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USS JAMESTOWN (AGTR-3) - an Oxford-class technical research ship

In Commission 1962 to UNKNOWN

AGTR-3 Deployments - Major Events

Add a AGTR-3 Shellback Initiation Add a AGTR-3 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
MAY 1945 - Keel Date: 4 MAY 1945
JUL 1945 - Launch Date: 10 JUL 1945
DEC 1962 - Commissioned: 13 DEC 1962
JAN 1964 - JAN 1966 Cuban Missle Blockade
JUN 1964 - Shellback Initiation - 21 JUN 1964 - Atlantic Ocean
JUN 1964 - Shellback Initiation - 6 JUN 1964 - Atlantic Ocean
JUN 1965 - Shellback Initiation - 6 JUN 1965 - Pacific Ocean
OCT 1965 - OCT 1966 West Pac-Viet Nam
OCT 1966 - Shellback Initiation - 28 OCT 1966 - Pacific Ocean
JAN 1967 - JAN 1968 West Pac-Viet Nam
JUN 1967 - Shellback Initiation - 19 JUN 1967 - Pacific Ocean
JUN 1967 - Shellback Initiation - 8 JUN 1967 - Pacific Ocean
AUG 1967 - AUG 1968 West Pac-Viet Nam
OCT 1967 - MAR 1969 West Pac-Viet Nam
NOV 1967 - Shellback Initiation - 22 NOV 1967 - Pacific Ocean
JAN 1968 - DEC 1969 West Pac-Viet Nam
MAR 1968 - Shellback Initiation - 15 MAR 1968 - Pacific Ocean
JAN 1969 - JAN 1970 West Pac-Viet Nam
SEP 1969 - SEP 1969 Shellback Initiation 09/09/69

AGTR-3 General Specifications

Named for: Jamestown

Complement: 313 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 11365 tons

Length: 441 feet

Beam: 59 feet

Draft: 22 feet

Final Disposition: Scrapped 1970


The third Jamestown (AG-166), a converted Liberty ship, was launched as J. Howland Gardner under Maritime Commission contract by New England Shipbuilding Corp., South Portland, Maine, 10 July 1945; and sponsored by Mrs. George W. Elkins of Newport, R.I.

The liberty ship was completed 14 August and chartered under general agency agreement by Waterman Steamship Co., until 17 June 1946 when she went into the Maritime Reserve Fleet. She was chartered by U.S. Navigation Co., 3 February 1947, and by South Atlantic Steamship Lines, 20 October 1948.

J. Howland Gardner returned to Maritime Reserve Fleet at Beaumont, Tex. She was acquired there by the Navy 10 August 1962: renamed Jamestown and designated AG-166 on 6 March 1963; and commissioned 13 December at Norfolk Navy Yard, Comdr. Alan J. Kaplan in command.

The research ship was assigned to Service Squadron 8, Service Force, Atlantic Fleet, with Norfolk her home port. Her mission is "to conduct technical research operations in support of U.S. Navy electronic research projects, which include electromagnetic propagation studies and advanced communications systems such as satellite communications."

After fitting out at Norfolk, Jamestown departed 20 January 1964 for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where she underwent 2 weeks of intensive shakedown training. She was there when Cuban Fidel Castro shut off all fresh water to that base, and stood by ready to evacuate American families. Upon completion of shakedown training, she made brief visits to Kingston, Jamaica, and Key West before returning to Norfolk 27 February.

Jamestown was redesignated AGTR-3 on 1 April and 8 days later departed on her first deployment visiting Gibraltar; Valletta, Malta; Aden; Capetown; and Freetown, Sierra Leone, before returning Norfolk 17 August. The ensuing weeks were devoted to preparation for deployment off the African coast. She stood out of Norfolk 2 November for Dakar, Senegal, Capetown, South Africa, and further service acquiring new knowledge in the vital field of electronic communications. Jamestown then returned to Norfolk 6 February 1965. After operation in the Caribbean in the spring, she transited the Panama Canal for a cruise along the Pacific Coast of South America reaching Valparaiso, Chile, 9 June. She celebrated the Fourth of July at Callao. Peru, and then transited the Panama Canal, returning to Norfolk 23 July.

Exactly 3 months later Jamestown got underway for the Far East and reached Subic Bay in the Philippines 29 December. She operated in the South China Sea gathering valuable information for the Navy's ships fighting to protect the independence of South Vietnam while adding to the long Navy tradition of serving the field of scientific research. She continued operating in the Far East, often operating in the Vietnam war zone, through mid-1967.

[Note: The above USS JAMESTOWN (AGTR-3) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS JAMESTOWN (AGTR-3), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]