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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Oxford (AGTR-1)
USS Oxford (AG-159) (1961 - 1964)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - National Defense Service Medal
Second Row - Vietnam Service Medal (10) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Oxford Class Technical Research Ship:
  • Laid down, 23 May 1945, as SS Samuel R. Aitken, a Maritime Commission type (Z-EC2-S-C5) hull, under Maritime Commission contract, (MC hull 3127) at New England Shipbuilding Corp., South Portland, ME.
  • Launched, 31 July 1945
  • Completed, and turned over to the Maritime Commission, 31 August 1945
  • Returned to the War Shipping Administration, 6 October 1945 for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Chartered by Moore McCormack Steamship Lines, 25 June 1947
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 10 April 1948, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Wilmington, DL.
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 10 October 1960
  • Converted for Naval service as a Miscellaneous Auxiliary at New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Commissioned USS Oxford (AG-159), 8 July 1961, at New York, N.Y., CDR. Howard R. Lund in command
  • Redesignated Technical Research Ship (AGTR-1), 1 April 1964
  • During the Vietnam War USS Oxford (AGTR-1) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Vietnam Defense
    26 July to 27 August 1965
    5 September 1965
    24 to 26 October 1965
    12 November to 6 December 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
    20 April to 26 May 1968
    3 to 30 June 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    16 March to 26 April 1966
    5 May to 4 June 1966
    21 to 30 June 1966
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
    1 to 13 July 1968
    3 to 17 August 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    1 to 23 July 1966
    17 August to 5 September 1966
    14 September to 17 October 1966
    5 November to 3 December 1966
    16 December 1966 to 7 January 1967
    25 January to 28 February 1967
    9 March to 19 April 1967
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VI
    8 to 30 November 1968
    1 to 16 December 1968
    6 January to 12 February 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    30 September to 15 October 1967
    26 October to 26 November 1967
    15 December 1967 to 23 January 1968
    Tet/69 Counteroffensive
    24 February to 5 April 1969
    27 April to 3 June 1969
    Tet Counteroffensive
    3 February to 13 March 1968
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    6 to 23 July 1969
    16 August to 19-September 1969
    2 to 23 October 1969

  • Decommissioned on or about 19 December 1969, at Yokosuka, Japan
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 14 January 1970
  • USS Oxford (AGTR-1) earned ten campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Title transfer to the Maritime Administration, 14 May 1970
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 14 May 1970, to Chin Ho Fu Steel and Iron Co. Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan, delivered, 8 June 1970
    Displacement 11,365 t.(fl)
    Length 441' 6"
    Beam 59'
    Draft 22'
    Speed 11 kts.
    Complement 254
    Armament four .50 cal machine guns
    two 220psi boilers
    one vertical three cylinder triple-expansion reciprocating engine
    single 4 blade, 18' 6" propeller, 2,500shp
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Oxford (AG-159)
    67k Especially designed for the transport of Tanks and Boxed Airplanes the Z-EC-S-C5 type had the same hull-form as the EC2-S-C1 type but with large hatches and heavier loading gear. Typical for this type is the arrangement of two pairs of kingposts each on the forecastle and poop contrary to the two single kingposts on the forecastle and one kingpost on the poop with the EC2-S-C1 basic design. All vessels remained under US Flag and Registry after WWII and were laid up.
    United States Maritime Commission 1936 thru 1950
    John Spivey
    Oxford 231k USS Oxford (AG-159) commissioning ceremony, at New York Naval Shipyard, 8 July 1961. Note the many antennas on this converted "Liberty" ship (ex-SS Samuel R. Aitken)
    . US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 42928
    Mike Green
    Oxford 118k USS Oxford (AG-159) at New York, date unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    David Nixon
    Oxford 78k USS Oxford (AG-159) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    USS Oxford (AG-159/AGTR-1) web site
    Oxford 224k USS Oxford (AG-159) under way, 4 January 1962, location unknown.
    US National Archives, Photo # KN-3255. a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    Mike Green
    Oxford 95k USS Oxford (AG-159) under way in 1962, location unknown.
    US Navy photo from 1966/67 Edition of "Jane's Fighting Ships"
    Robert Hurst
    USS Oxford (AGTR-1)
    Oxford 49k USS Oxford (AGTR-1) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Ed Marciniak
    Oxford 78k USS Oxford (AGTR-1) under way, circa 1964, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Oxford 17k USS Oxford (AGTR-1) arriving at Durban South Africa in 1965 From collection of Ken Cadran via USS Oxford (AG-159/AGTR-1) web site
    Oxford 70k USS Oxford (AGTR-1)at anchor in Kaohsuing Harbor, Taiwan, 28 February 1966 ©Richard Leonhardt
    Oxford 288k USS Oxford (AGTR-1) at anchor at Hong Kong, 1969 Photo by Richard E Kerr Jr, ex CTT2 USN USS Oxford 1969
    Oxford 7922k USS Oxford (AGTR-1) refueling from USS Caliente (AO-53) off the coast of Vietnam circa January 1968.
    Note this could also be USS Jamestown (AGTR-3) vice Oxford
    Photo by Bill Doughtery USS Caliente
    Oxford 82k USS Oxford (AGTR-1) under way, date and location unknown. Dennis Clouse
    Oxford 71k Ex-USS Oxford (AGTR-1), left, and ex-USS Jamestown (AGTR-3), right, moored at Yokosuka, Japan awaiting disposal, circa 1969-70. Ed Marciniak

    USS Oxford (AG-159 / AGTR-1)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Lund, Howard Roy, USN8 July 1961 - 16 July 1962(AG-159) AGTR-1
    02CDR. Cosgrove, Thomas Avery. USN16 July 1962 - 4 November 1963(AG-159) AGTR-1
    03LCDR. Hoffman, Paul Joseph, USN4 November 1963 - 17 July 1965AGTR-1
    04CDR. Crozier, Franzis Joseph, USN (USNA 1946)17 July 1965 - 9 August 1966AGTR-1
    05CDR. Farley, James Edward, USN (USNA 1947)9 August 1966 - 25 July 1967AGTR-1
    06CDR. Backstrom, Robert Irving, USN25 July 1967 - 23 July 1968AGTR-1
    07CDR. Vail, Harold Wayne, USN (USNA 1951)23 July 1968 - 4 October 1969AGTR-1
    08CDR. Katz, Martin, USN4 October 1969 - 19 December 1969AGTR-1
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    USS Oxford AGTR-1 (circa 1966-1967)
    US Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To The Service Ship Photo Index Back To The Miscellaneous Auxiliary (AG) Photo Index Back To The Technical Research Ship (AGTR) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 20 October 2023