USS Markab Association
USS Markab WestPac
I am the USS MARKAB (AR 23) or the "MIGHTY MARKAB" as many have chosen to call me. My history is as diversified as the repair services that I am called upon to perform. It all goes back to the Pascagoula, Mississippi, Shipyard where I was built in May 1941. I was going to be christened the SS MORMACPENN, and had intended to begin my career as a maritime commission ship. But when the world situation worsened I joined the US Navy instead. In June 1941, I was sent to Charleston,South Carolina, Navy Shipyard and was converted to an tack cargo ship, and given a new name: USS MARKAB (AKA 31).
After commissioning I operated with the Atlantic Fleet. I performed Amphibious duty in several areas, supporting new bases in Greenland, and delivering cargo to key Carribbean ports. In December 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor placed my country at war, and I volunteered for more pressing and difficult assignments as a Destroyer tender. After a brief period in the Mobile, Alabama, Shipyards I was reconverted, given a new crew, and recommissioned the USS MARKAB (AD 21) in September 1942.
Working as a destroyer tender during wartime was a long, tough job; but I always tried hard to be where duty called. In November 1942, I was sent to Pearl Harbor where I repaired destroyers damaged in the bloody Solomons campaign. February 1943 found me in Dutch Harbor, Adak and the Aleutians. In April 1944, after a short rest for my crew, I made repairs at Majuro, Marshall Islands, Roi, Eniwetok, Ulithi and other strategic areas of importance which supported the invasions of Saipan, Guam and Iwo Jima. I knew I was helping to strike a mortal blow at the enemy. I moved to Leyte Gulf in February 1945, aided the Okinawa invasion and was involved with Task Force 38 which conducted raids on Japan. I was a proud and decorated veteran on V. J. Day as I steamed into the harbor of Sasebo, Japan. I continued to serve, after the war, with Service Division 101 at Shanghai, China, until early 1946.
I was ready for a long rest when they sent me to Orange, Texas for retirement in March 1947. But my slumbers were interrupted in February 1952, when I was called back for the Korean conflict. I was originally homeported at Newport, Rhode Island where I assisted east coast ships and participated in several exercises. In March 1955, I moved to Fall River, Massachusetts for fifteen months.
In July 1956, I returned to Charleston, South Carolina to resume my retirement. But again, I was awakened in 1960 and given the same job but with a different title: Repair Ship. I was sent to Mare Island Naval Shipyard for outfitting, and my initials were changed to USS MARKAB (AR 23) My new homeport was San Francisco, California; but I frequently moved up and down the west coast and assisted all types of ships in the Pacific Fleet. I am now in my fifth deployment to the Western Pacific since 1960. 1 have repaired the Fleet in such ports as Subic Bay and Manila, Philippines; Buckner Bay, Okinawa; Yokosuka, Japan, Koahsiung, Taiwan; and Vung Tau, and Viet Nam.
I am the "MIGHTY MARKAB". My history is a matter of record and my name is well known throughout the fleet. I am a proud ship, and my future endeavors will surpass my historic past. My motto has been, and always will be:
"CAN DO - WILL DO - GLAD TO DO."