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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) underway, date unknown. US Navy photo from "All Hands magazine, November 1967 issue. Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    USC&GS Oceanographer (OSS-26)
    Corsair 76k USC&GS Oceanographer (OSS-26) underway, circa 1934, place unknown. Jim Rogers
    Oceanographer 45k USC&GS Oceanographer (OSS-26) underway, date and place unknown.
    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.
    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.
    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
    NOAA web site
    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)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    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
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    This page created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 12 November 2010