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Blue Ridge (AGC/LCC 19) 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.

Preliminary Design for FY 1965 AGC

This, an early preliminary design for an AGC in the Fiscal Year 1965 building program, was based on the hull and machinery of the AFS 1 class. The elimination of the topside cargo handling facilities of the AFS provided more than enough weight for the enlarged superstructure with its vast command and communications spaces and for accommodations for 1,379 men. The design was discarded after it was decided in July 1963 that the ship's communications antennas required a flat-top hull configuration for optimal performance.

Photo No. None
Source: NARA RG 19 Entry P 26 Boxes 7-9

  Preliminary Design for FY 1965 AGC
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20)

Photographed in her original configuration in the early 1970s. Key features are a high frequency broadband discage antenna on the bow, a lattice mast behind it holding a horizontal high frequency directional log periodic troposcatter antenna, two 3"/50 gun mounts with their directors on the sides forward of the bridge, height finding and air search radars on the bridge for air control, and a structural tower aft designed to carry a microwave satellite relay system that was not procured as well as an array of ECM, UHF, and VHF antennas.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (UA 283)

  USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) in the early 1970s
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20)

Shown on 4 July 1976 at New York taking part in Operation Sail, a U.S. Bicentennial event involving most of the world's four-masted sailing ships and around 50 U.S. and foreign naval vessels. Mount Whitney is in her original configuration except for the addition of two Sea Sparrow point defense missile launchers, one on each side aft of the bridge, in place of the planned Sea Mauler launchers.

Photo No. USN 1167316
Source: Shipscribe

  USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) on 4 July 1976
USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19)

Entering Apra Harbor, Guam, on 27 February 1982 with large harbor tugs assisting The nearer tug displays the name Nogales and number YTB 777.

Photo No. DN-SC-88-08190
Source: U.S. National Archives (RG-330)

  USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) on 27 February 1982
USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19)

Photographed by the Australian Navy in Fremantle, Australia, on 20 October 1986 showing satellite dishes added atop her after tower. Note the long-range high-frequency log periodic antenna on its lattice mast forward of the bridge and the broadband HF discage antenna forward of it. Similar discage antennas were installed on many US warships during the 1970s as their principal HF transmitting antenna.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: NavSource, also posted on Facebook 17 Oct 2019

  USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) on 20 October 1986
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20)

Photographed circa 1990. Two Phalanx close-in defensive Gatling guns (CIWS) have been added, one at the tip of the bow and one (not visible here) on a large sponson added on the stern. She retains her 3"/50 guns and Sea Sparrow point defense launchers. A small radome has replaced the satellite dishes on the tower. The ship pierside at upper right is probably USNS Lynch. (T-AGOR 7)

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

  USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) circa 1990
USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19)

Underway on 9 December 1991 after departing Naval Station, Subic Bay, following refresher training.

Photo No. DN-ST-92-04794
Source: U.S. National Archives (RG-330)

  USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) on 9 December 1991
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20)

Photograph submitted to NHHC with the 1996 Command History for the ship, which was serving as command ship for Commander, Second Fleet. At around this time the Navy was virtually abandoning high-frequency radio in favor of satellites, and the big log periodic antenna has been removed, although its vacant lattice mast remains. Instead small radomes, probably satellite-related, have sprouted up on the flat deck and on the bridge superstructure and tower. The 3"/50 guns and the Sea Sparrow point defense missile launchers have also been removed.

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

  USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) circa 1996
USS Blue Ridge (LCC 20)

Photograph probably submitted to NHHC with the 1997 Command History for the ship, which was serving as flagship of Commander, Seventh Fleet. Modifications are generally similar to those of Mount Whitney in the 1996 photo above except that both the log periodic high frequency antenna and its lattice mast have been removed and the broadband discage HF antenna forward of it has also been removed.

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

  USS Blue Ridge (LCC 20) circa 1997
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20)

Photograph submitted to NHHC with the 1998 Command History for the ship, which was serving as command ship for Commander, Second Fleet. Compared to the 1996 view above, the vacant lattice mast for the log periodic antenna and the HF discage antenna in front of it have both been removed and the AN/SPS-48 height finding radar behind the mast has a new planar array antenna.

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

  USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) circa 1998
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20)

Operating off the U.S. East Coast on 20 June 2004. Her air search and height finding radars had been removed by 2001, indicating the end of her air control mission. MSC assumed navigational operation of Mount Whitney three months later on 20 September 2004 with MSC civil service mariners providing navigation, deck, engineering, laundry and galley services while the ship remained in full commission with a Navy mission crew and a Navy commanding officer.

Photo No. 040620-N-4308O-056
Source: NavSource and www.navy.mil

  USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) on 20 June 2004
USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19)

Underway on 28 January 2006 off the eastern coast of Japan with Mt. Fuji on the horizon. The ship and the embarked 7th Fleet staff were conducting routine port visits and community relation projects throughout the 7th Fleet Area of Operation.

Photo No. DN-SD-07-01596
Source: U.S. National Archives (RG-330)

  USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) on 28 January 2006
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20)

Underway on 14 July 2006 in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Monrovia, Liberia, to help commemorate the inauguration of a newly elected President to the Republic of Liberia.

Photo No. DN-SD-06-07542
Source: U.S. National Archives (RG-330)

  USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) on 14 July 2006
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20)

Underway on 8 June 2010 during the second day of Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) Exercise 2010 in formation with the Russian navy landing ship Kaliningrad (pennant 102). Twelve nations including Russia participated in this 38th iteration of BALTOPS which was intended to improve interoperability with partner nations. The Russian ship was built in 1984 as the Project 775 Mod III (NATO ROPUCHA class) large landing ship BDK 58 and was named for the Baltic city in 2003.

Photo No. 100608-N-3970R-426
Source: Wikimedia Commons from www.navy.mil (gone)

  USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) on 8 June 2010
USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19)

Steaming through the Tomogashima Channel on 27 February 2016 after completing a scheduled port visit to Osaka, Japan. Blue Ridge has undergone modifications generally similar to those of Mount Whitney although the number and locations of her radomes and antennas differs. Blue Ridge remained fully Navy manned, and although like Mount Whitney she lost her AN/SPS-48 height finding radar she retained the AN/SPS-40 air search radar antenna on her bridge. The sponson on the stern for the after CIWS mount, prominent in this view, increased the ship's overall length by about 16 feet to about 636 feet.

Photo No. 160227-N-TV402-325
Source: www.navy.mil/Resources/Photo-Gallery

  USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) on 27 February 2016
USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19)

Underway in the Philippine Sea on 1 April 2021 with the ship's Chief Petty Officers manning the rail in celebration of the 128th birthday of the Navy's Chief Petty Officer rank.

Photo No. 210401-N-GR847-0264
Source: www.navy.mil/Resources/Photo-Gallery

  USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) on 1 April 2021
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20)

Arriving at the Port of Djibouti on 24 April 2022 for a sustainment and logistics visit supported by the supply department of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

Photo No. 220424-N-AE068-0004
Source: www.navy.mil/Resources/Photo-Gallery

  USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) on 24 April 2022