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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Contributed by Charlie Greene

USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3)
ex
USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) (1967 - 1994)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Echo - Kilo - Juliet
NEKJ
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons




Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (17 January 1991 to 28 February 1991) - Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Second Row - Navy Unit Commendation - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (5) - Navy Expeditionary Medal (3-Iran/Indian Ocean)
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal - Vietnam Service Medal (10) - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Korea, 4-Persian Gulf, 2-Op. Restore Hope Somalia)
Fourth Row - Southwest Asia Campaign Medal - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (14) - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal


Mars Class Combat Stores Ship:
  • Laid down, 22 May 1965, at National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, CA.
  • Launched, 26 March 1966
  • Commissioned, USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3), 29 April 1967, CAPT. Horace C. Holley USN, in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) participated in the following campaigns:
    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    20 April to 4 May 1968
    16 to 23 June 1968
    30 June 1968
    Vietnamese Winter-Spring 1970
    21 November to 3 December 1969
    12 to 29 January 1970
    3 to 15 April 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
    1 to 16 July 1968
    26 July to 1 August 1968
    22 to 28 August 1968
    3 to 16 Septmeber1968
    Sanctuary Counteroffensive
    3 to 15 May 1970
    2 to 13 June 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VI
    4 to 11 February 1969
    18 to 22 February 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII
    3 to 15 July 1970
    20 to 30 June 1971
    Tet69/Counteroffensive
    23 February to 3 March 1969
    9 to 19 March 1969
    21 April to 5 May 1969
    11 to 22 May 1969
    28 to 29 May 1969
    Consolidation I
    1 to 7 July 1971
    19 to 29 July 1971
    11 to 19 August 1971
    2 to 10 September 1971
    19 to 28 September 1971
    17 to 27 October 1971
    19 to 20 November 1971
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    25 June to 8 July 1969
    13 to 22 July 1969
    28 to 30 July 1969
    29 August to 6 September 1969
    9 to 21 September 1969
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    6 to 19 July 1972
    2 to 15 August 1972
    26 to 27 August 1972
    3 to 15 September 1972
    22 September to 1 October 1972
    18 October to 1 November 1972
    23 November to 3 December 1972
    13 to 26 December 1972
    4 to 23 January 1973
    22 to 27 February 1973
    11 to 19 March 1973

  • Decommissioned, September 1994
  • Assigned to the Military Sealift Command and placed in service, 23 September 1994 as USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3), assigned to the Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force (PM1) MSC Far East
  • Placed out of service and struck from the Naval Register, 30 September 2008
  • Final Dispostion, towed out of Pearl Harbor, 12 July 2012, by USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52), and as a RIMPAC 2012 target in position 23-00 N 159-55W (60 miles NNW of Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii) on the morning of 14 July 2012
  • Niagara Falls earned ten campaign stars during the Vietnam War
    Specifications:
    Displacement 9,200 t.(lt) 15,900-18,663 t.(fl)
    Length 581'
    Beam 79'
    Draft 27' (max.)
    Speed 20 kts.
    Complement (MSC) 49 Navy, 125 civilian merchant seamen
    Aircraft two UH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
    Armament USS two twin 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    Armament USNS none
    Propulsion three 580 psi Babcock and Wilcox boilers, one De Laval Turbine, single propeller

