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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Saturn (AG-4)
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USS Saturn (1898 - 1920)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
West Indies Campaign Medal - Mexican Service Medal - World War I Victory Medal


  • Laid down, date unknown, at Harlan & Hollingsworth Co., Wilmington, DL.
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 2 April 1898
  • Commissioned USS Saturn, 11 April 1898, CDR. Samuel W. Very in command
  • Decommissioned, and placed in reserve, 4 November 1898, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Recommissioned, 15 August 1900
  • Decommissioned and placed in reserve, 30 June 1903, at Bremerton, WA,
  • Reactivated, 2 December 1903
  • Deactivated and placed in reserve, 30 September 1911, at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, WA.
  • Reactivated, 3 August 1912
  • Deactivated and place in reserve, 31 July 1913, at Puget Sound Navy Yard
  • Reactivated, 4 April 1914
  • Recommissioned, 4 April 1917
  • Classified Miscellaneous Auxiliary (AG-4), 17 July 1920
  • Decommissioned, 17 March 1922, at League Island, PA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register and sold for scrapping, 25 September 1922 to J. G. Hitner, Philadelphia <
    Specifications:
    Displacement 4,840 t.
    Length 297' 1"
    Beam 40' 5"
    Draft 26' 4" (max.)
    Speed 11 kts.
    Complement 74
    Armament
    one single 6"/50 gun mount
    two single 3"/50 gun mounts
    Propulsion
    coal fired boilers
    one vertical triple expansion steam engine
    single propeller 1,500shp

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    Size Image Description Contributed
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    Saturn 55k USS Saturn off Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA. with the tug Sioux alongside, August 1900.
    US Navy photo NH44072 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Saturn 100k USS Saturn photographed by a Seattle, Washington, photographer (Webster & Stevens) circa August 1915. She is still in her original configuration but now has radio antennas swung between spreaders at the top of the two masts. This photo was published, possibly in October 1920, courtesy Shipscribe. Mike Green
    Saturn 115k USS Saturn near Mare Island Navy Yard, 11 May 1916, being assisted by Navy tug Tillamook (Tug No. 16). Saturn was altered to serve as a support ship for Navy radio stations in Alaska and elsewhere.
    US Navy History and Heritage Command photo courtesy Shipscribe.com
    Mike Green
    Saturn 57k USS Saturn underway off Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA., 22 June 1916.
    US Navy photo #1910 from the Mare Island Naval Shipyard archives.
    Darryl Baker
    Saturn 155k USS Saturn deck view taken from the forecastle looking aft in Alaskan waters circa 1918-1919. Photo from contemporary scrapbook "For freedom of the Seas."
    Courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Saturn 93k USS Saturn in Alaskan waters circa 1918-1919. The stern mounted 6-inch gun was fitted circa 1918. At the same time two 3" guns were fitted on the bridge island forward of the pilot house. The photo was part of a contemporary scrapbook named "For freedom of the Seas.". Other small auxiliaries that received one 6" and two 3" guns at this time were USS Hannibal and USS Leonidas.
    Courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Saturn 64k USS Saturn's 1919 Alaskan itinerary. Schedule prepared at Mare Island, 10 May 1919 and found in the Mare Island Naval Shipyard archives.
  • First trip (green)
    Leave Mare Island, April 10
    Leave San Francisco, April 12
    Arrive Bremerton, April 17 - Departed, April 18
    Arrive Dutch Harbor, April 24 - Departed, April 25
    Arrive St. Paul, April 26 (unload material & party) - Departed, St. Paul, May 2
    Arrive St. George, May 2 - Departed, May 3
    Arrive Dutch Harbor, May5 (Unload Material) - Departed May 9
    Arrive Mare Island, May 18 (Actually returned June 4th)

  • Second trip (yellow)
    Leave Mare Island, May 28 (Actually departed June 16th)
    Leave Tiburon (Coaling Station), May 30
    Arrive Cordova, June 6 (unload material & party) - Departed, June 15
    Arrive Seward, June 16 (unload material) - Departed, June 23
    Arrive Mare Island, July 1

