on October 24th the balance of the battalion, HHC, A and B Companies, disembarked via landing craft at the Port of Nha Trang. Prior to Vietnam, the UPSHUR carried troops and dependents to and from Europe and was involved with evacuating military dependents from Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The UPSHUR made many voyages to Vietnam and Korea during the Vietnam War. In June of 1971, the UPSHUR was used in an unsuccessful attempt to repatriate North Vietnamese prisoners of war. Following that conflict, she served as the training ship for the Maine Maritime Academy serving as the TRAINING SHIP STATE OF MAINE. Following years of service as a training ship, she was transferred to the US Coast Guard for use as a Fire Test Platform. The old UPSHUR was based at Little Sand Island in Mobile Bay Alabama.

The Training Ship State of Maine (the former USNS Upshur T-AP-198) was towed from Mobile Bay to Brownsville Texas in November 2010. The ship was sold to the International Ship Breakers Corp and was towed there by the tug "Colonel" operated by the Dann Ocean Towing Company. Before the ship could make the voyage it was sent to the Signal Ship Repair Dry Dock #1 to be made sea worthy. She served her country well and faithfully for many years. Fair winds and calm seas USNS Upshur.

Upshur II AP-198 - History

United States Maritime Commission P-Type Passenger Ships used in World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War

The two P1-S2-L2 ships were built for the Navy and used as Attack Transports (APA). They were 411.5 feet long, 56 beam, 34 foot depth, 19 foot draft, 6,710 gross tons, 2,150 deadweight tons, 4,351 displacement tons. they had twin greared turbines 8,800 horsepower, speed 19 knots.

P2-SE2-R1, P2-S2-R2, P2-SE2-R3 Type Ships
The P2-S2-R2 types, named for Generals, were built at Federal Shipbuilding in Kearny, New Jersey the P2-SE2-R1 types, named for Admirals, were built by Bethlehem Steel in Alameda, California. The intended use of the West Coast-built ships after the War was for trans-Pacific service, while the New Jersey-built ships were intended for the South American service.

The Admiral D. W. Taylor and the Admiral E.W. Eberle were laid down as P2-SE2-R1 type, but cancelled with the end of fighting and completed as P2-SE2-R3 type President Cleveland and President Wilson for commercial service.

P2-S2-R2 "General" Troop capacity 5,200 4,500 to 4,800 Cargo 100,000 cubic feet 36,000-48,000 cubic feet Cruising Range 12,000 miles 15,000 miles Propulsion Unit Twin screw, turbo-electric Twin screw, C3 type geared turbines Horsepower 19,000 18,000 Draft 25 feet 29 feet Length overall 609 feet 623 feet Beam 75.5 feet 75.5 feet Depth 43.5 feet 51.5 feet Gross tons 17,001 17,951 Displacement tons 12,650 11,450 Deadweight tons 8,750 8,200 Speed 19 knots 19 knots

P2-S1-DN3 Type Ships
Three ships were laid down in 1950, designed for commercial service, but converted to troop transports before completion.

Troop capacity 1,500 troops + 396 officers
Shaft HP 13,750 horsepower
Length overall 503 feet
Beam 73 feet
Depth 49 feet
Gross tons 13,319
Displacement tons 17,600
Deadweight tons 6,898
Speed 19-20 knots

P3-S2-DL2 Type Post-war liners

Two ships were built, the Independence, completed in December 1950 and the Constitution, completed in May 1951.


30 feet

P4-S2 Type Ship "America"
The America was the first U.S. Maritime Commission program ship, laid in August 1938, launched in August 1939, and completed in June 1940. In June 1941 she began service as a troopship renamed West Point (AP 23). She resumed service as America in November 1946.

Troop capacity 5,000
Twin screw steam turbine 55,000 horsepower
Length overall 682.4 feet
Beam 89.1 feet
Depth 37.2 feet
Gross tons 23,719
Speed rating 22.5 knots
Cruising range

SS United States was the last ship built for the U.S. Maritime Commission, completed in 1952.

