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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Patch at left contributed by Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN Ret. - Popular Patch, patch at left by Mike Smolinski

USNS Southern Cross (T-AK-285)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Golf - Yankee - Victor
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

National Defense Service Medal

Northern Light Class Breakbulk Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 1 February 1961, as SS Mormactrade, a Maritime Administration type (C3-S-33a) hull, under Maritime Administration contract (MA hull 98), at Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Chester, PA.
  • Launched, 1 January 1962
  • Delivered to Moore-McCormack Lines, 12 April 1962
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, 15 February 1980
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 20 April 1980 and placed in service with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) as USNS Southern Cross (T-AK-285)
  • Placed out of service and laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA., in RRF-30 status (MSC Ready Reserve available in 30 days)
  • Title transferred to MARAD, 1 October 1994, and released from RRF status
  • Sold for scrapping, 24 August 2007, to North American Ship Recycling, Sparrows Point, MD., as part of a five ship contract for $2,161,610.
  • Final Disposition, scrapping contract re-awarded to ESCO Marine, Brownsville, TX., for $617,699, 21 December 2007, after North American Ship Recycling defaulted on original contract
    Displacement 5,873 t.(lt) 18,410 t.(fl)
    Length 486'
    Beam 68'
    Draft 31' (max.)
    Speed 16.2 kts.
    Propulsion two boilers, single steam turbine engine, one propeller

    Click On Image
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    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service Moore McCormack Lines
    Southern Cross 270k Moore-McCormack Lines SS Mormactrade moored pierside, circa 1963, location unknown. Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    USNS Southern Cross (T-AK-285)
    Southern Cross 222k USNS Southern Cross (T-AK-285) under way, date and location unknown. Chris Howell
    Southern Cross 86k USNS Southern Cross (T-AK-285) under way, circa 1960-81, location unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 92966. Courtesy of William H. Davis, 1981
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Southern Cross 124k USNS Southern Cross (T-AK-285) moored pierside probably in Antarctic, circa 1981.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 92965. Courtesy of William H. Davis, 1981
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    358k USS Sylvania (AFS-2) conducts an underway replenishment with USNS Southern Cross (T-AK-285) during the 1991 Gulf War.
    U.S. Navy All Hands magazine April 1991, p. 33
    Robert Hurst

    There is no DANFS history for Southern Cross (T-AK-285) available at NavSource
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

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    Last Updated 16 June 2023