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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USNS Chain (T-AGOR-17)
USS Chain (ARS-20) (1944 - 1958)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Zulu - Alpha
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

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

Diver Class Rescue and Salvage Ship:
  • Laid down, 21 December 1942, at Basalt Rock Co., Napa, CA.
  • Launched, 3 April 1943
  • Commissioned USS Chain (ARS-20), 31 March 1944, LCDR. Flavius J. George, USNR, in command
  • During World War II USS Chain (ARS-20) was assigned to the 4th Fleet in the South Atlantic
  • Decommissioned, 9 November 1946, at Orange, TX.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Texas Group, Orange
  • Reclassified as an Oceanographic Research Ship in April 1967
  • Assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) as USNS Chain (T-AGOR-17) and operated for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Massachusetts
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 30 December 1977
  • Final Disposition, scrapped, June 1979
    ARS Specifications:
    Displacement 1,897 t.
    Length 213' 6"
    Beam 39'
    Draft 14' 8"
    Speed 15 kts.
    Officers 7
    Enlisted 113
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four .50 cal. machine guns
    Fuel Capacities
    Diesel 2,300 Bbls
    Gasoline 2,450 Gals
    four Cooper Bessemer GSR-8 Diesel-electric engines
    single Fairbanks Morse Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two Diesel-drive 200Kw 120V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 60Kw 120V D.C.
    twin propellers, 3,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Chain (ARS-20)
    Chain 82k USS Chain (ARS-20) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, issue dated November 1946
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    USNS Chain (T-AGOR-17)
    Chain 140k USNS Chain (T-AGOR-17) moored pierside, circa the early 1960s, soon after her conversion to a survey ship.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command (MSC), Photo No. Unknown, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Chain 111k USNS Chain (T-AGOR-17) under way, circa 1961, location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, May 1961, p 12.
    Robert Hurst
    Chain 165k USNS Chain (T-AGOR-17) entering Great Harbor with Woods Hole Passage and Nonamesset Island in the background, date unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 79135.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    USS Chain (ARS-20)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. George, Flavius Josephus, USNR31 March 1944 - ?
    04LCDR. Martin Jr. Verey Gamble, USNR1946 - 9 November 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Ship Photo Index Back To The Rescue and Salvage Ship (ARS) Photo Index Back To The Oceanographic Research Ship (AGOR) Photo Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 20 December 2019