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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Patch at left form the collections of the US Naval Historical Center, patch at right contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Arlington (AGMR-2)
USS Saipan (AVT-6) (1959 - 1963)
USS Saipan (CVL-48) (1946 - 1959)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Lima - Bravo
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (2) - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Korean Service Medal
Second Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea) - Vietnam Service Medal (7) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (12)
Third Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Saipan Class Light Aircraft Carrier:
  • Laid down, 10 July 1944, at New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.
  • Launched, 8 July 1945
  • Commissioned USS Saipan (CVL-48), 14 July 1946, CAPT. John G. Crommelin in command.
  • Decommissioned, 3 October 1957, at Bayonne, N.J.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Bayonne, N. J.
  • Reclassified Auxiliary Aircraft Landing Training Ship (AVT-6), 15 May 1959
  • Towed by USS Utina (ATF-163) to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in October 1962
  • Towed from Philadelphia Naval Shipyard,20 March 1963 to Alabama Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Company, Mobile, AL. to begin conversion, arrived 30 March 1963
  • Reclassified Major Communications Relay Ship AGMR-2, 1 September 1964
  • Converted to a Communications Major Relay Ship AGMR from 1963 to 1966 at Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co., Mobile, AL.
  • Recommissioned USS Arlington (AGMR-2), 27 August 1966 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA., CAPT. Charles A. Darrah in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Arlington (AGMR-2) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    22 August to 16 September 1967
    8 October to 12 November 1967
    1 to 28 December 1967
    23 to 27 January 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VI
    2 to 10 November 1968
    16 January to 7 February 1969
    Tet Counteroffensive
    12 February to 10 March 1968
    Tet/69 Counteroffensive
    5 to 16 April 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    9 April to 11 May 1968
    10 to 30 June 1968
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    26 June to 8 July 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
    1 to 21 July 1968
    29 August to 5 October 1968
    16 October to 1 November 1968

  • Decommissioned. 14 January 1970, at San Diego, CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 15 August 1975, at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA.
  • USS Arlington earned 7 campaign stars for Vietnam service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 1 June 1976, to Nicolai Joffe, of Beverly Hills acting as agent for NASSCO. Withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet and towed to NASSCO Terminal Island, 18 June 1976, arrived 20 August 1976, scrapping completed in 1987
    Displacement 14,500 t.
    Length 684'
    Beam 115'
    Draft 28'
    Speed 33 kts.
    CVL- 1,721
    AGMR - 700
    CVL - 40 40mm, 32 20mm
    AGMR four 3"/50 AA guns
    CVL- 50+
    AGMR 0
    four General Electric geared turbines
    four propeller shafts, 120,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed By /
    Arlington 322k Saipan (AGMR-2) pierside at Alabama Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Company, Mobile AL. 18 January 1965, during conversion to a Major Communications Relay Ship.
    Photo courtesy Alabama Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Company
    Tom Pendergast
    Arlington 71k USS Arlington (AGMR-2) pierside at Norfolk, VA., June 1966 prior to recommissioning.
    US Navy photo
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Arlington 86k USS Arlington (AGMR-2) Commanding Officer, CAPT. Charles A. Darrah USN, conducting an inspection of the crew, during the ship's recommissioning ceremony, 27 August 1966, at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 72150
    Scott Koen
    Arlington 88k USS Arlington (AGMR-2) Commanding Officer, CAPT. Charles A. Darrah USN shakes hands with Major General Smith, Chief of Staff, Defense Communications Agency, as the latter visits Arlington during 1966.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 72151
    Scott Koen
    Arlington 184k USS Arlington (AGMR-2) moored pierside at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA. in October 1966. Note stern of USS Little Rock (CLG-4) at far right.
    Photo from the Robert J. Gillespie, collection.
    William L. Baxter
    Arlington 110k USS Arlington (AGMR-2) underway, circa 1967.
    US Navy photo # NH 97625, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center
    US Naval Historical Center
    Arlington 102k USS Arlington (AGMR-2) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from the collections of the US Navy Memorial.
    Stan Svec
    Arlington 76k USS Arlington (AGMR-2) underway at sea, circa 1968, with her crew manning the rail and two SH-3 helicopters flying in the right distance. The original print was received from USS Arlington in 1969.
    US Navy photo # NH 69304, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center
    US Naval Historical Center
    Arlington 71k USS Arlington (AGMR-2) under way date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from the 1968-69 edition of "Jane's Fighting Ships".
    Robert Hurst
    Arlington 414k USS Arlington (AGMR-2) under way in the harbor at Bremerhaven, Germany, circa 1969. Gerhard Muller-Debus
    Arlington 398k USS Arlington (AGMR-2) approaching a fleet oil in the Tonkin Gulf, circa 30 September 1968.
    Photo by Leo Baker USS Arlington.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Arlington 45k USS Arlington (AGMR-2) at anchor, circa 1969, location unknown. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Begor 72k Ex-USS Arlington (AGMR-2) moored alongside ex-USS Kearsage (CV-33) at Mare Island Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, date unknown. Across the channel is ex-USS Begor (APD-127). Photo from "Warship Boneyards" by Kit and Carolyn Bonner, (Courtesy L. Cote). Robert Hurst
    Arlington 57k USS Arlington (AGMR-2) Apollo Space Program Support dates, Presidential Support dates and Commanding Officers Jim Arnold

    USS Arlington (AGMR-2)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Darrah, Charles Alexander (Died May 1967)27 August 1966 - May 1967
    02CDR. Wheeler, Robert Allen (Acting CO)May 1967 - 2 June 1967
    03CAPT. Utegaard, Thomas Fletcher2 June 1967 - 17 June 1968
    04CAPT. Carpenter, Albert Pinson17 June 1968 - January 1969
    05CAPT. Murphree, Hugh DyerJanuary 1969 - 1969
    06CDR. Edwards, Chester CharlesNovember 1969 - 14 January 1970
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Jim Arnold

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    USS Arlington
    Saipan - Arlington Conversion documents and photos
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Aircraft Carrier Index Back To The Service Ship Type Index Back To The Saipan (CVL-48) Page Back To The Auxiliary Aircraft Landing Training Ship (AVT) Photo Index Back To The Major Communications Relay Ship (AGMR) 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 5 February 2016