02/19/2000, Updated links 12/18/2009
|Name and notes
"DANFS link" is the link to that ship's Naval Historical Center DANFS entry
Be aware that the publication of the hard copy DANFS often was shortly after these ships began service and usually contains only the briefest history.
(See the note on class following table)
|AGOR 1||Josiah Willard Gibbs (ex San Carlos (AVP-51)) is now covered at Naval Historical Center's Online Library of Selected Images, USNS Josiah Willard Gibbs (T-AGOR-1), 1958-1971. The link from that page, On Board and Close Up, provides interesting views of early AGOR modifications and machinery.
Josiah Willard Gibbs DANFS link
|AGOR 2||H. U. Sverdrup (built for Norway): This is probably a similar case to AGOR 26 (below) in which a vessel under construction was assigned the AGOR designation for administrative purposes.
The vessel is described in the 1968-69 Jane's as being laid down in September 1959 and launched February 1960. Construction was by Örens Mekaniske Verksted, Trondheim, financed by the U. S. Mutual Weapon Development Program and operated by Norwegian Defense Research Establishment. Specifications are unlike any U. S. AGOR: welded steel hull, controllable pitch propeller, 127.7 oa X 111.5 X 13, 11.5 knots, 400 tons displacement, 10 crew, 9 scientists. A note is made that "She does not belong to the Royal Norwegian Navy, but is a Defense project." The photo shows a classic north Atlantic trawler type vessel with a whale back bow.
|AGOR 3||Robert D. Conrad - MARAD Reserve Fleet Inventory (2/28/01) showed "Ready for Disposal Non- Ret NAVSEA; Memorial interest declined" Conrad was scrapped 27 April 2004.
Robert D. Conrad DANFS link
|AGOR 4||James M. Gilliss [Mexico's Altair (H-05)]
James M. Gilliss DANFS link
|AGOR 5||Charles H. Davis [New Zealand's HMNZS Tui] This little AGOR had perhaps the nicest ending I've ever seen. She is pictured at the NavSource site surrounded by friends (wouldn't be surprised if they weren't toasting with bubbly) and possibly even fireworks (scuttling charges with three rockets?) -- unless there was a bit of an accident. The ship's bell is preserved with the names of children baptized aboard underneath in a RN tradition. Note that after an anchor recovery she has a monument nearby.||Conrad|
|AGOR 6||Sands Became Brazil's Almirante Camara (H-41), decommissioned 2003.
Sands DANFS link
|AGOR 7||Lynch DANFS link - scrapped, 29 November 2001||Conrad|
|AGOR 8||Eltanin DANFS link||Eltanin|
|AGOR 9||Thomas G. Thompson (link to University of Washington web page) sunk as part of an exercise 14 November 2004.
Thomas G. Thompson DANFS link
|AGOR 10||Thomas Washington [See: Vidal Gormaz, Chile]
Thomas Washington DANFS link
|AGOR 11||Mizar (link to this web site's Mizar web page) - scrapped 2005.
Mizar DANFS link
|AGOR 12||Louis R. De Steiguer [See: N. O. Salambo, Tunisia]||Conrad (1)|
|AGOR 13||John R. Bartlett (link to this web site's page containing Bartlett) [See: Abou Barakat Albarbari, Morocco]||Conrad (1)|
|AGOR 14||Melville (SIO web page link)
Melville DANFS link
|AGOR 15||Knorr (WHOI Marine Operations page link)
Knorr DANFS link
|AGOR 16||Hayes (Redesignated T-AG 195) AGOR-16 was intended to be used by Hudson Laboratories of Columbia University under contract to the Office of Naval Research and to be named Hudson. An interesting article in the December 1968 United States Naval Institute Proceedings titled "The Research Catamaran T-AGOR 16" by LTC J. C. Froid details the design history.||Hayes|
|AGOR 17||Chain (ex ARS-20 converted 1958 to oceanographic research) [WHOI]
Chain DANFS link
|AGOR 18||Argo, (ex Snatch ARS-27 converted 1959-60 to oceanographic research) Navy references do not appear to use the name Argo and simply refer to AGOR 18. Argo may have been a name applied by Scripps and never officially recognized by Navy. An interesting Navy Support for Oceanography at SIO page describing research projects at SIO sponsored by the Office of Naval Research includes the 1960 project "Trapani: Conversion of USS SNATCH to R/V ARGO." [SIO]
Snatch DANFS link
The following ships came into operation after work on published DANFS. Links on name are generally to an institution operating the ship or to other pertinent web pages. I believe one intention of placing the published DANFS on Naval Historical Centers web pages is to allow updates without being bound to the expensive cycle of hard copy book publishing. A few ships have already benefited from such updates at the NHC web site.
