Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.


NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Oceanographer (AGS-3)
ex
USS Natchez (PG-85) (1942)
USC&GS Oceanographer (OSS-26) (1942)
USS Corsair (SP#159) (1917 - 1919)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Charlie - Delta - Zulu
NCDZ
Corsair (SP-159) Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Oceanographer (AGS-3) Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal


  • Built in 1899 as the yacht Corsair III by W. & A. Fletcher Co., Hoboken, N.J. for J. Pierpont Morgan
  • Acquired by the Navy, 15 May 1917
  • Commissioned USS Corsair (SP 159) the same day
  • Returned to her owner, J. P. Morgan, 9 June 1919
  • Acquired by the Coast and Geodetic Survey, 2 January 1930, renamed USC&GS Oceanographer (OSS-26)
  • Reacquired by the Navy, 7 April 1942, from the Coast and Geodetic Survey at Norfolk, VA.
  • Renamed USS Natchez (PG-85), 15 April 1942
  • Rerigged and outfitted at Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. as a Survey Ship
  • Commissioned USS Oceanographer (AGS-3), 15 August 1942
  • Decommissioned, 22 September 1944, at San Pedro, CA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 14 October 1944
  • Final Disposition, broken up for scrap
    Specifications:
    Displacement 1,136 t. (gross)
    Length 304 (oa)
    Beam 33.5'
    Draft 16'
    Speed 19 kts.
    Complement 146
    Armament two 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    Propulsion two vertical triple-expansion steam engines, two shafts

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Yacht Corsair (III)
    Corsair 561k The steam yacht Corsair (III). circa 1899. Jim Rogers
    Corsair 61k The steam yacht Corsair (III). circa 1916. ©Eastman Kodak
    Corsair 66k The steam yacht Corsair (III) photographed prior to her World War I Naval service.
    US Navy photo # NH 65120, courtesy J.P Morgan, 1930, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    Robert Hurst
    Corsair 39k The steam yacht Corsair (III) photographed by Edwin Levick of New York City, prior to her World War 1 Naval service. The original print is in National Archives' Record Group 19-LCM.
    US Navy photo # NH 100882, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    Robert Hurst
    USS Corsair (SP-159)
    Oceanographer 54k USS Corsair (SP-159) fitting out for WW I service, circa May 1917. Ship outboard is USS Harvard (SP-209).
    US Navy photo # NH 85734 Courtesy of Alfred Cellier, 1977. From the collections of US Naval Historical Center.
    US Navy Historical Center
    Oceanographer 74k USS Corsair (SP-159) under way, date and location unknown. US Navy photo from "All Hands magazine, November 1967 issue. Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Oceanographer 85k USS Corsair (SP-159) in dry dock at Brest, France, circa 1918.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo#: NH 106633. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2009.
    Robert Hurst
    Oceanographer 87k USS Corsair (SP-159)'s number three 3"/50 gun, circa 1918. Several depth charges are stowed on deck in the lower right. The converted yacht patrol vessel partially visible in the right distance is USS Aphrodite (SP-135).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo#: NH 106638. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2009.
    Robert Hurst
    Oceanographer 86k View of USS Corsair (SP-159)'s depth charges carried on the ship's after deck, circa 1918. Note the after steering wheel and binnacle in the center, with a "Y"-Gun depth charge projector just beyond. A Colt machine gun is mounted on the deck edge bulwark in the left center. The converted yacht patrol vessel partially visible in the left distance is USS Aphrodite (SP-135).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo#: NH 106639. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2009.
    Robert Hurst
    Oceanographer 69k A depth charge explodes astern of USS Corsair (SP-159) during operations at sea in 1918. Another depth charge is visible in the foreground.
    US Navy photo # NH 99897 from the collection of Paul F. Wangerin, 1975.
    Robert Hurst
    Oceanographer 86k Depth charges stowed on the deck of USS Corsair (SP-159) during anti-submarine operations in 1918.
    US Navy photo # NH 99898 courtesy LT. C.C. Moore, USN, 1930.
    Robert Hurst
    Oceanographer 59k Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels (standing to left of the ship's after conning station) talking with a group of officers, while USS Corsair (SP-159) was at Plymouth, England, in May 1919. Standing at right are the ship's Commanding Officer, LCDR. William B. Porter, USNRF, and RADM Ralph Earle, USN. Note depth charge stowage racks in the foreground.
    US Navy photo # NH 55391 from the collection of Paul F. Wangerin, 1975.
    Robert Hurst
    USC&GS Oceanographer (OSS-26)
    Corsair 76k USC&GS Oceanographer (OSS-26) under way, circa 1934, location unknown. Jim Rogers
    Oceanographer 45k USC&GS Oceanographer (OSS-26) under way, date and location location.
    US Navy photo from DANFS.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Oceanographer 93k USC&GS Oceanographer (OSS-26) in service with the Coast and Geodetic Survey circa 1940. The Coast and Geodetic Survey appears to have enlarged her bridge after acquiring her from J. P. Morgan in 1930.
    NOAA Photo # unknown, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Robert Hurst
    USS Oceanographer (AGS-3)
    Oceanographer 93k USS Oceanographer (AGS-3) moored at Norfolk, VA., circa August 1942 after conversion at Norfolk, VA.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM. photo # 19-N-41108, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Robert Hurst
    Oceanographer 114k USS Oceanographer (AGS-3) moored pierside, at Norfolk, VA., circa 1943.
    US Navy photo
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Oceanographer 47k USS Oceanographer (AGS-3) moored pierside at San Pedro, circa 1944
    US Navy photo, courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Robert Hurst
    Oceanographer 165k USS Oceanographer (AGS-3) moored pierside at San Pedro, circa 1944
    US Navy photo
    NOAA web site

    USS Corsair (SP-159) / USS Oceanographer (AGS-3)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    NOAA Photo Library
    Navy Survey Ships (AGS) Designator Listing
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Patrol Ship Photo Index Back To The Service Ship Photo Index Back To The Section Patrol Craft (SP) Photo Index Back To The Gunboat Photo (PG) Index Back To The Survey Ship (AGS) Photo Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 12 June 2015