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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

MV SP5 Eric C. Gibson (AK-5091)


LTC Calvin P. Tutus Class Logistics Prepositioning Ship:
  • Built in 1985 at Odense Steel Shipyard, Odense, Denmark
  • Acquired in 1999 by the US Navy Military Sealift Command (MSC) on a time-charter contract
  • MV SP5 Eric C. Gibson is owned and operated by Osprey-Acomarit Ship Management for MSC
  • MV SP5 Eric C. Gibson (AK-5091) was one of the Military Sealift Command's Container Ships and was part of the 36 ships in the Prepositioning Program
  • MV SP5 Eric C. Gibson (AK-5091) was assigned to MPSRon2 and operated out of Saipan carrying U.S. Army support equipment and supplies
  • Charter completed, date unknown
    Specifications:
    Displacement 48,012 t.(fl)
    Length 652'
    Beam 105'
    Draft 33' (max)
    Speed 19 kts.
    Cargo Capacity 1,914 TEU + 11,000 sq. ft. vehicle space
    Complement 25 Civilian Mariners
    Propulsion 23,030 SHP Sulzer, Model 7RTA76; 1 shaft

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    SP5 Eric C. Gibson 31k
    Namesake
    SP5 Eric G. Gibson, US Army

    Tech Specialist 5th Grade Eric Gibson was a cook with a Quartermaster company. He, obviously was a man of action when things were looking grim. Normally, logistics units are not in a position to be flanked by enemy troops, but this was the case in Italy in January 1944.
    Medal of Honor Citation:

    “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 28 January 1944, near Isola Bella, Italy, Tech. 5th Grade Gibson, company cook, led a squad of replacements through their initial baptism of fire, destroyed four enemy positions, killed 5 and captured 2 German soldiers, and secured the left flank of his company during an attack on a strongpoint. Placing himself 50 yards in front of his new men, Gibson advanced down the wide stream ditch known as the Fossa Femminamorta, keeping pace with the advance of his company. An enemy soldier allowed Tech. 5th Grade Gibson to come within 20 yards of his concealed position and then opened fire on him with a machine pistol. Despite the stream of automatic fire which barely missed him, Gibson charged the position, firing his submachine gun every few steps. Reaching the position, Gibson fired pointblank at his opponent, killing him. An artillery concentration fell in and around the ditch; the concussion from one shell knocked him flat. As he got to his feet Gibson was fired on by two soldiers armed with a machine pistol and a rifle from a position only 75 yards distant. Gibson immediately raced toward the foe. Halfway to the position a machine gun opened fire on him. Bullets came within inches of his body, yet Gibson never paused in his forward movement. He killed one and captured the other soldier. Shortly after, when he was fired upon by a heavy machine gun 200 yards down the ditch, Gibson crawled back to his squad and ordered it to lay down a base of fire while he flanked the emplacement. Despite all warning, Gibson crawled 125 yards through an artillery concentration and the cross fire of 2 machine gun s which showered dirt over his body, threw 2 hand grenades into the emplacement and charged it with his submachine gun, killing 2 of the enemy and capturing a third. Before leading his men around a bend in the stream ditch, Gibson went forward alone to reconnoiter. Hearing an exchange of machine pistol and submachine gun fire, Gibson’s squad went forward to find that its leader had run 35 yards toward an outpost, killed the machine pistol man, and had himself been killed while firing at the Germans”.
    US Army Photo
    Bill Gonyo
    SP5 Eric C. Gibson 55k MV SP5 Eric C. Gibson (AK-5091) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Global Security web site

    There is no DANFS history available for MV SP5 Eric C. Gibson (AK-5091) at NavSource
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
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    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 30 April 2010