|AGOR 19||Planned FY 1968, canceled|
|AGOR 20||Planned FY 1968, canceled|
|AGOR 21||Gyre Once operated by Texas A&M University's Oceanography Department as an AGOR. Disposed by Navy August 17,1992. Owned by Texas A&M University as R/V Gyre. Texas A&M University at Galveston web page shows Gyre retired in August 2005.||Gyre|
|AGOR 22||Moana Wave is "Out of UNOLS Service." Previously operated by University of Hawaii's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), the R/V Moana Wave is being replaced by AGOR 26, Kilo Moana. The Moana Wave was operated as the S/V Moana Wave by "Clearwater Environmental/Ocean Services, LLC of Anchorage, Alaska ... which itself is a division of the Ahtna Regional Corporation (one of Alaska's 13 Regional Native Corporations). Taken under management agreement with her new owner, R/V Moana Wave was rebuilt and refitted to become an ocean cable route survey vessel and has been under charter for doing cable route surveys across the Pacific Rim from North America to the Far East and back." A web page dated 2006 and on the web as of December 2009 showed the ship as one of Stabbert Maritime's vessels.||Gyre|
|AGOR 23||Thomas G. Thompson [UW]||Thompson|
|AGOR 24||Roger Revelle [SIO]||Thompson|
|AGOR 25||Atlantis [WHOI]||Thompson|
|AGOR 26||Ronald H. Brown [NOAA] See the NOAA photo library for NOAA ship pictures.
This vessel's AGOR designation is a subject of confusion. The ship was described as AGOR 26 for a period, including official documents and NOAA references. In fact the current NOAA page for the ship's history states:
"The new NOAA AGOR-24" obviously refers to NOAA's previous class statement as AGOR 24 itself was already the Roger Revelle.
I have a so far unproven suspicion that the vessel, built to AGOR 23 specifications, was assigned the designation AGOR 26 for administrative purposes during construction under Navy supervision for NOAA at Halter Marine's Moss Point shipyard where the others of the class had been built for Navy. If so, the Navy later "recycled" the designation to apply to new construction, the Kilo Moana (below).
|AGOR 26||Kilo Moana. Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) design. Delivered to the operator (University of Hawaii) in 2003 and has been operating successfully since. She replaced the AGOR-22, Moana Wave.
Note that the designation AGOR 26 has been used before in Navy and NOAA documents. My estimate of the cause for this confusion is explained above.
It appears that the little ships of the Conrad class are being replaced in their second life worldwide by the more recent first generation AGOS Ocean Surveillance Ship class. It makes sense. They are nearly 20 years younger and designed for open ocean work involving over-the-stern operations. They would appear to make good candidates for more capable oceanographic vessels than the little mid-sixties AGOR design. That in a sense takes the AGOR class full circle. Josiah Willard Gibbs (AGOR 1) was a conversion. She started as San Carlos (AVP 51), a small seaplane tender with three battle stars for WW II service. The AGOS types were at least designed and served in a function quite similar to that required of a small oceanographic ship.