  • Third trip (blue)
    Leave Mare Island, July 11
    Arrive St. Paul, July 21 (pick-up party) - Departed, July 23
    Arrive and Departed St. George, July 23
    Arrive Dutch Harbor, July 25 (leave party) - Departed, July 27
    Arrive Sitka, Aug 3 (leave material) - Departed, Aug 5
    Arrive Dutch Harbor, Aug 12 - Departed, Sept 6 (pick-up party)
    Arrive Kodiak, Sept 11 (leave party & material) - Departed, Nov 1 (pick-up party)
    Arrive Seward, Nov 3 - Departed, Nov 5 (pick-up equipment)
    Arrive Cordova, Nov 6 - Departed Nov 10
    Arrive Mare Island, Nov 17 - Departed Nov 22
    Arrived Bremerton, Nov 26
  • Darryl Baker
    Saturn 67k USS Saturn at anchor in a Pacific Coast harbor, before World War I. The original photograph is printed on post card ("AZO") stock. Collection of Thomas P. Naughton, 1973.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 92198
    Robert Hurst
    Saturn 75k USS Saturn leaving Sitka, Alaska in 1917. The original photo is printed on "AZO" post card stock. The following hand-written inscription is on the card's reverse: "Oct. 15, 1917. U.S.S. Saturn. It is just leaving the Radio station dock for San Francisco. I am not on it, but am on the dock in the background. She rolls so much that sometimes that long row of portholes is underwater. She is something over 300 feet long and 1500 horsepower. Frank." Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2010.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 107086
    Robert Hurst
    Saturn 34k USS Saturn at Kodiak, Alaska, in 1919. For much of the time between 1916 and 1921 Saturn was used to maintain communications between the Alaska Territory and the continental United States. Courtesy Donald M. McPherson, 1976.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 84672
    Robert Hurst
    Saturn 42k USS Saturn near Vladivostok, Russia, unloading equipment for the Naval Radio Station, Vladivostok, over the ice in January 1919. Note the Ford car in use for towing sleds. The radio station was built on Russkiy Island in Vladivostok harbor. Donation of William W. Wilson, 1973.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 79052
    Robert Hurst
    Saturn 64k USS Saturn unloading material in a Far East port, circa 1918-1919. Between late 1918 and mid-1919 Saturn made a voyage to Vladivostok, Russia, carrying coal, supplies, and a team that built a naval radio station there. This photo may have been taken during one of her brief stops in Japan in December 1918 or June 1919. The gun on the right is one of the two 3"/50 weapons fitted forward of the bridge during World War I; she also received a 6"/50 gun aft.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 41637
    Robert Hurst
    Saturn 120k USS Saturn in Alaskan waters circa 1919. The image includes the handwritten inscription; "Complements of the Officers and Crew, USS Saturn." Another copy has the additional pen inscription "July 4th 1919, Seward, Alaska," probably in connection with a trip some of the officers' wives made to Alaska at about this time. This is a nice view of the ship in her post-World War I configuration.
    US Navy photo courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green

    USS Saturn (AG-4)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Very, Samuel Williams11 April 1889 - ?
     Decommissioned4 November 1898
     Deactivated30 June 1903 - 2 December 1903
     Deactivated30 September 1911 - 3 August 1912
     Deactivated31 July 1913 - 4 April 1914
    02LT. O'Brien Jr., William Hunter, USN (USNA-1911) 8 April 1915
     Recommissioned4 April 1917
    03LCDR. Luckel, Frank Henry, USN (USNA 1910)23 March 1918
    04CDR. Bowdey, George, Hall, USN (USNA 1907) :COMO23 March 1918 - 1919
    05LCDR. Katterfield, C. P., NAS1921 - 17 March 1922
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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    Last Updated 20 February 2015