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Mars (AFS 1) Class: Photographs

These photographs were selected to show the original configuration of this class and major subsequent modifications. For more views see the former NHHC (now Hyperwar) Online Library of Selected Images and the NavSource Photo Archive.

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

AFS Preliminary Design 4379, March 1959

A slightly oblique view of a preliminary design general arrangement sketch dated 6 March 1959 of a proposed store ship (AFS) that was attached to a BUSHIPS feasibility and cost study of the ship dated 24 March 1959. Of particular interest is the gantry structure (shown in solid lines on the plan view and dashed lines on the side view as well as in the inset at upper right) which provided "simplicity and flexibility in highline location." A continuous centerline route for pallet trucks ran from number 1 hold to the helicopter platform elevator, but according to this drawing it was not covered as it was in later designs.

Photo No. None
Source: NARA: RG 19 Entry P 62 Box 98

  USS San Diego (AFS 6)
AFS Preliminary Design 4450, December 1959

A preliminary design sketch of the new AFS dated 31 December 1959, shortly before the Ship Characteristics Board issued its approved characteristics for the ship. It appears to show the ship largely as built, although it does not show the changes, notably in cargo stowage, made during the contract design phase. Note the garage door type openings in the sides of the centerline cargo handling deckhouse.

Photo No. None
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

  USS San Diego (AFS 6)
USS Niagara Falls (AFS 4)

In the South China Sea on 3 July 1969. A UH-46 Sea Knight helicopter from the detachment of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Seven embarked on the AFS is lifting a net load of supplies from her flight deck for delivery to USS Kearsarge (CVS 33).

Photo No. USN 1141705
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file)

  USS Niagara Falls (AFS 4) on 3 July 1969
USS San Diego (AFS 6)

With a UH-46 helicopter on deck. She is carrying her original armament of four 3"/50 gun mounts and two Mk 56 directors.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (UA-164)

  USS San Diego (AFS 6)
USS Mars (AFS 1)

Operating off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, on 8 May 1970. The TACAN dome over the hangar was a temporary installation.

Photo No. VBP 01837-5-70 (photo lab negative number)
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (UA-282)

  USS Mars (AFS 1) on 8 May 1970
USS San Jose (AFS 7)

In the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego on 28 April 1971.

Photo No. DN-SC-86-00179
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file) and NARA (RG-330)

  USS San Jose (AFS 7) on 28 April 1971
USS San Jose (AFS 7)

Departing San Diego with Point Loma in the background. She is carrying her original armament.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (UA-164)

  USS San Jose (AFS 7)
USS Sylvania (AFS 2)

In the Atlantic Ocean in October 1978 after removal of the two 3"/50 gun mounts at the after end of the deckhouse and both Mk 56 directors.

Photo No. K-121188
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file)

  USS Sylvania (AFS 2) in October 1978
USS Concord (AFS 5)

The two 3"/50 gun mounts at the after end of the deckhouse and both Mk 56 directors have been removed, leaving their former positions vacant. This was one of the two ships of the class (the other being Niagara Falls) whose forward 3"/50 mounts never got protective shields.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file)

  USS Concord (AFS 5)
USS White Plains (AFS 4)

Photo dated 11 April 1984 and processed by the Fleet Imaging Center Pacific at Guam. She has just received a Mark 16 Phalanx close-in weapons system (CIWS) installaton with two gun units on the centerline on top of the main superstructure, one over the bridge and the other on a new deckhouse between the former after 3"/50 gun positions. She now also has a fully-equipped fueling station for escorts to starboard at Station 3 including an outrigger at the top of the kingpost from which the hose is suspended. All of her sisters except Mars also received this new fueling station.

Photo No. 85-00160-00168
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file)

  USS White Plains (AFS 4) circa April 1984
USS San Jose (AFS 7)

Underway on 28 September 1985. The empty positions for her after pair of 3"/50 gun mounts were reconfigured in 1981 to carry port and starboard antennas, both visible here, for the SLQ-32 shipboard ECM system, which could warn of threat radar signals and trigger chaff and weapons firing. The mortars of the Mk 36 Mod 2 SRBOC chaff and decoy launching system, not visible here, were located on the top deck between the SLQ-32 antennas and the stack.

Photo No. DN-ST-86-00933
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file) and NARA (RG-330)

  USS San Jose (AFS 7) on 28 September 1985
USS San Jose (AFS 7)

Displaying her starboard SLQ-32 ECM antenna while moored pierside at Hong Kong in December 1989. She carried a basic variant of the SLQ-32 system designed for auxiliary vessels, antennas on combatant ships having up to three levels. Her two antennas were mounted in the positions formarly occupied by the after pair of 3"/50 gun mounts. Some Mk 36 SRBOC chaff launch tubes are barely visible on the top deck just aft of the stack.

Photo No. None
Source: NavSource (William Chiu)

  USS San Jose (AFS 7) in December 1989
USS Sylvania (AFS 2)

Underway in 1989 carrying a Mark 16 Phalanx close-in weapons system (CIWS) installation that consisted of a new deckhouse at the after end of the main superstructure in the former location of the 3"/50 gun mounts with two CIWS units on top, one to port and one to starboard. San Jose (AFS 7) had a similar deckhouse while in MSC service that may originally have been for a similar CIWS installation.

Photo No. DN-SC-89-09064
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (L-file) and NARA (RG-330)

  USS Sylvania (AFS 2) in 1989
USNS Concord (T-AFS 5)

An SH-60F Seahawk picks up cargo from USNS Concord (T-AFS-5) during a vertical replenishment at sea with the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in the Persian Gulf on 17 June 2007. The after portion of the main superstructure was expanded in most or all of the MSC ships.

Photo No: 070618-N-1525H-026
Source: NavSource and Wikimedia Commons from news.navy.mil (gone)

  USNS Concord (T-AFS 5) on 17 June 2007