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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USNS Melville (T-AGOR-14)


International Radio Call Sign:
Whiskey - Echo - Charlie - Bravo
WECB

R/V Melville was transferred to the Philippines and renamed BRP Gregorio Velasquez (AGR 702)
Robert D. Conrad Class Oceanographic Research Ship:
  • Laid down, 12 July 1967, at Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, MI.
  • Launched, 10 July 1968
  • Delivered to the Navy, 1 August 1969, as the Research Vessel USNS Melville (T-AGOR-14)
  • Chartered to Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, 1969, for operation as R/V Melville
  • Denibukuzed abd returned to US Navy custody, 31 December 2014
  • Transferred to the Republic of the Philippines, 27 April 2016, and Christened and commissioned BRP Gregorio Velasquez (AGR 702)
    Specifications:
    Displacement
    As Built 1,200 t.(lt), 1,950 t.(fl)
    Modified 2,516 t.(fl)
    Length 279'
    Beam 46'
    Draft 16' 6"
    Speed 14 kts. (maximum)
    Complement 23 civilian mariners, 38 scientists
    Armament none
    Propulsion
    two 1,385 hp Propulsion General Electric motors
    Bow Thruster
    900 hp retractable Azimuthing thruster
    two 1385 hp Z-Drive Lips propellers

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Melville 91k
    Namesake
    Rear Admiral George W. Melville

    George Wallace Melville, born in New York City 10 January 1841, attended the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute before enlisting in the Navy Engineer Corps as third assistant engineer 29 July 1861. He served with distinction in the Civil War and the years following. In 1873 he volunteered for duty as Chief Engineer of Tigress for her rescue in Baffin Bay of 19 survivors of the Polaris expedition to the Arctic. Lieutenant Melville next volunteered to join the Jeannette expedition, departing San Francisco, Calif., 7 August 1879 to seek an ocean passage to the Atlantic by way of Siberia. Jeannette became icebound in September and, after 2 years of effort to save her, was crushed by floes in the Laptev Sea and sank 12 June 1881. Melville led the only boat party to reach safety in Lena Delta, Siberia. He then returned north to find the frozen bodies of Jeannette’s commanding officer, Lt. George W. Delong, and his party lost in July. Congress rewarded Melville for his gallantry and resourcefulness by advancing him 15 numbers on the promotion list and awarding him a medal. Following his next assignment in 1884 as Chief Engineer of Thetis for the Greely Relief Expedition, President Grover Cleveland appointed Melville Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering 9 August 1887. During his administration of over 16 years, Melville superintended the design of 120 ships of the “New Navy” and introduced such widely acclaimed innovations, as the water tube boiler, vertical engines, and the repair ship. Promoted to rear admiral 3 March 1899, he was appointed Engineer in Chief of the Navy 6 December 1900. The author of many technical articles and one book, “In the Lena Delta,” Admiral Melville retired 10 January 1903 and died in Philadelphia, Pa., 17 March 1912.
    Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
    Bill Gonyo
    USNS Melville (T-AGOR-14)
    Melville 74k USNS Melville (T-AGOR-14) under way off Bay City, Michigan, 9 July 1969 during builders trials.
    US Navy photo # NH 98937 from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Melville 69k USNS Melville (T-AGOR-14) under way off Bay City, Michigan, 9 July 1969 during builders trials.
    US Navy photo # NH 98939 from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Melville 62k USNS Melville (T-AGOR-14) under way off Bay City, Michigan, 9 July 1969 during builders trials.
    US Navy photo # NH 98938 from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Melville 18k USNS Melville (T-AGOR-14) under way for sea trials, builders photo Defoe Shipbuilding Co. web site
    RV Melville
    Melville 94k R/V Melville under way, date and location unknown. Scripps Institution of Oceanography web site
    Melville 57k RV Melville under way, date and location unknown. Scripps Institution of Oceanography web site
    Melville 62k RV Melville in dry dock, date and location unknown. Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Melville 29k RV Melville under way date and location unknown.
    Photo courtesy Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
    Robert Hurst
    Melville 417k RV Melville moored pierside at San Diego, 10 October 2015. Tommy Trampp

    USNS Melville (T-AGOR-14)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Scripps Institute of Oceanography - R/V Melville

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 29 April 2016