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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USNS Vanguard (T-AG-194)
ex
USNS Vanguard (T-AGM-19) (1966 - 1999)
USNS Mussel Shoals (T-AGM-19) (1964 - 1966)
USNS Mission San Fernando (T-AO-122) (1949 - 1964)
Mission San Fernando (AO-122) (1947 - 1949)

USNS Mission San Fernando International Radio Call Sign:
November - Hotel - Oscar - Bravo
NHOB

USNS Vanguard International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Delta - Romeo
NIDR
USNS Vanguard Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (2) - National Defense Service Medal


Mission Buenaventura Class Fleet Oiler:
  • Laid down, 26 August 1943, as a Maritime Commission type (T2-SE-A2) tanker hull, under Maritime Commission contract, (MC 1274), at Marinship Corp., Sausalito, CA.
  • Launched, 25 November 1943
  • Delivered to the Naval Transportation Service, 29 February 1944 for charter by Pacific Tankers, Inc. for operation
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 10 May 1946, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet Olympia, WA.
  • Acquired by the Navy, 21 October 1947, for charter to Union Oil Co. and placed in service under the operational control of the Naval Transportation Service (NTS) as Mission San Fernando (AO-122)
  • Transferred to the operational control the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), 1 October 1949 and placed in service as USNS Mission San Fernando (T-AO-122)
  • Placed out of service, 24 May 1955
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Olympia, WA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 22 June 1955
  • Reacquired by the Navy, 21 June 1956, and placed in service with MSTS, operated under charter to Marine Transportation Lines.
  • Placed out of service, 4 September 1957
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA.
  • Reacquired by the Navy, 28 September 1964
  • Converted to a Missile Range Instrumentation Ship (AGM) at General Dynamics Corp., Quincy, MA.
  • Renamed and reclassified USNS Mussel Shoals (T-AGM-19) while undergoing conversion
  • Renamed Vanguard, 1 September 1965
  • Placed in service with MSTS as USNS Vanguard (T-AGM-19), 28 February 1966
  • Reclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary (Navigational Test Launch Ship) (T-AG-194) in September 1980
  • Placed out of service, date unknown
  • Struck from the Naval Register 13 December 1999
  • Custody transferred to MARAD for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA.
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    AO Specifications:
    Displacement 5,532 t.(lt) 23,350 t.(fl)
    Length 523' 6"
    Beam 68'
    Draft 30' (max)
    Speed 14 kts.
    Complement 42 civilian mariners, 17 Navy Armed Guard
    Armament one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount, four single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts, four twin 40mm gun mounts, 4 twin 20mm gun mounts
    Propulsion Turbo-electric, single screw, 6000hp

    AGM Specifications:
    Displacement 16,844 t.(lt) 22,310 t.(fl)
    Length 595'
    Beam 75'
    Speed 14 kts.
    Complement 48 civilian mariners, 18 scientists
    Propulsion Turbo-electric, two boilers, eight Westinghouse turbo-generators, single shaft, 10,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    USNS Mission San Fernando (T-AO-122)
    Vanguard 1363k USNS Mission San Fernando (T-AO-122) at anchor off Long Beach/San Pedro, CA., area, date unknown. David Buell
    Vanguard 104k USNS Mission San Fernando (T-AO-122) underway in the harbor at Long Beach, CA., date unknown. David Buell
    Vanguard 37k USNS Mission San Fernando (T-AO-122) underway, circa 1953, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Vanguard 154k USNS Mission San Fernando (T-AO-122), under tow entering the Quincy, MA. shipyard for conversion to a Missile Range Instrumentation Ship
    USAF photo from Patrick AFB archives.
    Dan Kovalchik
    Vanguard 17k USNS Mission San Fernando (T-AO-122) in dry dock at Quincy. Only her bow and stern were retained in the construction of (T-AGM-19)
    USAF photo from Patrick AFB archives.
    Dan Kovalchik
    USNS Mussel Shoals (AGM-19)
    Vanguard 33k USNS Mussel Shoals (T-AGM-19) nearing completion, in dry dock at Quincy
    USAF photo from Patrick AFB archives.
    Dan Kovalchik
    USNS Vanguard (T-AGM-19)
    Vanguard 15k USNS Vanguard (T-AGM-19) at Cape Canaveral prior to the forward bridge and Satcom antenna being added
    USAF photo from Patrick AFB archives.
    Dan Kovalchik
    Vanguard 273k USNS Vanguard (T-AG-194) prior to the in update of the forward bridge and the installation of the SATCOM antenna, moored, date and location unknown. Dan Nugent
    Vanguard 311k USNS Vanguard (T-AG-194) underway while being over flown by NASA 232, a Douglas DC-54 aircraft, date and location unknown. Dan Nugent
    Vanguard 49k USNS Vanguard (T-AGM-19) underway, circa 1966, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Vanguard 181k USNS Vanguard (T-AGM-19) underway, circa 1967, location unknown.
    US Navy photo from 1967-68 edition of "Jane's Fighting Ships"
    Robert Hurst
    Vanguard 277k USNS Vanguard (T-AGM-19) underway in her Apollo Space Program configuration, circa 1969, location unknown.
    Photo from post card image by B. Miley, post marked, 3 March 1969.
    Tommy Trampp
    Pinnacle 60k USNS Vanguard (T-AGM-19) and USS Pinnacle (MSO-462) moored pierside, circa 1966 to 1977, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Vanguard 45k USS Vanguard (T-AGM-19) pierside, Port Canaveral, FL., 1970. Photo by James W. Holloway, Jr. (deceased), submitted by Jim Holloway
    Vanguard 230k USNS Vanguard (T-AGM-19) seen here as a NASA SkyLab tracking ship
    Note, SatCom tracking radar, and telemetry antennas
    US Navy photo
    Carl R Friberg Jr
    USNS Vanguard (T-AG-194)
    Vanguard 230k USNS Vanguard (T-AG-194) seen here in New York harbor reconfigured as a platform for testing Navy submarine navigation systems.
    US Navy photo
    Carl R Friberg Jr
    Vanguard 104k USNS Vanguard (T-AG-194) reconfigured for testing Navy submarine navigation systems.
    US Navy photo
    Bill Valashinas
    Vanguard 258k USNS Vanguard (T-AG-194) moored at Southampton, N.Z., 19 June 1981. Photo by Peter Davey Chris Howell, Southland Ship Stores Limited, Port of Bluff, N.Z.
    Vanguard 76k USNS Vanguard (T-AG-194) in port, Cape Canaveral, FL., 1994-95 Bill Bowron ET3 (SS) USNS Vanguard/USNS Range Sentinel 1993-96
    Vanguard 69k USNS Vanguard (T-AG-194) moored pierside, date and location unknown. Robert Hurst

    View the USNS Mission San Fernando (AO-122) / USNS Mussel Shoals (T-AGM-19 / USN Vanguard (T-AGM-19/T-AG-194)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Additional Ships Patches
    Vanguard
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski
    Vanguard
    Contributed by Carl R Friberg Jr

    Fleet Ballistic Missile Operational Support Unit 2 Welcome Aboard Brochure
    Fleet Ballistic Missile Operational Support Unit 2 Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO) Brochure
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    T-AGM-19 / T-AG-194 Vanguard
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Fleet Oiler (AO) Photo Index Back To The Range Instrumentation Ship (AGM) Photo Index Back To The Miscellaneous Auxiliary (AG) 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 31 October 2014