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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USAT Resource
USNS Sagitta (T-AK-87) (1952 - 1959)
USPRS Marvin Lyle Thomas (1944 - 1952)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Juliet - Sierra - Victor
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal

Enceladus Class Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, 24 January 1944, as MV Moses Pike, a Maritime Commission hull type (N3-M-A1) under Maritime Commission Contract (MC hull 650) at Penn Jersey-Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.
  • Launched, 9 July 1944
  • Acquired by the US Army Transportation Service, 18 July 1944
  • Allocated to the US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Renamed USAPRS Marvin Lyle Thomas, conversion to a a Port Rehabilitation Ship completed circa June 1944 at Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Inc., Baltimore, MD.
  • Marvin Lyle Thomas served as a Corps of Engineers port repair ship until her transfer to the Maritime Commission in 1947
  • Returned by the Maritime Commission, 27 August 1947, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Transferred to the US Navy Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), 26 April 1952
  • Placed in service as USNS Sagitta (T-AK-87)
  • Placed out of service in 1959
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration, 23 February 1960, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • Permanent transfer to the Maritime Commission, 20 June 1961
  • Transferred by the Maritime Administration to the US Army, on loan, 12 April 1966, for use as a training vessel. renamed Resource
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration by the Army Department, 22 January 1976, laid up at Charleston, S.C.
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 22 January 1976, to Andy International Inc. (PD-X-1002 dated 10 December 1975), for $158,999.00 (2 ship sale)
    Displacement 1,677 t.(lt), 5,200 t.(fl)
    Length 269' 10"
    Beam 42' 6"
    Draft 20' 8"
    Largest Boom Capacity 50 t.
    Bow Cathead Capacity 40 t.
    Cargo Capacity 3,175 DWT
    non-refrigerated 115,873 Cu. ft.
    Speed 10.25 kts
    Complement 83
    one single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mount
    Fuel Capacity
    Diesel 1,940 Bbls
    one Cooper Bessemer Diesel engine
    Ship's Service Generators
    three Diesel-drive 100Kw 120V D.C.
    two Diesel-drive 40Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 1,190shp
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USNS Sagitta (T-AK-87)
    Sagitta 105k USNS Sagitta (T-AK-87) under way circa the mid-1950s. Although she retains the Army cathead on the bow, she is shown here serving MSTS as a small cargo ship. The two masts reflect the final rig of the class adopted by the Navy in September 1943 and fitted to USS Enceladus (AK-80), but the built up hull sides from the forecastle to just before the bridge and the elaborate stern anchor date from the Army conversion.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. Unknown, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Sagitta 103k USNS Sagitta (T-AK-87) crashed into a Texas Tower, radar "island" 100 miles off Cape Cod, MA. 20 January 1956. The ship suffered serious damage, but the tall tripod structure was unscathed. There were no casualties. While servicing the tower, the Sagitta's starboard side crashed into the tower, tearing a hole in tanks in the vessel's No. 2 hold.
    US Navy photo via AP wirephoto
    Photo - Tommy Trampp
    Caption - David Wright
    Sagitta 67k USNS Sagitta (T-AK-87) makes her way towards the port of Boston, 20 January 1956, after she rammed into a Texas Tower platform during a resupply mission.
    US Coast Guard movie clip from United Press
    Tommy Trampp
    Sagitta 109k USNS Sagitta (T-AK-87) limps into her berth at East Boston, 21 January 1956, assisted by a tug. Sagitta collided with a Texas Tower radar island on 20 January 1956 during a re-supply operation. A huge wave tossed the ship against the tower during unloading operations. No one was injured but the ship suffered a hole below her waterline.
    AP Wirephotos.
    Tommy Trampp
    David Wright
    Sagitta 145k USNS Sagitta (T-AK-87) at Port Lyautey, Morocco, 1958 Carl R Friberg
    USAT Resource
    Sagitta 163k USAT Resource in use as an Army Reserve training ship at Bayboro Harbor, St. Petersburg, Florida, circa 1974. A press story dated 13 September 1974 stated that she was soon to be taken under tow to St. Mary's, Georgia, her machinery being unserviceable although her deck and hull were in good shape.
    Photo courtesy
    Mike Green

    USNS Sagitta (T-AK-87)
    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
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    United States Army in World War II - The Corps of Engineers: Troops and Equipment- Chapter XVII - Preparing to Reconstruct Ports
    Back to the Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The US Navy Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The US Navy Cargo Ship (AK) Photo Index Back To The US Army Ship Type Index Back To The US Army Port Repair Ship Photo Index Back To The US Army Transports Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 6 January 2023