Year Built
Official Number
Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company
General Type
General Cargo
Specific Type
Break Bulk
Ship Length
605.00 feet
82.00 feet
Mast Height
140.70 feet
Net Tons
10002.00 tons
Gross Tons
15949.00 tons
Cargo Capacity
70929.00 square feet
Draft, Summer
35.00 tons
Draft, Lightweight
12.30 tons
Displacement, Summer
31995.00 tons
Displacement, Lightweight
9779.00 tons
Immersion, Summer
91.00 tons
Immersion, Lightweight
74.00 tons
Still in Govt. Service

Historical Narrative

Cape Girardeau is a break-bulk cargo ship built for American Mail Line, Ltd. in 1968 as Alaskan Mail.  The vessel was later sold to American President Lines and renamed President Adams

The Maritime Administration purchased the vessel in 1988 and renamed it Cape Girardeau.  While part of the Ready Reserve Force, Cape Girardeau was part of the flotilla that engaged in cargo operations during Operation DESERT STORM. 

In October 2008 Cape Girardeau, already anchored in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, was downgraded to the National Defense Reserve Fleet retention program where it is currently in emergency sealift status.

Vessel Name History

1968 - 1978: Alaskan Mail
1978 - 1988: President Adams
1988 - present: Cape Girardeau

Photo Captions

1.) Cape Girardeau, at dock.  MARAD file photo.
2.) Cape Girardeau, at anchor in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet.  MARAD file photo.
3.) Cape Girardeau underway.  MARAD file photo.
4.) Cape Girardeau underway.  MARAD file photo.

Vessel Name History




No Mission for this vessel

Historical Documents
Name Download


Event Date Content
Interim Movement
2/13/1997 ENRTE: NAS Alameda
Interim Movement
2/13/1997 At NAS Alameda
Interim Movement
11/12/1997 ENRTE: San Francisco Drydock
Interim Movement
11/12/1997 At San Francisco Drydock f/ hull inspect
Interim Movement
11/14/1997 ENRTE: Alameda Point
Interim Movement
11/14/1997 At Alameda Point / new homeport
Interim Movement
9/24/1998 No-Notice Turbo Activation 98-3
Interim Movement
9/25/1998 Completed Turbo Activation
Interim Movement
1/16/1999 ENRTE: Cascade Marine in Portland OR
Interim Movement
1/17/1999 At Cascade Marine for boiler plug
Interim Movement
1/25/1999 Conducting sea trial
Interim Movement
1/27/1999 Completed sea trial at Alameda
Interim Movement
1/10/2001 Conducting sea trial
Interim Movement
1/11/2001 Completed sea trial / MSC OPCON
Interim Movement
1/12/2001 Commencing WESTEX 01 Exercise
Interim Movement
1/17/2001 In Pearl Harbor HI for MCDS OPS WESTEX
Interim Movement
1/21/2001 On MCDS OPS prior to Alameda return
Interim Movement
1/24/2001 Discharging cargo
Interim Movement
1/29/2001 Conducting MCDS operations/Enrte:Alameda
Interim Movement
2/14/2001 Return from UREP / MARAD OPCON
Interim Movement
8/27/2002 Turbo Activation 02-02 sea trial
Interim Movement
8/30/2002 Completed Turbo Activation 02-02 S/T
Interim Movement
9/13/2003 ENRTE: Cascade General for drydocking
Interim Movement
9/15/2003 At Cascade General for drydocking
Interim Movement
9/24/2003 ENRTE: Alameda CA
Interim Movement
9/26/2003 Returned from drydocking
Interim Movement
10/29/2004 Commencing LIVE EX-05 | MSC OPCON
Interim Movement
11/23/2004 Completed LIVE EX-05 | MARAD OPCON
3/20/2008 "Under tow from Alameda, CA at 0904PDT to BAE in San Francisco, CA."
3/20/2008 "At BAE in San Francisco, CA, first line 1030PDT."
3/27/2008 "ENROUTE to Alameda, CA at 0637PDT following drydocking."
3/27/2008 "Returned to Alameda, CA from BAE at 0831PDT."
7/24/2008 At SBRF for RRF lay-up.

2/5/2009 NDRF Status changed from Military Useful to Emergency Sealift

Ship Imagery

Status Cards


Date Type Name Download
(No Date) Cape_Girardeau_nrhp_assessment 09_01_2020.pdf Default Generic Download Image


No documents for this vessel

Shipwreck Information

No ship wreck information for this vessel