USS Sebastian (AK-211)

The USS Sebastian was an Alamosa-class cargo ship that served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. The ship was named for Sebastian County and was part of the same class as the USS Chicot, USS Craighead, and USS Poinsett, all named for Arkansas counties.

Construction on the ship began on August 10, 1944, and it was launched on December 21, 1944. Constructed by Leatham D. Smith Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, the Sebastian was acquired by the U.S. Navy on loan from the Maritime Commission on August 10, 1945. After undergoing conversion for military use in New Orleans, Louisiana, it was commissioned on September 11, 1945.

The Alamosa class consisted of cargo ships designed to deliver troops, equipment, and goods to combat zones. The Sebastian was more than 388 feet long and fifty feet wide. With a shallow draft and a top speed of 11.5 knots, these ships were designed to be used close to shore in the Pacific Campaign. The Sebastian was not heavily armed, brandishing one three-inch dual-mounted gun and six twenty-millimeter guns for antiaircraft protection. The vessel’s complement included fifteen officers and seventy enlisted men.

The Sebastian never saw military service, as it was commissioned nine days after the official Japanese surrender. Decommissioned as a military ship on November 14, 1945, the ship was returned to the Maritime Commission and renamed the MV Coastal Highflyer. First used by Fall River Navigation in 1945, the ship was officially chartered by the company on January 4, 1947. On July 29, 1947, the ship ran aground at Cayo Moa, Cuba.

Purchased by the Dickman, Wright, and Pugh Company in 1948, it joined the National Defense Reserve Fleet the same year. The ship was next lent to the U.S. Army for training on October 31, 1966. Renamed the MV Resolve in 1967, the ship was scrapped in 1976.

For additional information:
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Vol. 6. Washington DC: Navy Department, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Naval History Division, 1976.

David Sesser
Henderson State University


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