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1966: New Ship Christened

July 4, 1996, the USNS Gordon (T-AKR 296), was christened at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia.  USNS Gordon is named in honor of Army Aviation Hall of Fame inductee, MSG Gary I. Gordon, one of the USASOC snipers killed in action, October 3, 1993, in Mogadishu’s “Black Sea” district, to which MSG Gordon was awarded the Medal of Honor.

1908 lb usns gordon

USNS Gordon, T-AKR-296, one of the Navy's 19 LMSR Roll-On/Roll-Off Strategic Sealift Vessels, named for MSG Gary I. Gordon, Army Aviation Hall of Fame inductee and Medal of Honor recipient, killed in action in Mogadishu, October 3, 1993.

The Gordon was built by Burmeister and Wain, Denmark, as the container ship SS Jutlandia.  She was delivered on June 1, 1973.  And in 1984, she was lengthened by Hyndai.

Jutlandia was acquired by the Navy for a long-term charter.  She was converted to an LMSR or Large Medium Speed Roll-On/Roll-Off Ship.  The conversion as done at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia.

The Gordon was assigned to the Military Sealift Command, August 23, 1996.  The Gordon is one of the Navy’s 28 LMSR Strategic Sealift Vessels assigned to the Military Sealift Command.

USNS Gordon (T-AKR 296) Data

  • Displacement: 32,589 tons; 65,000 full load tons.
  • Length:  956 feet.
  • Beam: 105 feet, 9 inches.
  • Draft: 36 feet max.
  • Speed: 24 knots.
  • Cargo capacity: 284,064 square feet; plus 49,991 square feet of deck cargo. The Gordon can haul 58 tanks and 48 other tracked vehicles, in addition to 900 trucks and other wheeled vehicles.[1]
  • Complement: Civilian:  26 (up to 45). Naval:  50 (2 officers and 48 enlisted).
  • Propulsion: A single Burmeister & Wain 12K84EF Diesel at 26,000 hp. A pair of Burmeister & Wain 9K84EF diesels, each rated at 39,000 hp.  Three propeller shafts.
  • Armament: None.

[1]  See page 1, “Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-On/Roll-Off Ships T-AKR,” United States Navy Fact File, Chief of Information, U.S. Navy, 1200 Navy Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Sources:

“Briefings,” page 2, Army Aviation, Vol. 45, No. 7, Army Aviation Publications, Inc., Westport, Ct. July 31, 1996.

“Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-On/Roll-Off Ships, T-AKR:  Features,” United States Navy Fact File, Chief of Information, U.S. Navy, 1200 Navy Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

“USNS Gordon (T-AKR-296),” Navsource Online, www.navsource.org

Wanted for Historical Research

Army Aviation personnel who flew or fixed Cessna L-19s in the 10th Special Forces Group at the Army Airfield in Bad Tolz, in the Federal Republic of Germany during the 1950s to the 1970s, are wanted to gather and chronical the history of those associated with the L-19 with the 10th Special Forces group.

Please contact:  Lieutenant Colonel Thomas M. Lee, Comm:  404-752-4941  or  800-438-6927,  DSN:  572-4941.

Source:  See page 2, Army Aviation, Vol. 45, No. 11, Army Aviation Publications, Inc., Westport, Ct., November 30, 1996.