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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10)
ex
RFA Stromness (A-344) (1966 - 1983)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Delta - Hotel
NADH
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Secretary of the Navy Letter of Commendation
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation (5) Second Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (3) - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (4) - National Defense Service Medal
Third Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Bosnia)- Southwest Asia Service Medal - Armed Forces Service Medal (5)


Sirius Class Combat Stores Ship:
  • Laid down, 1 October 1965, at Swan, Hunter and Wingham, United Kingdom for the Royal Navy as RFA Stromness (A-344)
  • Launched, 1 September 1966
  • Purchased by the US Navy and placed in service, as USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10), 1 January 1983
  • Saturn (T-AFS-10) is assigned to the Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force (PM1), MSC Atlantic
  • Inactivated and struck from the Naval Register, 6 April 2009
  • Laid up at NAVSEA Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility, Philadelphia, PA., to be disposed of
  • Final Disposition, expended as a target during fleet exercises by the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, 26 October 2010
    Specifications:
    Displacement 10,205 t. (lt), 16,680 t. (fl)
    Dead Weight 6475 t.
    Length 523' (ovl)
    Beam 72'
    Draft 26 ft. Maximum Navigational
    Speed 18 knots
    Aircraft Two UH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
    Armament None
    Complement 123 Civilian, 47 Navy
    Propulsion one diesel engine, 11,520 brake horsepower, single propeller