Troop capacity 8,175
Twin screw steam turbine 34,000 horsepower
Length overall 723 feet
Beam 93.25 feet
Depth 45.3 feet
Gross tons 26,454
Displacement tons 34,4400
Speed rating 20 knots
Cruising range


Troop capacity (calculated) 14,000 plus 400 bed hospital
Twin screw steam turbine 240,000 horsepower
Length overall 990 feet
Beam 101.5 feet
Draft 32.5 feet
Gross tons 38,216
Speed rating 42 knots


Admiral C. F. Hughes, P2-S2-R2 (AP 124, renamed General Edwin D. Patrick, T-AP 124)
Admiral D. W. Taylor, laid down as P2-S2-R2 type, completed as P2-SE2-R3 type President Cleveland
Admiral E.W. Eberle, P2-S2-R2 (AP 123, renamed General Simon B. Buckner, T-AP 123)
Admiral F. B. Upham, P2-S2-R2 laid down as P2-S2-R2 type, completed as P2-SE2-R3 type President Wilson renamed Oriental Empress
Admiral H.T. Mayo, P2-S2-R2 (AP 125, renamed General Nelson M. Walker, T-AP 125)
Admiral Hugh Rodman, P2-S2-R2 (AP 126, renamed General Maurice Rose, T-AP 126)
Admiral R. E. Coontz, P2-S2-R2 (AP 122, renamed General Alexander M. Patch, T-AP 122)
Admiral W.L. Capps, P2-S2-R2 (AP 121, renamed General Hugh L. Gaffey, T-AP 121)
Admiral W. S. Benson, P2-S2-R2 (AP 120, renamed General Daniel I. Sultan, T-AP 120)
Admiral W. S. Sims, P2-S2-R2 (AP 127, renamed General William O. Darby, T-AP 127)
America, renamed West Point, reverted to America, P4-S2

Barrett, renamed, T-AP 196 laid down as President Jackson (II) training ship for New York State Maritime College renamed Empire State V renamed Empire State P2-S1-DN3

Geiger, laid down as President Adams (II) T-AP 197 P2-S1-DN3
General Alexander E. Anderson, P2-S2-R1 (AP 111, renamed General A. E. Anderson T-AP 111)
General C. H. Barth, laid down as completed as General William Weigel P2-S2-R1 (AP 119, later T-AP 119)
General George M. Randall, P2-S2-R1 (AP 115), later T-AP 115)
General Henry W. Butner, P2-S2-R1 (AP 113, renamed General H. W. Butner T-AP 113)
General J. C. Breckinridge, P2-S2-R1 (AP 176, later T-AP 176)
General John Pope, P2-S2-R1 (AP 110, later T-AP 110)
General M. C. Meigs, P2-S2-R1 (AP 116, later T-AP 116)
General W. H. Gordon, P2-S2-R1 (AP 117, later T-AP 117)
General W. P. Richardson, P2-S2-R1 (AP 118, renamed: La Guardia, Leilani, President Roosevelt, Atlantis, Emerald Seas)
General William A. Mann, P2-S2-R1 (AP 112, renamed General W. A. Mann T-AP 112)
General William Mitchell, P2-S2-R1 (AP 114, later T-AP 114)
General William Weigel, completed as laid down as General C. H. Barth P2-S2-R1 (AP 119, later T-AP 119)

President Adams (II) laid down as renamed Geiger T-AP 197 P2-S1-DN3
President Cleveland, laid down as P2-S2-R2 type named Admiral D. W. Taylor, completed as P2-SE2-R3 type
President Hayes (II) laid down as renamed Upshur T-AP 198 training ship for Maine Maritime Academy, renamed State of Maine P2-S1-DN3
President Jackson (II) laid down as renamed Barrett T-AP 196 training ship for New York State Maritime College Empire State V renamed Empire State P2-S1-DN3
President Wilson, laid down as P2-S2-R2 type named Admiral F. B. Upham completed as P2-SE2-R3 type renamed Oriental Empress

