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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinksi

SS Cape Island (AKR-10)
USNS Mercury (T-AKR-10) (1977 - 1993)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Echo - Mike - Xray
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
National Defense Service Medal - Southwest Asia Service Medal - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Cape I Class Roll-on/Roll-off Ship:
  • Laid down, 16 February 1976, as SS Illinois, a Maritime Commission type (C7-S-95a) hull, under Maritime Administration contract (MA hull 295) at Bath Iron Works, Bath, ME.
  • Launched, 21 December 1976
  • Delivered for commercial service, 2 June 1977, to States Lines
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for assignment to the Military Sealift Command (MSC), renamed SS Mercury
  • Placed in service as USNS Mercury (T-AKR-10), 2 June 1977, under the management of Crowley Liner Services of Jacksonville, FL
  • Mercury (T-AKR-10) was assigned to the Military Sealift Command Near Term Prepositioning Force (NTPF) in support of the equipment of the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade until 1993
  • Returned to MARAD control, 01 April 1993
  • Renamed SS Cape Island, 22 November 1993 and assigned to the Maritime Administration's Ready Reserve Force, (RRF) as SS Cape Island (AKR-10) one of the Military Sealift Command's (MSC) 31 Roll-on/Roll-off ships and one of the 63 ships of the Sealift Program Office, .
  • SS Cape Island (AKR-10) is laid up as part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet in a layberth at on Commencement Bay, Tacoma, WA. in ROS-5 status
    Displacement 15,000 t.(lt) 33,900 t.(fl)
    Length 685'
    Beam 102'
    Draft 32'
    Speed 18.7
    Full Operational Status 31
    Reduced Operational Status 9
    Armament none
    Propulsion two steam turbines, two propellers
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    Size Image Description Source
    USNS Mercury (T-AKR-10)
    Mercury 149k USNS Mercury (T-AKR-10) moored pierside, date and location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Mercury 82k USNS Mercury (T-AKR-10) loads a US Marine Corps M60A1 tank before taking position in the Indian Ocean, July 1980.
    US Navy photo from "U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History", by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    Mercury 41k USNS Mercury (T-AKR-10) foreground, with her stern vehicle ramp partially extended, and USNS Jupiter (T-AKR-11) and an unidentified tanker in the background. They are part of the initial maritime prepositioning force shown on station, August 1980.
    US Navy photo from "US Amphibious Boats and Craft", by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    Mercury 77k USNS Mercury (T-AKR-10) pierside while taking on containerized cargo at Naval Station Subic Bay in March 1981. Moored to the opposite side of the pier is USS Ashtabula (A0-51).
    US Navy photo from "US Amphibious Boats and Craft", by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    SS Cape Island (AKR-10) - MSC RRF
    Cape Island 101k SS Cape Island (AKR-10) underway in San Francisco, Bay, date unknown.
    US Navy photo
    MSC web site
    Mercury 374k SS Cape Island (AKR-10) moored with SS Cape Intrepid (AKR-11) in their layberths at Commencement Bay, Tacoma, WA., in August 2013 Photos by Tom Langford
    Mercury 343k
    Mercury 336k

    There is no DANFS history for USNS Mercury (T-AKR-10) / SS Cape Island (AKR-10) at NavSource
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 23 August 2013