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USNS 1st Lt. Harry L. Martin (T-AK 3015)

- formerly SS TARAGO -
- Military Sealift Command -

no coat of arms

Photo by Stefan Karpinski, taken in Middle East waters in 2003. Click to enlarge.

Built as commercial container ship TARAGO in Germany in 1980, the ship was purchased by the Navy in the mid-1990s and subsequently underwent conversion to a maritime prepositioning ship at Jacksonville, Fla. Renamed 1ST LT HARRY L. MARTIN, the ship was delivered to the Military Sealift Command in April 2000 and is since then assigned to Maritime Prepositioning Squadron 1 in Europe.

General Characteristics:Delivered: 1980
Builder: Bremer Vulkan, Bremen, Germany
Conversion yard: Atlantic Drydock, Jacksonville, Fla.
Delivered to MSC: April 20, 2000
Propulsion system: 1 two-stroke Burmeister & Wain type K7SZ90/160 BL; Max 21,000 hp; 1 shaft; bow and stern thrusters
Propellers: one
Length: 754.6 (230 meters)
Beam: 76.5 feet (23.3 meters)
Draft: 42.65 feet (13 meters)
Displacement: approx. 39,450 tons full load
Speed: 21 knots
Aircraft: helicopter landing area only
Armament: none
Crew: 27 civilian crew, 12 military technicians
Homeport: Europe

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USNS 1ST LT HARRY L. MARTIN. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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About the Ship's Name:

USNS 1ST LT HARRY L. MARTIN is named in honor of U.S. Marine Corps Reserve First Lieutenant Harry L. Martin who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, March 26, 1945.


With his sector of the Fifth Pioneer Battalion bivouac area penetrated by a concentrated enemy attack launched a few minutes before dawn, First Lieutenant Martin instantly organized a firing line with the Marines nearest his foxhole and succeeded, in checking momentarily the headlong rush of the Japanese. Determined to rescue several of his men trapped in positions overrun by the enemy, he defied intense hostile fire to work his way through the Japanese to the surrounded Marines. Although sustaining two severe wounds, he blasted the Japanese who attempted to intercept him, located his beleaguered men and directed them to their own lines. When four of the infiltrating enemy took possession of an abandoned machine-gun pit and subjected his sector to a barrage of hand grenades, First Lieutenant Martin alone and armed only with a pistol, boldly charged the hostile position and killed all its occupants. Realizing that his remaining comrades could not repulse another organized attack, he called to his men to follow and then charged into the midst of the strong enemy force, firing his weapon and scattering them until he fell, mortally wounded by a grenade. By his outstanding valor, indomitable fighting spirit and tenacious determination in the face of overwhelming odds, First Lieutenant Martin permanently disrupted a coordinated Japanese attack and prevented a greater loss of life in his own and adjacent platoons and his inspiring leadership and unswerving devotion to duty reflec the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in service of his country.

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