World War II
Submitted by Arthur H. Stimson,  United States Merchant Marine, 1945-1951:
I was one of the original crew members of the Joliet Victory now USNS Michelson. I joined the USMMA in Jan 1945, and later  graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

In June 1945, after USMMA basic training in an Mateo, CA, I was assigned to sea duty aboard the SS Joliet Victory, which was built in Richmond, CA. I went on the trial run before commissioning. We sailed out of San Francisco in July 1945 to Saipan, Mariana Islands to await the invasion of Japan. In August the nuclear bomb was dropped on Japan and the war was over.

The Joliet Victory picked up military equipment in Guadacanal (52 jeeps and 2 PT boats). We took them to Yokohama and our crew celebrated Christmas 1945 in Tokyo. We were then sent to Calcutta, India to load 10,000 tons of 75mm artillery shells. We took the cargo to Charleston, SC in April 1946 and the ship went to New York.
Researched and submitted by Chet Headley :

The first of the T-AGS Victory Ships to be completed, SS Joliet Victory was launched in time to see service in WWII, in the Pacific theater.  Operated by the Maritime Commsision and manned by civlian mariners, SS Joliet Victory was nevertheless armed, as were most merchanters in WWII.  Her weapons were manned by uniformed members of the Navy Armed Guard.

"The Joliet Victory shot down one plane and assisted in shooting down two others in the late afternoon attack. Earlier she had been strafed and missed by a bomb. Three days before she left Leyte the ship left another plane trailing smoke."


United States Naval Administration in World War II, Office of Naval Operations, History of the Naval Armed Guard Afloat World War II, OP-414, Chapter XIV: The Battle of the Philippines, pp209

  I served with Mr. Jack A. Rath, Michelson's MSTS First Officer, who had been aboard Michelson (nee SS Joliet Victory) during WWII.  See my Commentary.