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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Bill Valashinas

USNS Harkness (T-AGS-32)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right top to bottom
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2)
Bottom Row - National Defense Service Medal - Southwest Asia Service Medal - Humanitarian Service Medal (Op. Intense Look)

Chauvenet Class Hydrographic Survey Ship:
  • Laid down, 30 June 1967, at Upper Clyde Shipbuilding Corp., Glasgow, Scotland
  • Launched, 12 June 1968
  • Delivered to the Navy, 29 January 1971
  • Placed in service with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) as USNS Harkness (T-AGS-32), 29 January 1971
  • Placed out of service and struck from the Naval Register, 15 March 1993
  • Title transferred to MARAD for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA.
  • Reacquired, 8 January 2002, for further transfer to the New York Maritime Academy for use as a non-operational training ship
  • Returned to MARAD custody, 1 July 2005
  • Final Disposition, fate undetermined
    Displacement 5,360 t.
    Length 393' 2"
    Beam 54'
    Draft 31'
    Complement unknown
    Armament none
    two ALCO 251 V-12 Diesel engines
    single shaft, 3,400shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Harkness 47k

    William Harkness (December 17, 1837 February 28, 1903) was an astronomer, born at Ecclefechan, Scotland on December 17, 1837, a son of James Harkness (180378). He was educated at Lafayette College (185456), graduated from the University of Rochester (1858), and studied medicine in New York City. He served as a surgeon in the Union armies during part of the American Civil War. From 1862 to 1865 he was an aid in the United States Naval Observatory and then, after service on the monitor Monadnock {1}(186566), was employed in the Hydrographic Office. During the eclipse of August, 1869, Harkness discovered the coronal line K 1474. Three years later he was made a member of the Transit of Venus Commission, had charge of the party at Hobart, Tasmania, in 1879, and at Washington in 1882, when he became the executive officer. His most memorable accomplishments are related to the construction of telescopes, his theory of the focal curve of achromatic telescopes, and on his invention of the spherometer caliper, and other astronomical instruments. He was astronomical director of the Naval Observatory (189499) and director of the Nautical Almanac (189799). He retired two days after attaining the relative rank of rear admiral (December, 1899). He was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1893). Of his works, The Solar Parallax and its Related Constants (1891) is the most important. Harkness died in Jersey City on February 28, 1903 at the age of 66.
    Image from the magazine "Popular Science" for May, 1903
    Bill Gonyo
    Harkness 75k USNS Harkness (T-AGS-32) launching at Upper Clyde Shipbuilding Corp., Glasgow, Scotland, 12 June 1968.
    US Navy photo from DANFS.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Chauvenet 295k USNS Chauvenet (T-AGS-29) and USNS Harkness (T-AGS-32) fitting out at the Upper Clyde Shipbuilding Corp., Glasgow, Scotland in 1969. Michael Marshall
    Chauvenet 206k
    Harkness 44k USNS Harkness (T-AGS-32) underway, date and location unknown. Bill Valashinas
    Harkness 467k USNS Harkness (T-AGS-32) at anchor in the harbor at Genoa, Italy, 22 December 1972 Photos by Carlo Martinelli
    Harkness 312k
    Harkness 25k USNS Harkness (T-AGS-32) at anchor, date and location unknown. Ron Reeves
    Harkness 26k Logo for Naval Oceanographic Unit 5 embarked in USNS Harkness. The large star represented the Harkness while the four smaller stars represented the four HSLs. The design was created by LCDR Pigeon, then CO of the unit, circa 1972-73. Photo courtesy Bill Valashinas. Caption courtesy LI1 David Saunders USNS Harkness
    MARAD James River Group Reserve Fleet
    Kittiwake 188k Ex-USNS Harkness (T-AGS-32), ex-USS Kittiwake (ASR-13) and ex-USCGC Escape (WMEC-6) laid up in reserve in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, in April 2005. Photo by Ed Zajkowski
    Ortolan 102k From left to right; ex-USS Cape Cod (AD-43), ex-USNS Harkness (T-AGS-32), ex-USS Kittiwake (ASR-13), ex-USCGC Escape (WMEC-6), and ex-USS Ortolan (ASR-22) laid up in reserve in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA., 9 April 2009 Photo Mike Hibbard

    There is no DANFS history currently available for USNS Harkness (T-AGS-32) at NavSource
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

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    Last Updated 18 April 2014