174th Assault
Helicopter Company


USNS Upshur

Below is a photo of the USNS Upshur, taken February 1968, under way in San Francisco Bay.

The Upshur was the troop transport ship that transported the men of the 174th AHC from the United States to Vietnam in 1966. Below the picture are several items you may find of interest concerning the ship.

Webbie's note: I'd like to thank Bernie Cobb, the original Shark 6 who came over to Vietnam on this ship with the rest of the company, for the great pains he took in acquiring this photograph and other information on the Upshur. Good job Bernie.

174th Webmaster, Jim McDaniel (Shark 4, 1967-68)

(Photo by R.E. Waugh, PH-2)

For a close-up of the Upshur, scanned at a higher resolution,
click HERE (276K, long download time)

From Jane's All the Worlds Ships, page 420:

Passenger cargo liner President Hayes was laid down in 1949 under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 2916) at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., for the American President Lines. However, late in June 1950, before the ship could be completed in her civilian configuration, war broke out in Korea. The Navy acquired President Hayes on 15 September 1950, renamed the liner Upshur, and designated her T-AP-198 on 2 January 1951. Launched on 9 January 1951 and sponsored by Mrs. Charles Sawyer, the wife of President Truman's Secretary of Commerce, Upshur was converted by her builder to a troop and dependent transport and, on 20 December 1952 at Camden, was placed in service with the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS).

For the next two decades, Upshur operated out of New York providing service for troops and dependents on numerous transatlantic cruises to Bremerhaven, Germany; Mediterranean ports in North Africa, Turkey, Greece, and Italy; and Caribbean ports. She opearted under the aegis of MSTS, Atlantic, until transferred to the Maritime Administration on 2 April 1973. Simultaneously retransferred on that day to the Maine Meritime Academy, the ship was renamed State of Maine and based at Castine.

Soon after beginning this service, the erstwhile troop transport got underway for a two-month training cruise to the Caribbean and to South America with cadets from the Maritime Academy embarked. In 1974, State of Maine cruised to northern Europe and visited Leningrad, Helsinki, Antwerp, and Glasgow. The cruise marked the first time in many years that an American training vessel had called at a Russian port.

Also from Janes, page 178:

11,200 tons
19,600 f/l
466'6 (wl)
533'6 (oa) x 73 x 27
One shaft
13,500 SHP Steam turbines
Cruise 19 knots

(Sorry, don't know what some of the above abbreviations stand for)

(Webmaster note: Below is a letter I received from Bernie Cobb)

November 17, 1997

Jim McDaniel

Dear Jim:

Enclosed is the photo of USNS Upshur (T-AP-198). It is an official Navy photo obtained by me from the United States Naval Institute in Annapolis. The letter I had received earlier from Ann Hassinger is self-explanatory. Also attached is some data (above) about the Upshur and what happened to her after her Vietnam service.

Earlier I had sent you a Xerox copy of an Upshur photo furnished me by the Jane's Company in England--the company that publishes all those books on fighting planes and ships, etc. With the photo was a sheet containing other data about the Upshur, including passenger and crew capacity (also above). You should have that in your stack of old mail.

With all that, you should have what you need for a good caption when you put the photo on the Web page.

As far as where we (the main body of the 174th) were located on the ship, the officers were in the cabins which you can spot by the portholes--the long line of holes just below the main deck, extending from about the first mast all the way to the stern. The men were billeted below decks in big open compartments.

I, and the three other officers in my cabin, were about just forward of mid-ship, on the starboard side (just opposite from the row of portholes you see in the photo). Oh, I just remembered that Major Phil Cahill was one of my cabin-mates. I can't remember the other two. A Major Edwards, who later became a company commander in the 52nd (Combat Aviation Battalion) at Pleiku, could have been one of them.

This photo was taken in February 1968 by R.E. Waugh, PH-2, a Navy photographer with the MSTS service, as the Upshur was steaming out of San Francisco Bay.

That's about all I can come up with as far as the Upshur is concerned. I tried contacting the U.S. Maritime Service to find out its preseent location but got no answer. From information we do have, though, it was last known to be in service as a training vessel in Maine. In 1973 it was renamed the State of maine.

hope this is useful to you.



Bernie cobb

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