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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Patches Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Vega (AF-59)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Quebec - Sierra - Juliet
NQSJ
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Thunderbolt (M)ike - Section 6A of JANAP 119(F) 1968
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (3) - National Defense Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (7-Vietnam, 2-Quemoy-Matsu, 1-Korea, 1-Op. Eagle Pull, 1-Op. Frequent Wind, 1-Mayaquez Op.)
Bottom Row - Vietnam Service Medal (10) - Humanitarian Service Medal (1-Eagle Pull, 1-Frequent Wind)- Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal


Rigel Class Stores Ship:
  • Laid down, 7 June 1954, as a Maritime Administration type (R3-S-4A) hull under Maritime Administration contract (MA 37) at Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, MS.
  • Launched, 28 April 1955
  • Commissioned USS Vega (AF-59), 10 November 1955, CAPT. Floyd T. Thompson in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Vega participated in the following campaigns:
    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnamese Defense
    25 July to 1 August 1965
    12 to 20 August 1965
    5 to 17 September 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
    4 to 15 July 1968
    21 July to 2 August 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    20 to 27 February 1966
    9 to 16 March 1966
    1 to 6 April 1966
    Tet/69 Counteroffensive
    8 to 17 May 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    3 to 15 September 1966
    23 September to 14 October 1966
    20 to 24 October 1966
    31 October to 10 November 1966
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    11 to 26 June 1969
    7 to 18 July 1969
    28 to 29 July 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    8 to 18 August 1967
    26 August to 8 September 1967
    26 September to 11 October 1967
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VI
    9 to 22 October 1970
    5 to 25 November 1970
    30 November to 15 December 1970
    31 December 1970 to 13 January 1971
    26 January to 6 February 1971
    13 to 14 February 1971
    23 February to 7 March 1971
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    11 to 22 April 1968
    8 to 27 May 1968
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    4 to 16 April 1972
    22 April to 2 May 1972
    6 to 16 May 1972
    27 May to 3 July 1972
    12 to 20 July 1972
    10 August to 6 September 1972

  • Decommissioned, 29 April 1977, at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 29 April 1977
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration for disposed
  • Final Disposition, sold 1 December 1977, to Union Metals & Alloys, for non-transportation use
  • USS Vega earned 10 campaign stars for service during the Vietnam War
    Specifications:
    Displacement 15,150 t(fl)
    Length 502'
    Beam 72'
    Draft 29'
    Speed 21 kts.
    Complement 350
    Armament four dual mount 3"/50 gun mounts
    Propulsion 600psi cross compound steam turbine, single propeller

