USNS Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup (T-AG-175)

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USNS Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup (T-AG-175) underway, date and location unknown.
USNS Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup (T-AG-175) underway, date and location unknown.
United States
  • Spindle Eye
  • Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup
Ordered: as type (C1-M-AV1) hull, MC hull 2381
Builder: Kaiser Cargo Inc., Richmond, California
Laid down: 16 April 1945, as MV Spindle Eye
Launched: 25 May 1945
Sponsored by: Mrs. Edgar Buttner
Completed: 9 July 1945
In service:
  • 26 July 1945, as USAT Spindle Eye
  • 1 March 1963, as USNS Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup (T-AG-175)
Out of service: 20 December 1969
Renamed: late-1947, USAT Curtis F. Shoup
Refit: converted to a helicopter freighter at Willamette Iron & Steel in Portland, Oregon
Struck: 28 April 1970
Identification: Hull symbol:T-AG-175
Fate: sold for scrapping , 9 May 1973, to John Liu, Washington, D.C.
Notes: U.S. Official Number: 248,213[1]
General characteristics
Type: C1-M-AV1
Tonnage: 3,812 GRT[1]
Displacement: 6,240 tons full load[2]
Length: 388 ft 9 in (118.5 m)[2]
Beam: 50 ft (15.240 m)[2]
Draft: 16 ft 10 in (5.1 m)[2]
Speed: 11.5 knots (13.2 mph; 21.3 km/h)[2]
Complement: 62
Armament: none

USNS Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup (T-AG-175) was a C1-M-AV1 coastal freighter. Built as Spindle Eye, one of the many named for knots.[Note 1][3] The ship, modified to be a "news transmission ship" for the press during the planned invasion of Japan, was completed 9 July 1945, delivered to the War Shipping Administration and placed under its agent Lykes Brothers Steamship Company the same day.[1][4][5] Days later, on 26 July, Spindle Eye was bareboat chartered to the War Department for operation by the Army.[1] The ship was renamed November 1947 by the Army, after serving as a radio relay ship at the Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests and conversion to an Army passenger-cargo vessel, Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup in honor Sergeant Curtis F. Shoup who had been awarded the Medal of Honor.[6][5]

After layup the U.S. Navy acquired the ship and placed her in service with the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) as the USNS Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup. The ship was converted by the Navy into a helicopter freighter and later into a ship responsible for surveying, and oceanographic services. She was struck in 1970 and sold for scrapping.[7]


Spindle Eye was laid down on 16 April 1945 under Maritime Commission Contract (MC hull 2381) by Kaiser Cargo Inc., Richmond, California Number 4 Yard.[8] The ship was launched on 25 May 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Edgar Buttner; and delivered to the Lykes Brothers Steamship Company on 9 July 1945.[1][7] On 27 July Spindle Eye was bareboat chartered to the War Department for operation by the Army.[1]

World War II-related service[edit]

Spindle Eye was designed to ferry war correspondents, but World War II ended before she could perform this duty.[5][7]

Cold War Service[edit]

Spindle Eye was a relay radio ship for the atomic bomb tests Bikini, Operation Crossroads, before conversion to an Army passenger ship.[5] The ship was one of several renamed by the Army in 1947 for those awarded the Medal of Honor thus becoming Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup.[5] Shoup was laid up in the Maritime Administration's National Defense Reserve Fleet in 1950 when the Army fleet was being transferred to the Navy or laid up.[5][7]

On 16 January 1963, Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup was transferred to the Military Sea Transport Service (MSTS), and she was placed on the Navy List on 1 March. After conversion by Willamette Iron & Steel Works in Portland, Oregon, for service as a helicopter freighter, Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup was assigned to MSTS, Pacific Area.[7]

Reporting on 14 June, she teamed up with Harris County (LST-822) in the southwest Pacific Ocean, servicing survey sites which were being established to support the nation's missile and space projects.[7]

U.S. Air Force helicopters flew from her deck, and she carried four to six oceanographers from the Naval Oceanographic Office in Washington, D.C.. Charts and sailing directions for the historic World War II area were revised as a result.[7]

In May 1968, USNS Shoup conducted various oceanographic operations along a track pattern from roughly 20 to 140 miles from the Egyptian coast.[7]

Final decommissioning[edit]

Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup was withdrawn from service and stripped of oceanographic equipment on 20 December 1969. On 22 January 1970, she was returned to the Maritime Administration and laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, California. Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup was struck from the Navy List on 28 April 1970. On 9 May 1973, she was sold to Mr. John Liu of Washington, D.C., for non-transportation purposes.[7]


  1. ^ In this case the spindle eye splice or shortened to simply spindle eye. The use of knot names, many obscure, gave this group of ships the common name "Knot" ships among mariners.



  • Colton, T. (August 28, 2009). "C1 Cargo Ships". ShipBuildingHistory. Archived from the original on 19 November 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  • Colton, T. (November 27, 2010). "Kaiser Richmond No. 4 Yard, Richmond CA". ShipBuildingHistory. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  • Masterson, Dr. James R. (1949). U. S. Army Transportation In The Southwest Pacific Area 1941-1947 (PDF). Washington: Transportation Unit, Historical Division, Special Staff, U. S. Army. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  • Jackson, R. (17 December 2011). "Spindle Eye". Army Ships -- The Ghost Fleet. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  • Maritime Administration. "Spindle Eye". Ship History Database Vessel Status Card. U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  • Naval History And Heritage Command. "Sgt. Curtis F. Shoup". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History And Heritage Command.
  • Chaplin, W. W. (1947). A Ribbon For The Gorgon's Locks (article)—Deadline Delayed (article collection title) (PDF). E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc. Retrieved 24 April 2013.

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