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MV TSgt John A. Chapman (T-AK-323)
MV TSgt John A. Chapman (AK-323) 2005-04-08 renaming.jpg
MV TSgt. John A. Chapman (AK-323) moored pierside at Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point, N.C., 8 April 2006 during renaming ceremony.
Career (France) France
Name: MV CGM Utrillo
Owner: Compagnie Générale Maritime
Launched: 1978
Fate: Purchased in 1992 by American Automar, re-flagged US and renamed MV American Merlin
Career (United States) United States
Name: MV American Merlin
Owner: American Automar
Acquired: 1992
In service: until late 2001 under long term lease as AK-323 MSC
Out of service: Returned to her owners after completion of her MSC charter
Reinstated: Acquired by Sealift Inc and renamed MV Merlin
Notes: MV American Merlin was assigned to Maritime Prepositioning Program Squadron Two and operated out of Diego Garcia
Career (United States)
Name: MV TSgt John A. Chapman (AK-323)
Namesake: Technical Sergeant John A. Chapman, from the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, killed March 4, 2002, while fighting against the Taliban during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan. He was posthumously decorated with the nation’s second-highest award for valor, the Air Force Cross.
Owner: Sealift Inc
Acquired: 8 April 2005
Status: Active in service as of 2009
General characteristics
Class & type: Buffalo Soldier class Container Roll-on/Roll-off Logistics Prepositioning Ship
Displacement: 26,378 long tons (26,801 t)
Length: 670 ft (200 m)
Beam: 87 ft (27 m)
Draft: 34 ft 6 in (10.52 m)
Speed: 16 kn (30 km/h)
Complement: 19 civilian, 0 military

Motor Vessel TSgt John A. Chapman (T-AK-323) is a Buffalo Soldier-class container ship. She is one of Military Sealift Command's seventeen container and roll-on/roll-off ships and is part of the 36 ships in the Prepositioning Program.

Built in 1978 by Chanters Navigation de la Ciotat in France, she was originally named Merlin.[1] On 8 April 2005, she was renamed for Pope Air Force Base combat controller Technical Sergeant John A. Chapman, an Air Force Cross recipient. He was awarded the Air Force Cross for his actions during the Battle of Takur Ghar.[2][3]

MV TSgt John A. Chapman carries Air Force munitions. She features climate-controlled cocoons on her weather decks which protect additional cargo from the marine environment. She is owned and operated by Sealift Incorporated and is under charter to MSC.

See also


  1. Gary P. Priolo (13 Sep 2009). "Service Ship Photo Archive". NavSource Online. Retrieved 16 Jan 2010. "MV TSgt. John A. Chapman (AK-323) ex MV Merlin (AK-323), MV American Merlin (AK-9302)" 
  2. Senior Airman Becky J. LaRaia; Lisa Terry McKeown, 43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs (8 April 2005). "Ship takes heroic legacy to the fight". US Air Force. Archived from the original on 12 Dec 2012. Retrieved 15 Jan 2010. "SUNNY POINT, N.C. (AFPN) -- A fallen Air Force hero from Pope Air Force Base, N.C., was honored April 8 at the Military Ocean Terminal here. A Navy cargo ship was named for Air Force Cross recipient Tech. TSgt. John Chapman." 
  3. Airman 1st Class Jason A. Neal; 43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs (13 Jan 2003). "Pope combat controller awarded Air Force Cross". US Air Force. Archived from the original on 12 Dec 2012. Retrieved 15 Jan 2010. "POPE AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (AFPN) -- Senior Air Force leaders awarded the Air Force Cross to Tech. Sgt. John Chapman here Jan. 10." 

External links