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3)
    Niagara Falls 61k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) during VERTREP of USS Boston (CAG-1), on station off the coast of Vietnam, South China Sea, 1968 Photo by John Jazdzewski
    Niagara Falls 57k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) during VERTREP of USS Boston (CAG-1), on station off the coast of Vietnam, South China Sea, 1968 Photo by John Jazdzewski
    Niagara Falls 57k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) during VERTREP of USS Boston (CAG-1), on station off the coast of Vietnam, South China Sea, 1968 Photo by John Jazdzewski
    Niagara Falls 50k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) and USS Edson (DD-946) during VERTREP of USS Boston (CAG-1), on station off the coast of Vietnam, South China Sea, 1968. Photo by John Jazdzewski
    Niagara Falls 70k One of HC-3 USS Niagara Falls Det, helicopters during VERTREP of USS Boston (CAG-1), on station off the coast of Vietnam, South China Sea, 1968 Photo by John Jazdzewski
    Niagara Falls 51k One of HC-3 USS Niagara Falls Det, Helicopters over USS Boston (CAG-1)'s bow during VERTREP, on station off the coast of Vietnam, South China Sea, 1968 Photo by John Jazdzewski
    Niagara Falls 79k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) moored at India Basin, Naval Station, Sasebo, Japan in 1969. Photo by William P. Jones, MD
    Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls 67k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) in support of Marine Amphibious operations near the DMZ in Vietnam, 1969. Photo from the USS Repose (AH-16). Photo by William P. Jones, MD
    Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls 300k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) breaks off from USS Repose (AH-16) after completing an UNREP during operations in the area near the DMZ in 1969. Photo by William P. Jones, MD
    Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls 577k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) underway in the Gulf of Tonkin near Yankee Station conducting a VERTREP during replenishment operations in 1969. Photo by William P. Jones, MD
    Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls 287k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) bridge while underway off the coast of Vietnam in 1969. Photo by William P. Jones, MD
    Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls 400k A "Seadevils" Helicopter Composite Squadron Seven (HC-7) H-46 Sea Knight assigned to USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) conducting VERTREP operations with units of Task Force 77.7, off the coast of Vietnam, circa 1969-70. Photo by William P. Jones, MD
    Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls 1861k
    Niagara Falls 1817k
    Niagara Falls 1791k Gunnery practice (Mount 32) aboard USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3), off the coast of Vietnam, circa 1969-70. Photo by William P. Jones, MD
    Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls 2656k
    Niagara Falls 1808k
    Niagara Falls 39k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) underway in the South China Sea, April 1969. Photo taken from USS Winston (AKA-94). Masao Aochi BT2 USS Winston 1968-69
    Niagara Falls 897k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) at Naval Station Subic Bay, date unknown. Photo was taken from B/N seat of an A-6 Intruder in the take off roll out from NAS Cubi Point. Photo by William P. Jones, MD
    Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls 50k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) moored at India Basin, Naval Station, Sasebo, Japan circa 1970. In the foreground is USS Hanson (DD-832). Photo by William P. Jones, MD
    Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls 106k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) on station, South China Sea, 1970 Photo by William P. Jones, MD
    Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls 38k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) moored to a buoy at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1970. Photo by William P. Jones, MD
    Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls 197k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) at anchor in 1970, location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    David Buell
    Niagara Falls 71k View looking aft during VERTREP by one of HC-3 (Det 106) helicopters assigned to USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) of the attack aircraft carrier USS Hancock (CVA-19) off the coast of Vietnam in 1972. Al Cusak
    Niagara Falls 67k View looking across the harbor at Danang, South Vietnam in 1972 from one of USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) twin 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts. Al Cusak
    Niagara Falls 101k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) underway, date and location unknown. William P. Jones, MD
    Medical Officer USS Niagara Falls
    Niagara Falls 213k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) foc'sle while mooring at Singapore in 1982. HS1 Steve Martin, USCG, Ret (at the time of the photo HM2, USN)
    Niagara Falls 150k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) in dry dock at Todd Shipyard, San Francisco, CA., prior to her home port change to Guam.
    US Navy photo by JO2 Russell L. Coons from "All Hands" magazine, November 1983
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    CV-64 Constellation 106k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3), alongside USS Constellation (CV-64) and USS Leahy (CG-16), underway in the South China Sea whilst part of Carrier Task Force 77.7. Robert Hurst
    Niagara Falls 109k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo by JO2 Russell L. Coons, from "All Hands" magazine, June 1984
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Niagara Falls 66k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3), date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    CWO3 Kenneth J Seaman USN Ret
    Niagara Falls 80k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3), date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    American Federation
    of Scientists Web Site
    Niagara Falls 57k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3), date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    American Federation
    of Scientists Web Site
    Niagara Falls 43k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) moored pierside, Naval Station Long Beach, CA., date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Niagara Falls 58k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) sits in the harbor in Bahrain on April 1, 1991 in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm.
    Department of Defense Visual Imaging Center photo
    Fred Weiss
    Niagara Falls 62k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) in the Persian Gulf, 8 August 1991 The British destroyer HMS Gloucester (D-96), foreground, comes alongside USS Niagara Falls for underway replenishment as the destroyer USS Fife (DD-991) steams nearby during Operation Desert Storm.
    Department of Defense Visual Imaging Center photo
    Fred Weiss
    Niagara Falls 131k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) underway off San Diego, CA., date unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Niagara Falls 88k USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) underway passing Orote Point while entering the outer harbor, Naval Station Guam, Marianas Islands, date unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr
    USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3)
    Niagara Falls 59k A port bow view of USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) as seen from a lower deck of USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) during an Underway Replenishment at sea (UNREP), 1 November 2001.
    Department of Defense Visual Imaging Center photo
    Fred Weiss
    Niagara Falls 44k Aerial view of USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) approaching East Timor, June 2002 Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Niagara Falls 70k USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) at anchor off Dili, East Timor, June 2002 Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    Niagara Falls 75k USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) at sea in the Middle East, 29 April 2003 to support multiple strike forces deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.US Navy photo # 030429-N-4441P-020 by PH2 Michael J. Pusnik, Jr. US Navy Newsstand
    Niagara Falls 326k USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS 3) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG-65) prepare for an early morning replenishment at sea (RAS), 9 December 2004. Benfold, part of the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group was on a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean.
    US Navy photo # 041209-N-8539M-039 Pacific Ocean (Dec. 9, 2004) by PHAN Nicholas B. Morton..
    Robert M. Cieri
    Niagara Falls 44k USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) underway off the coast of Indonesia, 18 January 2005, in support of Operation Unified Assistance, the humanitarian operation effort in the wake of the Tsunami that struck South East Asia, 26 December 2004. US Navy photo # 050118-N-4336M-088 by PHAN Cristina R. Morrison. Jack Treutle
    Niagara Falls 403k USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) underway off the coast of Madang, Papua New Guinea, 17 May 2005, with an active volcano in the background, as it transports medical personnel from the MSC hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) to the local village to provide health care and community relations (COMREL). Mercy and Niagara Falls are currently on station off the coast of Papua New Guinea to provide humanitarian assistance and focused medical care to the residents affected by a volcano eruption in the area.
    US Navy photo # 050517-N-1485H-003 by PH3 Lamel J. Hinton.
    Robert Hurst
    120k USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) delivers cargo to the hanger bay of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) during a replenishment at sea (RAS) in the Pacific Ocean, 23 July 2006. RAS is the on and off-loading of stores and equipment while ships are underway.
    US Navy photo # 060723-N-3946H-028.by MCSN Patrick L. Heil