No AGOR class ships are actually operated by Navy now. The ones once operated under the Oceanographer of the Navy, a position itself subject to great change after 2001, are gone abroad to serve other countries. Hayes is reclassified, Mizar, Conrad and Lynch are scrapped and even those operated by the Navy laboratories have long been transferred to other countries. The only current AGORs then are the "non-AGORs" -- those operated with little reference to their naval ownership and classification by the universities. There are thus no more T-AGOR ships, the "T" indicating U.S. Naval Ship (USNS) status under the Military Sealift Command.
Ship name sources for the AGORs and some of the AGS ships.
List of Commanders
From: 150 Years of Service on the Seas, Vol. 1 (1830-1946), by Marc I. Pinsel, Government Printing Office
|Depot of Charts and Instruments|
|Lieutenant Louis H. Goldsborough||Dec. 1830 - Mar 1833|
|Lieutenant Charles Wilkes||Mar 1833 - Jun 1837|
|Lieutenant James N. Gilliss||Jun 1837 - Jul 1842|
|Superintendent, U.S. Naval Observatory and Hydrographical Office|
|Lieutenant Matthew F. Maury||Jul. 1842 - Apr 1861|
|Captain James N. Gilliss||Apr 1861 - Feb 1865|
|Rear Admiral Charles H. Davis||Apr 1865 - Aug 1866|
|Commanding Officer, U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office|
|Commander Thomas S. Fillebrown||Aug 1866 - Jul 1868|
|Captain Napoleon B. Harrision||Jul 1868 - Dec 1868|
|Commander Edward Simpson||Dec 1868 - Oct 1869|
|Commodore George F. Emmons||Oct 1869 - Oct 1870|
|Hydrographers, U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office|
|Captain Robert H. Wyman||Oct 1870 - May 1878|
|Captain Samuel R. Franklin||May 1878 - Jul 1880|
|Commodore John C. P. De Krafft||Jul 1880 - Jun 1883|
|Commander John R. Bartlett||Jun 1883 - Jun 1888|
|Lieutenant George L. Dyer||Jun 1888 - Nov 1889|
|Captain Henry F. Picking||Nov 1889 - Sep 1890|
|Lieut. Commander Richardson Clover||Jun 1891 - May 1893|
|Commander Charles D. Sigsbee||May 1893 - Apr 1897|
|Captain Joseph E. Craig||Apr 1897 - Jan 1900|
|Captain Chapman C. Todd||Jan 1900 - Nov 1901|
|Commaider W. H. H. Sutherland||Nov 1901 - Feb 1904|
|Captain H. H. Hodges||Feb 1904 - Oct 1906|
|Commander Charles C. Rogers||Oct 1906 - May 1908|
|Captain Albert G. Winterhalter||May 1908 - Jan 1910|
|Captain John J. Knapp||Jan 1910 - May 1912|
|Captain George F. Cooper||May 1912 - Apr 1914|
|Captim Thomas Washington||Apr 1914 - Jun 1916|
|Rear Admiral Thomas Snowden||Jun 1916 - Oct 1917|
|Rear Admiral Seaton Schroeder||Oct 1917 - Mar 1919|
|Rear Admiral Edward Simpson||Mar 1919 - Dec 1919|
|Rear Admiral Lloyd H. Chandler||Jun 1920 - Jul 1921|
|Captain Louis R. De Steiguer||Jul 1921 - Dec 1921|
|Captain Frederic B. Bassett||Jan 1922 - Jul 1925|
|Rear Admiral Walter S. Crosley||Jun 1925 - Jul 1927|
|Captain Clarence S. Kempff||Sep 1927 - Jun 1930|
|Rear Admira1 Walter R. Gherardi||Jun 1930 - Mar 1935|
|Captain Lamar R. Leahy||May 1935 - Aug 1938|
|Rear Admiral George S. Bryan||Aug. 1938 - Feb. 1946|
Navy Survey Ship (AGS) Numeric Listing
(This page is largely a list of public information. Notice below does not apply to that information.)
Original text and photographs Copyright © 1998, 2001 by Ramon Jackson
E-mail me by clicking on name above with the page title in the subject line.