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Vega 140k USS Vega (AF-59) Welcome Aboard pamphlet cover. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 1042k USS Vega (AF-59) underway in San Francisco Bay, August 1957.
    Photo ©Allied Photographers, San Francisco.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Vega 1042k USS Vega (AF-59) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Charles Lamm
    Vega 273k USS Vega (AF-59) at the south end of Mare Island likely conducting engineering plant testing after repairs at the yard.
    File name: AF 59 35823-7-57, Navy Photo, Feb. 1957
    Darryl Baker
    Vega 100k USS Vega (AF-59) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    James Byrd USS Vega (Mount 33)
    Vega 62k USS Vega (AF-59) at anchor off Kagoshima, Japan. Note Volcano in background. R. J. Clark USS Vega
    Vega 87k USS Vega (AF-59) during underway replenishment with a destroyer on her starboard side and an aircraft carrier on her port side, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 169k USS Vega (AF-59) winch deck, SN Tom Dailey, Sasebo, Japan, circa early-1962 Tom Dailey RMC USN USS Vega
    Vega 86k Fantail watch USS Vega (AF-59) while transiting from Yokosuka to Pearl Harbor, circa early-1962 Tom Dailey RMC USN USS Vega
    Vega 130k USS Vega (AF-59) underway in WestPac, circa 1963. Bill Gonyo
    Vega 90k USS Vega (AF-59) during an underway replenishment with USS Galveston (CLG-3) in WESTPAC during 1963-64.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 380k Coming alongside USS Vega (AF-59) for an underway replenishment, WESTPAC 1964. Photos taken from USS Calvert (APA-32). Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 82k USS Vega (AF-59) alongside USS Ranger (CVA-61) while conducting an underway replenishment, WESTPAC, 1965.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 171k USS Vega (AF-59) with USS America (CVA-66) and USS Epperson (DD-719) alongside during an underway replenishment at sea, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Ed Zajkowski
    Vega 508k USS Vega (AF-59) moored at India Basin, Fleet Activities, Sasebo, Japan in 1969. Note the four destroyers moored aft of Vegas they include USS Ernest G. Small (DD-838) and USS Renshaw (DD-499) Photo by William P. Jones, MD Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Vega 117k USS Vega (AF-59) in position ready to receive a ship to port for an UNREP. At the same time a destroyer is preparing to UNREP off the starboard side of Vega, date and place unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 111k USS Vega (AF-59) in position to receive an aircraft carrier coming alongside to port for an UNREP. At the same time a destroyer is preparing to UNREP off the starboard side of Vega. Note the destroyers mast is visible to starboard of Vega.date and place unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 43k USS Vega (AF-59) during a replenishment of USS Jouett (CG-29) in WESTPAC, date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 42k USS Vega (AF-59) underway during her WESTPAC deployment in 1963.. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 50k USS Vega (AF-59) at anchor in San Francisco Bay, date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 84k USS Vega (AF-59) entering San Francisco Bay, date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 87k USS Vega (AF-59) underway off California, date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 84k USS Vega (AF-59) and USS Ramsey (DEG-2) during underway replenishment in the Gulf of Tonkin in March 1975. Photo by Terry Hedgewood GM3 USS Vega
    Submitted by Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 80k USS Vega (AF-59) moored pierside at NAS Alameda, date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 133k USS Vega (AF-59) crew preparing for an underway replenishment, date and location unknown. Photo by Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 170k USS Vega (AF-59) moored pierside at NSC Oakland, CA., date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 50k USS Vega (AF-59) moored pierside at NSC Oakland, CA., date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 62k USS Vega (AF-59) loading stores at NAS Alameda, date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 57k USS Vega (AF-59) moored at pier 2, NAS Alameda, date unknown. Photo by Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 51k USS Vega (AF-59) arriving at the Naval Supply Center, Oakland, CA. after completing a WESTPAC deployment, date unknown. Photo by Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega
    Vega 413k Article from the May 17, 1977 edition of the Mare Island Naval Station newspaper "Mare's Tale" The Vega was laid to rest. Darryl Baker
    Vega 146k MM2 William Hallman and SK1 Mike Nichols fold the flag which was then presented to CDR F. J. Barnes III the last Commanding Officer of USS Vega (AF-59), 29 April 1977.
    File name;AF 59 Apr 29 77 02 TH, a US Navy photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Vega 149k Capt. Charles J. Christensen, Jr., Commander, Service Group One and CDR F. J. Barnes, III, Commanding Officer, USS Vega (AF-59) at the decommissioning ceremonies of the ship at Mare Island, April 29, 1977. Note CAPT. Christensen was Commanding Officer of USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) from 3/15/74 to 6/21/75.
    File name;AF 59 Apr 29 77 04 TH, a US Navy photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Vega 64k Ex-Vega (AF-59) moored at Tacoma, WA. 1987. Courtesy Lyle Hildebrand USS Vega web site
    Vega 970k Ex-Vega (AF-59) moored, probably, on the Columbia River in 1987.
    Photo by the late Alex Wood.
    Chris Howell, Southland Ship Stores Limited, Port of Bluff, N.Z.
    Vega 221k USS Vega (AF-59) belt buckle. Photo by Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. USS Vega


    For more photos and information about USS Vega, see:
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • Commanding Officers
  • USS Vega AF-59

  • Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

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    Last Updated 23 May 2014