    Chester Morris
    Niagara Falls 1522k USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) conducts an underway replenishment with the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53). John Paul Jones is deployed with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG). The Nimitz CSG is operating as part of the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility operating off the western Pacific and Indian oceans. US Navy photo # 080414-N-8421M-003 PACIFIC OCEAN (April 14, 2008) by MC1 David Mercil. Lee Wahler
    Niagara Falls 1353k USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) conducts an underway replenishment with the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68), 3 May 2008. Nimitz is operating as part of the U.S. 7th Fleet in the western Pacific and Indian oceans. US Navy photo # 080503-N-1276B-005 PACIFIC OCEAN (May 3, 2008) by MC2 Orrin Batiste. Lee Wahler
    Niagara Falls 1436k Super PUMA helicopters fly much needed bottled water to Kalibo, Republic of the Philippines from the deck of USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) in the wake of Typhoon Fengshen. At the request of the government of the Republic of the Philippines, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and elements of her Carrier Strike Group (CSG) were off the coast of Panay Island providing humanitarian assistance and disaster response in the wake of Typhoon Fengshen.
    US Navy photo # 080629-N-5961C-008 PACIFIC (June 29, 2008) by MCCS Spike Call.
    Lee Wahler
    Richard E. Byrd 351k USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) being relieved by USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE-4) while underway in WestPac, date unknown.
    US Navy photo from the Military Sealift Command collections.
    TJ Tropia
    Niagara Falls 2817k Ex-USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) moored at the Navy Inactive Ship Facility, Pearl Harbor, HI., 6 April 2011 Photo by Michael Goughan
    Niagara Falls 104k Ex-USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) under tow by USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52), outbound from Pearl Harbor, 12 July 2012. Niagara Falls was sunk as a RIMPAC 2012 target in position 23-00 N 159-55W (60 miles NNW of Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii) on the morning of 14 July 2012. Photo by Ray Edwards
    Niagara Falls 111k Ex-USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS-3) sinking, 14 July 2012, after being expended as a target during a SINKEX as part of the annual RIMPAC 2012 exercise.
    US Navy photo # 120714-0-ZZ999-001.
    Ron Reeves


    For more photos and information about USS / USNS Niagara Falls, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • USNS Niagara Falls
  • Navy Fact File - Combat Stores Ships - T-AFS
  • Commanding Officers

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

    Crew Contact and Reunion Information
    Date:  
    Place:  
    Contact: William John Rigney Jr.
    Address: 13581 TEXAS HWY 22
    CRANFILLS GAP, TEXAS 76637-4019
    Phone: 254-597-1240
    Cell phone 254-978-2788
    E-mail: midway41@centurylink.net
    Web site:  
    Remarks:  


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    Last Updated 25 January 2013