Built by Permanente Metals Corp. Yard 2, Richmond, CA. Maritime Commission type (EC2-S-C1) under Maritime Commission contract (MCE hull 1122). Laid down May 2, 1943. Launched May 25, 1943. Delivered to the War Shipping Administration (WSA) on June 7, 1943. Named SS John L. Sullivan after American John Lawrence Sullivan who was a boxer and the first heavyweight champion of gloved boxing.
Departing Manila on April 2, 1946, the ship made a voyage to repatriate Japanese prisoners from the Philippines to Japan. Embarking from Manila to Tacloban to pickup a group of Japanese POWs. Aboard were prisoners from POW Camp #1 (LUPOW #1) including seven Army generals and sixteen officers plus three civilians and Japanese Red Cross nurses.
In April 1946 departed Manila northward to Takao Harbor on Formosa (Taiwan) and disembarked 700 Formosan POWs. Next to Pusan in South Korea to unload Korean POWs then proceeded northward to Japan to disembark the Japanese POWs at Uraga. Afterwards, docked at Yokohama for a week then returned to Manila.
In 1957 transfered to the U. S. Navy (USN) and designated YAG-37 and converted to an experimental minesweeper. During the conversion, the engine was removed and four turbo-prop aircraft engines were fitted on deck fore and aft to move the ship with the hull filled with empty steel drums, intended to bump into mines and blast a path through mines. After testing, the engines were removed and towed to to the National Defense Reserve Fleet in Wilmington, DE and placed out of service during 1957 or 1958. Sometime afterwards officially stricken from the Navy register.
During 1958 scrapped in Wilmington, DE.
Ed Fitchett's Army Memories 1945-1946 DVD includes footage of USS John L. Sullivan
Passenger List Shipment "A-48" via Edwin Fitchett
Navy Source - John L. Sullivan (YAG-37)
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September 9, 2020