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MV 1st Lt. Alex Bonnyman (T-AK 3003)

- formerly MV EMILIE MAERSK -
- Military Sealift Command -
- stricken -

no coat of arms

Built as commercial container ship EMILIE MAERSK in 1980, the ship was purchased by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) in January 1984 and subsequently entered the Bethlehem shipyard at Beaumont, Tx., for conversion to a maritime prepositioning ship. The conversion was finished in September 1985 and the ship entered service as MV 1ST LT ALEX BONNYMAN becoming the first ship in the Navy to bear the name.

The 1ST LT ALEX BONNYMAN was operated by Maersk Line and assigned to Maritime Prepositioning Squadron 2 at Diego Garcia. In August 2009, the ship was sold for scrapping.

General Characteristics:Delivered: January 1980
Builder: Odense Staalskibsvaerft A/S, Lindo, Denmark
Purchased by MARAD: January 1984
Conversion yard: Bethlehem, Beaumont, Tx.
Conversion started: January 1984
Delivered: September 1985
Stricken: 2009
Propulsion system: 1 Sulzer 7RND76M diesel; 16,800hp; 1 shaft; bow thruster
Propellers: one
Length: 755 feet (230.1 meters)
Beam: 90 feet (27.43 meters)
Draft: 33 feet (10 meters)
Displacement: approx. 46,550 tons full load
Speed: 17.5 knots
Aircraft: helicopter platform only
Armament: none
  • 120,080 sq. ft. vehicle
  • 1,283,000 gallons petroluem
  • 65,000 gallons water
  • 332 TEU
Crew: 32 civilians, 10 technicians

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard MV 1ST LT ALEX BONNYMAN. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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About the Ship's Name:

MV 1ST LT ALEX BONNYMAN is named in honor of US Marine Corps, Reserve, 1st Lt. Alex Bonnyman who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the assault against enemy Japanese-held Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands, from 20 to 22 November 1943.


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Executive Officer of he Second Battalion Shore Party, Eighth Marines, Second Marine Division, during the assault against enemy Japanese-held Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands, from 20 to 22 November 1943. (Acting on his own initiative when assault troops were pinned down at the far end of Betio Pier by the overwhelming fire of Japanese shore batteries, First Lieutenant Bonnyman repeatedly defied the blasting fury of the enemy bombardment to organize and lead the besieged men over the long, open pier to the beach and then, voluntarily obtaining flame throwers and demolitions, organized his pioneer shore party into assault demolitions and directed the blowing of several hostile installations before the close of D-Day. Determined to effect an opening in the enemy's strongly organized defense line the following day, he voluntarily crawled approximately forty yards forward of our lines and placed demolitions in the entrance of a large Japanese emplacement as the initial move in his planned attack against the heavily garrisoned, bombproof installation which was stubbornly resisting despite the destruction early in the action of a large number of Japanese who had been inflicting heavy casualties on our forces and holding up our advance. Withdrawing only to replenish his ammunition, he led his men in a renewed assault, fearlessly exposing himself to the merciless slash of hostile fire as he stormed the formidable bastion, directed the placement of demolition charges in both entrances and sized the top of the bombproof position, flushing more than one hundred of the enemy who were instantly cut down and effecting the annihilation of approximately one hundred and fifty troops inside the emplacement. Assailed by additional Japanese after he had gained his objective, he made a heroic stand on the edge of the structure, defending his strategic position with indomitable determination in the face of the desperate charge and killing three of the enemy before he fell, mortally wounded. By his dauntless fighting spirit, unrelenting aggressiveness and forceful leadership throughout three days of unremitting, violent battle, First Lieutenant Bonnyman had inspired his men to heroic, effort, enabling them to beat off the counterattack and break the back of hostile resistance in the sector for an immediate gain of four hundred yards with no further casualties to our forces in this zone. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

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