Upshur, laid down as President Hayes (II) T-AP 198 training ship for Maine Maritime Academy, renamed State of Maine P2-S1-DN3

The Upshur did yeoman service carrying thousands of GIs to Vietnam

When its keel was laid on September 1, 1949, the USS President Hayes had a bright future ahead of it, peacefully cruising the globe and transporting passengers and cargo to exotic ports of call. However, just like so many of the hundreds of thousands who would eventually cram its decks, the life trajectory of President Hayes was dramatically deflected by war. Rechristened USNS Upshur, from the Korean War era through the Vietnam War, the ship went on to spend a life in service to its country as did many of the young men who walked across its gangway.

My connection to the United States Naval Ship Upshur, T-AP-198, began on the evening of October 1, 1966, when my unit, the 459th Signal Battalion, boarded the ship in San Francisco after leaving our home station at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. As we waited in line to file up the gangway, Red Cross volunteers passed out coffee and donuts. The officers went to their staterooms, while the enlisted men made their way down into the various troop compartments below deck. If heading to an uncertain fate in Vietnam was not anxiety inducing enough, within hours rumors began to circulate that the ship we were now on had sunk at least three times before. This, of course, was totally false.

On the morning of October 3, all troops were on deck as we edged away from the pier and out into the main channel. The carrier USS Enterprise sailed across our bow in the fog as it also was heading out to sea. We passed under the Oakland Bay Bridge and then the Golden Gate Bridge, passed Alcatraz Island and then entered deep water. It didn’t take long to figure out why the empty 55-gallon drums were strategically placed around the main deck. Many a soldier found his head leaning into them as he suffered the effects of seasickness. Thus began Upshur’s voyage 172A.

The Navy ship was named for Marine Corps Maj. Gen. William P. Upshur, who was born in Richmond, Va., in 1881 and was a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, receiving his commission as a second lieutenant in 1904. He earned the Medal of Honor for action against Haitian Caco bandits in 1915, and died from injuries suffered in a plane crash near Sitka, Alaska, on July 21, 1943.

Upshur and its sister ships, USNS Geiger and USNS Barrett, were originally designed as passenger and cargo liners by naval architect George E. Sharp. They were constructed by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden, N.J., for American President Lines. Barrett, the lead ship of the class, was originally named President Jackson Geiger was originally President Adams.

This new class of ship was 533 feet 9 inches long, with a breadth of 73 feet and a draft of 29 feet 6 inches. The class displaced 17,600 tons and had a normal sea speed of 19.2 knots. It was driven by a single four-blade propeller 22 feet in diameter. Upshur and its sisters could each carry 392 cabin passengers in 93 staterooms, and 1,500 troops in troop compartments. They had a typical crew of approximately 225.

When the Korean War broke out, the United States found itself sorely lacking in troopships. The government brokered a deal to acquire the yet-unfinished ships, rename them and assign them to the Military Sea Transport Service. President Hayes was acquired by the U.S. Navy on September 15, 1950. It was renamed USNS Upshur on January 2, 1951, and was launched January 9, 1951, after christening by Mrs. Charles Sawyer, wife of President Harry Truman’s Secretary of Commerce.

While Upshur and its sisters never saw Korean War service, they were used extensively to transport U.S. troops and dependents to Germany and other ports in Europe in the 1950s. In addition to its regular service, in 1958 Upshur carried personnel to Beirut, Lebanon, and was pressed into service during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, at which time it helped in the evacuation of thousands of dependents and civilians from Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

During the Vietnam War, Upshur was transferred to the American west coast and made many trips to Vietnam, visiting almost every major port in that country. It also sailed to South Korea to transport Korean Army and Marine units to Vietnam.

As my voyage with the 459th Signal Battalion and several other smaller units aboard Upshur continued across the Pacific, we passed north of Hawaii and headed to Okinawa. We spent our days engaged in various mundane assignments, exercise and lifeboat drills. During one of those lifeboat drills, a dummy was thrown over the side and the ship made wide circles trying to snare it with a large hook. After many failed attempts, the ship’s captain, Vincent A. Nygren, ordered the crew to lower a lifeboat and retrieve the dummy. If nothing else, this convinced us never to fall overboard.

We arrived at Okinawa and were let off the ship for about eight hours while it was refueled and resupplied. Officers and NCOs were allowed to go anywhere on the island but junior enlisted were restricted to a small area near the ship. Early the next morning, minus a few soldiers who had failed to return for one reason or another, Upshur pulled away from the pier for the final three-day leg of our journey. We were convinced that there was not a single bottle of beer left on the island.

We headed southwest and entered the South China Sea, making port at Qui Nhon, where two companies of the 459th disembarked. The ship left the next day for Nha Trang, final port of call for the rest of the battalion. As we lined the gangways, awaiting our time to go over the side to the landing craft, the ship’s chaplain, Lt. Cmdr. Kurt Wohlert, and our battalion chaplain, Major Calvin Fernlund, made their way up and down the rows of soldiers, hawking free rosary beads and Bibles as if they were selling beer and hot dogs at a baseball game. While this was going on, Captain Nygren announced over the loudspeaker, “Due to hostile activity in the area, the ship’s crew is restricted to the ship.” This was unsettling for those of us leaving the ship there was suddenly a run on the Bibles and rosary beads— even among GIs who weren’t Catholic.

In addition to transporting tens of thousands of allied troops to Vietnam for years to come, Upshur would also, on at least one occasion, have the enemy on board. In June 1971, the ship was involved in an effort to repatriate and exchange North Vietnamese prisoners of war. The POWs were loaded onto Upshur at Da Nang and taken to a designated exchange point north of the Demilitarized Zone. Once they arrived, however, the North Vietnamese backed out of the deal.

Following its wartime service in Vietnam, Upshur would be the last of its class to be taken out of service. It was not long, however, before the three sister ships were transferred to the Maritime Administration and became training ships at three maritime academies. On April 2, 1973, Upshur was assigned to the Maine Maritime Academy where it was promptly renamed The State of Maine. After serving as a training ship for many years, it was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard for use as a fire test platform.

At the Coast Guard Fire Test Facility at Little Sand Island in Mobile Bay, Ala., Upshur is currently used to test modern firefighting equipment and train shipboard personnel in firefighting and antiterrorist techniques. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Upshur was pushed up onto the island bowfirst, and a slip later had to be dredged out so the ship could be refloated.

Upshur’s sister ship Geiger was scrapped many years ago after a disastrous engine room fire, and Barrett, at the time of this writing, is tied up and awaiting disposal in the James River Reserve Fleet, Newport News, Va.

These three vessels did yeoman service for the United States and will live forever in the hearts and minds of those who manned them and sailed aboard them.

Originally published in the December 2007 issue of Vietnam Magazine. To subscribe, click here.

101st Airborne Division Attacks

Under the leadership of General Melvin Zais, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, paratroopers engaged a North Vietnamese regiment on the slopes of Ap Bia Mountain on May 10, 1969. Entrenched in well-prepared fighting positions, the North Vietnamese 29th Regiment repulsed the initial American assault, and after suffering a high number of casualties, U.S. forces fell back.

The soldiers of the North Vietnamese 29th Regiment�ttle-hardened veterans of the Tet Offensive�t back another attempt by the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry on May 14. An intense battle raged for the next 10 days as the mountain came under heavy air strikes, artillery barrages and 10 infantry assaults, some conducted in heavy tropical rainstorms that reduced visibility to near zero.

Due to the bitter fighting and the high casualty rate, Ap Bia Mountain was dubbed “Hamburger Hill” by journalists covering the Vietnam War. Speaking to a reporter, 19-year-old Sergeant James Spears said, “Have you ever been inside a hamburger machine? We just got cut to pieces by extremely accurate machine gun fire.”

