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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Patch contributed by Bill Valashinas

USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Charlie - Sierra - Romeo
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - National Defense Service Medal

Bowditch Class Hydrographic Survey Ship:
  • Laid down, 11 May 1945, as SS South Bend Victory, a Maritime Commission type (VC-2-AP2) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull MCV 694) at Oregon Shipbuilding Co., Portland, OR.
  • Launched, 30 June 1945
  • Delivered to the War Shipping Administration, and Waterman Steamship Corp,, 27 July 1945, at Portland, OR.
  • Commercial Service
    Chartered to American Hawaii SS. Co., 29 September 1945, at Baltimore, MD.
    Chartered by Sword Line Inc., 21 May 1947, at New York, N.Y.
    Contact awarded to Boland and Cornelius, 12 August 1948, at Chester, PA., for Reserve Fleet preparation
    Laid up, 28 August 1948, in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Wilmington, N.C. Group
    Contract awarded to Prudential SS Co., 29 July 1950, for activation
    Chartered to Prudential SS Co., 17 August 1950, at Newport News
    Contract awarded to Prudential SS. Co., 11 February 1952, at San Francisco, CA.., for Reserve Fleet preparation
    Laid up, 22 October 1953, in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Acquired by title transfer to the US Navy, 2 August 1957
  • Converted to a Survey Ship at Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, S.C.
  • Renamed Bowditch, 8 August 1957
  • Assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) and placed in service as USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21), 8 October 1958
  • Placed our of service in 1988
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) National Defense Reserve Fleet, Beaumont, TX., 30 September 1987
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 4 March 1988
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, to C.J. W. Shipping & Trading Inc. (MA-12256) for $910,000. Resold to King Tung Chen Steel & Iron Works Co. Ltd, Taiwan. Delivered to purchaser, 30 June 1988
    Displacement 4,420 t.(lt) 13,050 t.(fl)
    Length 455'
    Beam 62'
    Draft 23
    Speed 16 kts.
    Cross compound steam turbine with double reduction gear, 6,000 to 8,500hp

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Bowditch - Nathaniel Bowditch (March 26, 1773 – March 16, 1838) was an early American mathematician remembered for his work on ocean navigation. He is often credited as the founder of modern maritime navigation; his book The New American Practical Navigator, first published in 1802, is still carried on board every commissioned U.S. Naval vessel. (Wikipedia)
    Bowditch 141k USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21) underway, date and location unknown. Ed Lanni and Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Bowditch 48k USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21 moored pierside, date and location unknown. Note the heavily damaged bow caused by a collision with a merchant ship Bill Valashinas
    Bowditch 95k USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21 underway, at Charleston, S.C., date unknown.
    US Navy photo from DANFS.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Dutton 194k USNS Dutton (T-AGS-22) (left) and USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21) (right) berthed side-by-side in the port of Bremerhaven, Germany in December 1965. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Bowditch 57k USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21) moored pierside at Bremerhaven, Germany, June 1968. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Bowditch 45k USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21) underway in August 1969, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Bowditch 499k USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21) moored pierside at Trondheim, Norway, date unknown.
    Photo by Sigbjørn Baumeyer
    Stig Baumeyer for his father Sigbjørn Baumeyer
    122k USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21) at sea, date and location unknown
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 79136
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Bowditch 50k Patch for Oceanographic Unit One embarked in USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21) Mike Smolinski
    Bowditch 46k Patch for Oceanographic Unit One embarked in USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21) Mike Smolinski

    USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21)
    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
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 13 March 2020