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SS Sgt. Matej Kocak (T-AK 3005)

- formerly SS JOHN D. WATERMAN -
- Military Sealift Command -


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Built as commercial container ship JOHN D. WATERMAN in 1981, the ship was purchased by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) in December 1982 and later entered the NASSCO shipyard for conversion to a maritime prepositioning ship. The conversion was finished in October 1984 and the ship entered service as SS SGT. MATEJ KOCAK becoming the first ship in the Navy named after US Marine Corps Sgt. Matej Kocak.

The SGT. MATEJ KOCAK is operated by the Waterman Steamship Co.

General Characteristics:Delivered: March 1981
Builder: Pennsylvania SB Company, Chester, Pa.
Purchased by MARAD: December 1982
Conversion yard: National Steel and Shipbuilding, San Diego, CA
Conversion started: August 1983
Delivered: October 1984
Propulsion system: Steam turbines, 2 boilers
Propellers: one
Length: 821.5 feet (250.4 meters)
Beam: 105.6 feet (32.2 meters)
Draft: 33.1 feet (10.1 meters)
Displacement: approx. 48,750 tons full load
Speed: 20 knots
Aircraft: helicopter platform only
Armament: none
Capacity:
  • 152,524 sq. ft. vehicle
  • 1,544,000 gallons petroleum
  • 94,780 gallons water
  • 540 TEU
Crew: 34 civilians, 10 technicians
Homeport: Europe


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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard SS SGT. MATEJ KOCAK. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


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About the Ship's Name:

SS SGT. MATEJ KOCAK is named in honor of US Marine Corps Sgt. Matej Kocak who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Viller-Cottertes section, south of Soissons, France, 18 July 1918.

Citation (Navy):

For extraordinary heroism while serving with the Sixty-sixth Company, Fifth Regiment, Second Division, in action in the Viller-Cottertes section, south of Soissons, France, 18 July 1918. When a hidden machine gun nest halted the advance of his battalion, Sergeant Kocak went forward alone unprotected by covering fire and worked his way in between the German positions in the face of heavy enemy fire. Rushing the enemy position with his bayonet, he drove off the crew. Later the same day, Sergeant Kocak organized French colonial soldiers who had become separated from their company and led them in attacking another machine-gun nest, which was also put out of action.




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The photos below were taken by me and show the SGT. MATEJ KOCAK at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on November 9, 2008.



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