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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USNS Pvt. John F. Thorson (T-AK-247)
USAT Pvt. John F. Thorson (1947 - 1950)
USAT Becket Bend (1946 - 1947)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

National Defense Service Medal

Alamosa Class Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 8 January 1945, as MV Becket Bend, a Maritime Commission type (C1-M-AV1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 2486), at Southeastern Shipbuilding Corp., Savannah, GA.
  • Launched, 26 February 1945
  • Delivered, 6 July 1945, to the Maritime Commission via General Service Agreement with Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc., for operation
  • Title transferred to the War Department, 23 July 1946, at New Orleans, LA.
  • MV Becket Bend was transferred to the US Army and placed in commission, 25 July 1946
  • Name changed to USAT Pvt John F. Thorson, 31 October 1947
  • Decommissioned by the US Army and transferred the the US Navy, 1 March 1950, placed in service by the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) as USNS Pvt John F. Thorson (T-AK-247)
  • Placed out of service and transferred to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Charleston, S.C. Group in 1954
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 October 1958
  • Title passed to the Maritime Administration (MARAD), 29 August 1960
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 29 August 1960 to Hugo Neu Steel Products (PD-X-582 dated 7 July 1960)
    Displacement 2,382 t.(lt) 7,450 t.(fl)
    Length 338' 8"
    Beam 50'
    Draft 21' 1"
    Speed 11.5 kts.
    Officers 10
    Enlisted 69
    Largest Boom Capacity 30 t.
    Cargo Capacity 3,945 DWT
    refrigerated 9,830 Cu ft
    non-refrigerated 227,730 Cu ft
    one single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mount
    six single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity
    Diesel 6,300 Bbls
    one Nordberg Diesel, TSM 6 engine
    two Diesel-drive 250Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 1,750shp

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    USAT Pvt. John F. Thorson
    PVT John F. Thorson 20k
    John F. Thorson (August 21, 1926 – April 18, 1945) (May 10, 1920 – October 28, 1944) was a United States Army infantry soldier who was killed in action on October 28, 1944, in World War II. He was a posthumous recipient of the United States military's highest decoration for valor—the Medal of Honor—for his heroic actions above and beyond the call of duty during the war.
    Thorson was serving as a private first class in Company G, 2nd Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. On that day, in Dagami, Leyte province, in the Philippines, Thorson was wounded while single-handedly attacking an enemy trench, then smothered the blast of an enemy-thrown hand grenade with his body. He successfully protected his fellow soldiers from the blast, and was immediately killed. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor nine months later, on July 19, 1945.
    Thorson, aged 24 at his death, was buried in Keokuk National Cemetery, Keokuk, Iowa.
    Tommy Trampp
    PVT John F. Thorson
    232k USAT Pvt. John F. Thorson Moored pierside, date and location unknown. Robert Hurst
    USNS Pvt. John F. Thorson (T-AK-247)
    PVT John F. Thorson 133k USNS Pvt. John F. Thorson (T-AK-247) underway, circa 1954 location unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 92961
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    USNS Pvt. John F. Thorson (T-AK-247)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Private First Class John F. Thorson Medal of Honor Citation
    MARAD Vessel History Database
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 28 May 2021