The Marine Adder (T-AP-193), a Marine Adder-class transport, was laid down by Kaiser Company, Richmond, California under contract for the United States Maritime Commission and launched on May 16, 1945. Her operator, American President Lines, took delivery on October 5, 1945.
Sailing from San Francisco in November 1945, the Marine Adder deployed to Saipan to transport troops returning to the U.S. She reached San Pedro early in December, returning to Saipan on December 29 to transport more troops home; she arrived at Seattle in March. From April to June she visited Shanghai, China and Calcutta, India. Upon returning to San Francisco she was assigned to the Maritime Commission Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, California in 1947.
Service in the Korean Conflict
The Marine Adder, acquired on July 24, 1950 by the Maritime Commission, was attached to MSTS after invasion by the communist regime in South Korea. She transported troops to Korea, arriving December 14, 1950. Arriving in January 1951 on the U.S. West coast, she returned to a support role for U.N. activity in Korea in March and continued runs of the Far East throughout the Korean War. Her voyages from Seattle to the Orient totaled 17 and included ports in South Korea, Japan, Pusan, Sasebo and Inchon. On September 5, 1953, she delivered returning veterans to San Francisco, then sailed on to Seattle, arriving September 8, her status changed to reduced operations.
Returned to regular status, she resumed MSTS duties on June 4, 1954, making two trips to Japan and Korea in as many months. She then sailed from Seattle on August 21 to participate in “Passage to Freedom” off French Indochina.
Service in the Vietnam War
Sailing to Haiphong in September, she provided assistance to Vietnamese living in the north wanting to migrate to South Vietnam. Commencing on September 14, she completed six trips to ports throughout Vietnam, carrying refugees, military cargo and French troops. On December 6 she arrived at Seattle, then was returned to reduced status on December 14.
Departing for the Orient on December 24, 1955, she reached Inchon on January 11, 1956, operating between Japan and Korea. Completing her assignment, she sailed for Seattle, arriving on February 6, returning to limited status on February 10. Sailing for Astoria, Oregon on June 3, 1957, she was assigned to the National Defense Reserve Fleet, in the custody of Maritime Administration on June 6, 1958.
The Marine Adder was struck from the Navy Register on June 6, 1958. For service in the Korean War, the Marine Adder was awarded eight battle stars.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, some auxiliary vessels also posed a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.