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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Don McGrogan BMCS USN (Ret.) - Popular Patch

USNS Michelson (T-AGS-23)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - Lima - Yankee
SS Joliet Victory Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal - Philippines Liberation Medal (1)

USNS Michelson (T-AGS-23) Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
National Defense Service Medal

Bowditch Class Hydrographic Survey Ship:
  • Laid down, 5 May 1944, as SS Joliet Victory, a Maritime Commission type (VC-2-AP2) hull under Maritime Commission contract (MCV hull 114) at Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, OR.
  • Launched, 14 June 1944
  • Delivered to the Maritime Commission, 7 July 1944, for operation under contract to the War Shipping Administration by Alaska Steamship Co.
  • Merchant Service
    During World War II SS Joliet Victory participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, October-November 1944
    Chartered to Seas Shipping Co., 12 July 1946, by the Maritime Administration
    Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet Hudson River Group, 1 July 1948
    Contracted to Isbrandtsen Inc., 27 July 1950
    Chartered to Alaska Steamship Co., 14 August 1950
    Laid up, 31 October 1953, in the National Defense Reserve Fleet James River Group. Lee Hall, VA.
  • Acquired by the US Navy from the Maritime Commission, 8 February 1958
  • Converted to a Survey Ship at Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, S.C.
  • Placed in service by the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), as USNS Michelson (T-AGS-23), 15 December 1958
  • Placed out of service, date unknown
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 15 April 1975
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet
  • Final Disposition, sold for non-transportation use, 22 September 1977, National Metal and Steel Corp.
    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

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Michelson 116k

    Albert Abraham Michelson was born 19 December 1852 at Strelno, Poland. At an early age, he and his parents immigrated to the United States, where they settled in San Francisco. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy 28 June 1869 and graduated 1873. After service on the North Atlantic Station in Worcester and Constellation, Michelson then returned to the academy as instructor of physics and chemistry. There he prepared a paper “On a Method of Measuring the Velocity of Light” which won him worldwide recognition.
    Michelson was commissioned master 5 March 1879, and in 1880 was given leave of absence for advanced studies in Europe. He resigned from the Navy 30 September 1881 to continue intensive study of physics. In 1907, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics, the first American to be so honored. In the course of his research he received 11 honorary degrees from American and European universities, and numerous medals awarded for scientific achievement. He returned to the naval service as a lieutenant commander in Reserve status, and served in the Bureau of Ordnance during the closing months of World War I. Appointed commander in the Reserve in May 1919, he was recalled briefly to active duty in the 9th Naval District. Commander Michelson was released from the Navy 30 September 1921, and after another decade of significant research into the properties of light, died 9 May 1931 in Pasadena, Calif.
    Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress
    Bill Gonyo
    Michelson 67k USNS Michelson (T-AGS-23) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Carl R Friberg, Jr. USNS Michelson
    Michelson 41k USNS Michelson (T-AGS-23) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from DANFS.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    274k USNS Michelson (T-AGS-23) off Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, 1 December 1958.
    US National Archives photo # USN 1040431, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Michelson 694k USNS Michelson (T-AGS-23) under way, in November 1961, location unknown.
    US Navy photo Neg. No. AGS-23-344L” and dated 11-61.
    John A. Hansen, ET2 Oceanographic Detachment 3, November 1962 - 1964.
    Michelson 72k USNS Michelson (T-AGS-23) under way, circa 1964, location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Robert Hurst
    Michelson 508k Patch for Oceanographic Unit Three embarked in USNS Michelson (T-AGS-23) Earl G. Adams

    USNS Michelson (T-AGS-23)
    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
    The TAGS ship
    Take a Trip on a Survey Ship, blog by John A. Hansen
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Ship Photo Index Back To The Survey Ship (AGS) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 13 March 2020