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    Size Image Description Source
    RFA Stromness (A-344)
    Sirius 138k RFA Stromness (A-344) ships crest. TJ Tropea RM1 USN Ret. USNS Sirius
    Saturn 82k Launching of RFA Stromness (A-344), 1 September 1966, at Swan, Hunter and Wingham, UK., Note her stack has not yet been installed. TJ Tropea RM1 USN Ret. USNS Sirius, courtesy RFA Association, Plymouth & District Branch, The Mortimore Gallery
    Saturn 75k RFA Stromness (A-344) underway, date and location unknown. TJ Tropea RM1 USN Ret. USNS Sirius, courtesy RFA Association, Plymouth & District Branch, The Mortimore Gallery
    Saturn 103k RFA Stromness (A-344) underway, date and location unknown. TJ Tropea RM1 USN Ret. USNS Sirius, courtesy RFA Association, Plymouth & District Branch, The Mortimore Gallery
    Saturn 120k Overhead view of RFA Stromness (A-344) underway, date and location unknown. TJ Tropea RM1 USN Ret. USNS Sirius, courtesy RFA Association, Plymouth & District Branch, The Mortimore Gallery
    Saturn 48k Port broadside view of RFA Stromness (A-344) underway, date and location unknown.
    Royal Navy official photo, from "1968-69 Edition of Jane's Fighting Ships"
    Robert Hurst
    Saturn 2198k Starboard broadside view of RFA Stromness (A-344) underway, 1 January 1982, location unknown.
    Photo by Gavin House. Defense Visual Information Center. ID:DN-SC-87-05079.
    Robert Hurst
    Saturn 287k RFA Stromness (A-344) with landing craft alongside in San Carlos Water, 'Bomb Alley', 1982. The image shows an Argentinean IAI Dagger of Grupo 6 sweeping through the anchorage at low altitude on the morning of 24 May, photographed by Sub-Lt. Phil Dibb, RN, on board the fleet stores ship RFA Fort Austin (A386). The bow of the fleet stores ship RFA Resource (A480) can also be seen. To the Argentinean pilots the anchorage at San Carlos water was known as 'Death Alley'. Note the Dagger was an unlicensed Israeli copy of the French Mirage V.
    Photo courtesy of Sub-Lt Phil Dibb. Photo and text from "Air War South Atlantic" by Jeffrey Ethell and Alfred Price.
    Robert Hurst
    Saturn 199k RFA Stromness (A-344) at anchor in San Carlos water as bombs land close alongside. At this time Stromness was carrying 200 tons of ammunition in her forward hold.
    Photo Royal Navy News. Photo and text from "Safeguarding the Nation: The Story of the Modern Royal Navy" by John Roberts
    Robert Hurst
    USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10)
    Saturn 67k USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) underway, circa 1983. This photo was taken prior to her completed turn over by the Royal Navy to the US Navy. Note she is still painted Royal Navy light gray vs. US Navy gray, yet she has her MSC stripes displayed on her stack. Also missing is the Comm van that would be temporarily installed atop the signal bridge until she received her complete AFS conversion.
    US Navy photo
    Photo by T.J. Tropea RM1 USN Ret. USNS Sirius
    Saturn 139k USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    MSC web site
    Sirius 71k USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) moored outboard of USNS Sirius (T-AFS-8) while at Malaga, Spain circa 1984-85.
    US Navy photo
    Photo by T.J. Tropea RM1 USN Ret. USNS Sirius
    Sirius 99k USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) and USNS Sirius (T-AFS-8) moored together at Toulon, France, 4 April 1990. T.J. Tropea RM1 USN Ret. USNS Sirius with permission from Hans Rosenkranz, SW Germany.
    Sirius 342k USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) underway in the harbor at Genoa, Italy, 29 August 1996. Photos by Carlo Martinelli
    Sirius 358k
    Saturn 113k USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) reduces speed and comes alongside USS Santa Barbara (AE 28) for an underway replenishment (UNREP). USNS Saturn and USS Santa Barbara were deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch when this photo was taken.
    US Navy photo # 980522-N-4541B-001 by PH2 Gloria J. Barry.
    Bill Gonyo
    Saturn 86k USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) breaks away from USS Santa Barbara (AE 28) after an underway replenishment (UNREP). USNS Saturn and USS Santa Barbara were deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch when this photo was taken.
    US Navy photo # 980522-N-4541B-009 by PH2 Gloria J. Barry.
    Bill Gonyo
    Saturn 386k USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) arriving at Genoa, Italy, 27 May 1999, for a routine port visit. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Saturn 75k An SH-60 "Seahawk" from the "Red Lions" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron One Five (HS-15) transfers cargo during a vertical replenishment at sea (VERTREP) from USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) to USS George Washington (CVN 73) while underway in the Mediterranean Sea, 15 November 2000.
    US Navy photo # 001115-N-9132D-001 by PH3 Glenn Dennis.
    Bill Gonyo
    Saturn 361k Loaded with cargo, a CH-46 "Sea Knight" lifts off the deck of USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10). Saturn and its aviation detachment from Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Eight (HC-8) "Dragon Whales" conducted a vertical replenishment with the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) (not shown). The ships are deployed and conducting missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
    US Navy photo # 020209-N-1587C-079 At sea with USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Feb 9, 2002 by PH3 Alta I. Cutler.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Saturn 683k Panographic views of USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) underway in 2005. Brandon J. Varner
    Saturn 749k
    Saturn 129k USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) moored pierside at Norfolk, VA., 10 April 2006 TJ Tropea, courtesy Marc Piché of Verchères, Québec, Canada
    Supply 759k USNS Supply (T-AOE-6) and USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) moored at the NATO pier, Augusta Bay, Sicily, 19 May 2006. Photo by Primo Acireale
    Saturn 713k USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) moored at the NATO pier, Augusta Bay, Sicily, 19 May 2006. Photo by Primo Acireale
    Saturn 169k Commandant Awalo, a Djiboutian Navy Sailor, watches as USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) makes her way into the port of Djibouti to take on fuel and supplies, 15 July 2006.
    US Navy photo # 060715-N-0411D-019 from Navy mil.com. Photo by MC2 Roger S. Duncan.
    Lee Wahler
    Saturn 136k Sailors on the port side elevator of USS Iwo Jima (LPD-7) move stores during a vertical replenishment (VERTREP) with USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) while in the Gulf of Aden, 29 August 2006.
    US Navy photo # 060829-N-4856C-019 from Navy mil.com. Photo by MCSN Christopher L. Clark.
    Lee Wahler
    Spica 448k USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) and USNS Spica (T-AF-9) steaming side by side during turnover, 14 February 2007, in the Red Sea. T.J. Tropea RM1 USN Ret USNS Sirius
    Saturn 1156k Series of three photos showing USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) inbound from sea while enroute to Norfolk, VA., 23 May 2007. The third photo includes the outbound merchantman MV Maersk Mandraki.
    Photos by Magogman of Ohio & Vermont, United States.
    TJ Tropea
    Saturn 1340k
    Saturn 1384k
    Saturn 360k USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) rides at anchor at Bahia Malaga, Columbia, 27 August 2007 as an MH-60S Seahawk, from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, prepares to transport cargo from USNS Saturn to the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). Comfort is on a four-month humanitarian deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean providing medical treatment to patients in a dozen countries.
    US Navy photo # 070827-N-8704K-053 BAHIA MALAGA, Colombia (Aug. 27, 2007) from Navy mil.com. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Karsten.
    Lee Wahler
    Saturn 86k USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) at anchor in Augusta Bay, Italy, 17 October 1987.
    Department of Defense photo by PH2 Jeff Landenberger.
    Tommy Trampp
    Saturn 189k Starboard stern quarter view of USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) moored at Balboa, Panama, date unknown. TJ Tropea, courtesy Captain Pete, Sicilia, Italy
    Saturn 322k Stern view of USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) moored at Balboa, Panama, date unknown. TJ Tropea, courtesy Captain Pete, Sicilia, Italy
    Saturn 1024k USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) moored at Naval Station Norfolk, VA., circa April 2008. Photo by Larry Backus
    Saturn 101k USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) pulling alongside and unidentified ship to conduct a replenishment at sea, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Saturn 32k USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) Air Det patch T.J. Tropea RM1 USN Re
    Saturn 67k The rescue and salvage ship USNS Grasp (T-ARS-51) tows ex-USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) out to sea, 26 October 2010, to be released 250 miles off the North Carolina coast. Aircraft launched from the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-73) Carrier Strike Group struck the decommissioned resupply ship with bombs and air-to-surface missiles, sending it to the bottom of the Atlantic in a two-day sinking exercise (SINKEX).
    Photo courtesy Fred Woody.
    Lee Wahler
    Saturn 1002k Rounds from a Mk-15 Phalanx Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) from the guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG-57) impact the ex-USNS Saturn (T-AGS-10) during a sinking exercise. Mitscher and other ships assigned to the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group fired live ammunition at Saturn.
    101027-N-8913A-252 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 27, 2010) by MCSN Leonard Adams.
    Lee Wahler
    Saturn 277k Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg> (CG-64) observe the ex-USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) during a sinking exercise. Gettysburg and other ships assigned to the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group fired live ammunition at Saturn.
    101027-N-6632S-469 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 27, 2010) by MCSN Kevin J. Steinberg.
    Lee Wahler
    Saturn 772k Ex-USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) suffers extensive damage and is ablaze during a sinking exercise. Ships assigned to the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group fired live ammunition at the ship.
    101027-N-8913A-382 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 27, 2010) by MCSN Leonard Adams.
    Lee Wahler

    USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    "Former Navy ship sunk as part of two-day exercise" ©The Virginian Pilot - PilotOnline.com
    "US Navy sinks British veteran Falklands ship" - Motorboats Monthly
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Combat Stores Ship (AFS) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 5 June 2015