USS OXFORD (AGTR-1)
The second Oxford (AGTR-1), a Liberty ship, was laid down 23 June 1945 under
Maritime Commission contract by the New England Shipbuilding Corp., Portland,
Me.; launched 31 July as Samuel R. Aitken
(MCE-3127); sponsored by Mrs. Margaret C. Aitken; and delivered to the
Maritime Commission 25 August.
R. Aitken she served the merchant fleet, first with the Moore-McCormack
Steam Ship Lines and then with the Arnold Bernstein Line. She was laid up 10
April 1948 in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Wilmington, N.C.
In October 1960 Samuel R. Aitken was towed to the New York Naval Shipyard,
Brooklyn, N.Y. for conversion. Named Oxford
(AG-159) on 25 November 1960, she commissioned at New York 8 July 1961,
Comdr. Howard R. Lund in command. She reported to Norfolk, Va. 11 September for
duty with the Service Force, Atlantic Fleet, and shortly thereafter conducted
shakedown out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
was designed to conduct research in the reception of
electromagnetic propagations. Equipped with the latest antenna systems and
measuring devices, she is a highly sophisticated and mobile station which can
steam to various parts of the world to participate in the Navy's comprehensive
program of research and development projects in communications. Because of the
immediate or potential military applications of her work, much of Oxford's employment is classified.
One of Oxford's publicized operations took place 15 December 1961 when she
became the first ship to receive a message from a shore based facility via the
moon successfully. Next she departed Norfolk 4 January 1962 for a South
Atlantic deployment, returning four months later. Another four month South
Atlantic deployment followed in May 1963, after which Oxford underwent overhaul at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth,
January 1964 brought refresher training
at Guantanamo Bay, and from 22 February until 10 June Oxford conducted further research operations in South Atlantic and
was redesignated Technical Research Ship (AGTR-1) on 1 April
1964. She departed 4 August on yet another South Atlantic cruise, conducting
research not only in electromagnetic reception, but also in oceanography and
related areas. She returned to Norfolk 1 December.
steamed for Africa 3 February 1965, calling at Las Palmas,
Canary Islands, Lagos, Nigeria, and Durban, South Africa. A message arrived 26
May reassigning the ship to the Pacific Fleet, with a new homeport at San
Diego, Calif. She stood out of Subic Bay, P.I. 16 June for a one month
deployment to the South China Sea, and thus set the pattern for her operations
decommissioned and was struck from the Naval Vessel Register
19 December 1969 at Yokosuka, Japan.
[Note: The above USS OXFORD (AGTR-1) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS OXFORD (AGTR-1), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]