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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Don McGrogan BMCS USN (Ret.)

USNS Flyer (T-AG-178)

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

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

Flyer Class Miscellaneous Auxiliary:
  • Laid down, 30 October 1944 as SS Water Witch a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-B1) hull under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1209) at Moore Drydock Co., Oakland, CA.
  • Launched, 20 December 1944
  • Delivered to Moore McCormack SS Line, 14 March 1945, at Oakland, CA., for operation under a General Agency Agreement
  • Bare-bottom charter to American South African Line, 6 July 1946, at New York
  • Leased under a General Agency Agreement to US Lines, 22 October 1946, at New York
  • Purchased by US Lines, 8 November 1946, for $960,642.42, at Hoboken, N.J. renamed SS American Flyer
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration (trade-in), 10 October 1962, re-chartered by US Lines
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration, 14 December 1964, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Acquired by the US Navy from the Maritime Administration, 9 February 1965, for project "Caesar"
  • Converted for Naval service as a Miscellaneous Auxiliary, Bathymetric Survey Ship
  • Placed in service as USNS Flyer (T-AG-178), 9 February 1965
  • Placed out of service, circa 1975
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 17 July 1975
  • Returned, 22 July 1975, to the Maritime Administration at the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Final Disposition, sold, 27 April 1976, to American Ship Dismantlers Inc. (PD-X-1006 four ship sale) $1,019.121.21
    Displacement 7,300 t.(lt) 11,000 t.(fl)
    Length 459'
    Beam 63'
    Draft 28'
    Complement unknown
    Armament none
    one General Electric steam turbine
    two Foster and Wheeler D-type boilers, 465psi 750
    double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 250Kw 240V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 6,000shp
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Merchant Service United States Line
    Flyer 107k American Flyer moored pierside at Bremen, Germany, 25 November 1963 on a dark and rainy day. Note the flags at half-mast to commemorate the assassination of President. John F. Kennedy two days earlier. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    USNS Flyer (T-AG178)
    Flyer 14k USNS Flyer (T-AG-178) underway, date and place unknown. Ramon Jackson
    Flyer 54k USNS Flyer (T-AG-178) moored pierside at Bremerhaven, Germany, October 1965. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Flyer 89k USNS Flyer (T-AG-178) moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from the collections of the US Navy Memorial
    Stan Svec
    Flyer 278k USNS Flyer (T-AG-178) moored pierside, date and location unknown. That's ENS William Lacey, the ship's crypto officer, on the "horse." Ramon Jackson
    Flyer 89k Port side profile of USNS Flyer (T-AG-178) moored pierside, date and location unknown. This is a good profile showing the LORAC antenna aft. It is believed that antenna was removed sometime around 1970. Ramon Jackson
    Flyer 127k USNS Flyer (T-AG-178) wardroom, circa 1967. Ramon Jackson
    Flyer 254k USNS Flyer (T-AG-178) underway, circa 1967. This photo was taken a few months after arrival in sunnier and warmer Pacific waters and shows the concrete ballast forward. Atlantic rust is being chipped away and a Pacific paint job is being applied. During this deep refinish almost a quarter inch of paint, right down to metal and through various commercial colors, was removed from the superstructure. Ramon Jackson

    There is no DANFS history available for USNS Flyer (T-AG-178) at NavSource
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 24 November 2017