USNS Upshur

Below is a photo of the USNS Upshur, taken February 1968, under way in San Francisco Bay.

The Upshur was the troop transport ship that transported the men of the 174th AHC from the United States to Vietnam in 1966. Below the picture are several items you may find of interest concerning the ship.

Webbie's note: I'd like to thank Bernie Cobb, the original Shark 6 who came over to Vietnam on this ship with the rest of the company, for the great pains he took in acquiring this photograph and other information on the Upshur. Good job Bernie.

For a close-up of the Upshur, scanned at a higher resolution,
click HERE (276K, long download time)

From Jane's All the Worlds Ships, page 420:

Passenger cargo liner President Hayes was laid down in 1949 under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 2916) at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., for the American President Lines. However, late in June 1950, before the ship could be completed in her civilian configuration, war broke out in Korea. The Navy acquired President Hayes on 15 September 1950, renamed the liner Upshur , and designated her T-AP-198 on 2 January 1951. Launched on 9 January 1951 and sponsored by Mrs. Charles Sawyer, the wife of President Truman's Secretary of Commerce, Upshur was converted by her builder to a troop and dependent transport and, on 20 December 1952 at Camden, was placed in service with the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS).

For the next two decades, Upshur operated out of New York providing service for troops and dependents on numerous transatlantic cruises to Bremerhaven, Germany Mediterranean ports in North Africa, Turkey, Greece, and Italy and Caribbean ports. She opearted under the aegis of MSTS, Atlantic, until transferred to the Maritime Administration on 2 April 1973. Simultaneously retransferred on that day to the Maine Meritime Academy, the ship was renamed State of Maine and based at Castine.

Soon after beginning this service, the erstwhile troop transport got underway for a two-month training cruise to the Caribbean and to South America with cadets from the Maritime Academy embarked. In 1974, State of Maine cruised to northern Europe and visited Leningrad, Helsinki, Antwerp, and Glasgow. The cruise marked the first time in many years that an American training vessel had called at a Russian port.

11,200 tons
19,600 f/l
466'6 (wl)
533'6 (oa) x 73 x 27
One shaft
13,500 SHP Steam turbines
Cruise 19 knots

(Sorry, don't know what some of the above abbreviations stand for)

(Webmaster note: Below is a letter I received from Bernie Cobb)

Jim McDaniel

Enclosed is the photo of USNS Upshur (T-AP-198). It is an official Navy photo obtained by me from the United States Naval Institute in Annapolis. The letter I had received earlier from Ann Hassinger is self-explanatory. Also attached is some data (above) about the Upshur and what happened to her after her Vietnam service.

Earlier I had sent you a Xerox copy of an Upshur photo furnished me by the Jane's Company in England--the company that publishes all those books on fighting planes and ships, etc. With the photo was a sheet containing other data about the Upshur, including passenger and crew capacity (also above). You should have that in your stack of old mail.

With all that, you should have what you need for a good caption when you put the photo on the Web page.

As far as where we (the main body of the 174th) were located on the ship, the officers were in the cabins which you can spot by the portholes--the long line of holes just below the main deck, extending from about the first mast all the way to the stern. The men were billeted below decks in big open compartments.

I, and the three other officers in my cabin, were about just forward of mid-ship, on the starboard side (just opposite from the row of portholes you see in the photo). Oh, I just remembered that Major Phil Cahill was one of my cabin-mates. I can't remember the other two. A Major Edwards, who later became a company commander in the 52nd (Combat Aviation Battalion) at Pleiku, could have been one of them.

World History, Since 1500: The Age of Global Integration, Volume II

Jiu-Hwa L. Upshur

Published by Cengage Learning 4th edition (August 1, 2001), 2001

New - Softcover
Condition: new

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Watch the video: Buckhannon-Upshur High Schools wild play