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Built as commercial container ship LICA MAERSK in Denmark in 1980, the ship was lengthened by Hyundai in 1987 and in the early 1990s, the Navy purchased the LICA MAERSK. The ship subsequently underwent conversion to a large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship (LMSR) at NASSCO and was delivered to the Military Sealift Command in 1997 where the ship entered service as USNS SODERMAN becoming the first ship in the Navy named after US Army Pfc. William A. Soderman. The USNS SODERMAN was operated by Bay Ship Management, Inc. under US Navy Military Sealift Command charter, and was manned by US Merchant Marine personnel.
In May 2000, the SODERMAN transferred to the Maritime Prepositioning Force, converted into a Maritime Prepositioning Force (Enhanced) ship and re-named GYSGT FRED W. STOCKHAM (T-AK 3017). On March 1, 2001, she was recommissioned to serve in her new role.
|General Characteristics:||Delivered: 1980|
|Builder: Lindovaerftet, Odense, Denmark|
|Conversion yard: National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, Calif.|
|Delivered to MSC: November 11, 1997|
|Decommissioned: May 2000|
|Propulsion system: 1 Burmeister & Wain 12L90 GFCA diesel; 1 shaft; bow and stern thrusters|
|Length: 908.8 (277 meters)|
|Beam: 105.6 feet (32.2 meters)|
|Draft: 34.8 feet (10.6 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 54,450 tons full load|
|Speed: 24 knots|
|Aircraft: helicopter landing area only|
|Capacity: 312,461 sq. ft.|
|Crew: 26 civilian crew (up to 45); up to 50 active duty|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USNS SODERMAN. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
About the Ship's Name:
USNS SODERMAN ship is named to honor Pfc. William A. Soderman, USA (1912-1980), a native of West Haven, Connecticut. Pfc. Soderman was assigned to Company K, 9th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division during World War II. On Dec. 17, 1944, Pfc. Soderman defended a key road junction near Rocherath, Belgium. Under severe artillery barrage, mortar and machine gun fire, he remained at his post and successfully held off German counter offenses by disabling three enemy tanks with a bazooka at point blank range before being wounded. Distinguishing himself by conspicuous gallantry and unfaltering courage against overwhelming odds, above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy, President Harry S Truman presented Pfc. Soderman the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House on Oct. 12, 1945.
USNS SODERMAN Image Gallery: