. USS Banner (AGER 1, Army Design 381) Class
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USS Banner (AKL 26) on 18 July 1966 off Japan after conversion but before reclassification to AGER 1.

USS Banner (AKL 26) on 18 July 1966 off Japan after conversion but before reclassification to AGER 1.
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Class: BANNER (AGER 1, Army Design 381)
Design: Army Design 381 (176', steel)
Displacement (tons): 700 full
Dimensions (feet): 177' oa, 172' wl x 32' e x 8.5'
Armament: none; (AGER 1: 1969) 2-20mmT
Accommodations: 7 officers, 75 enlisted
Speed (kts.): 12
Propulsion (HP): 1,000
Machinery: Geared diesel, 2 screws

1BANNER1 Jun 1967Kewaunee SB/Engg30 Sep 194331 Jul 1944(Oct 1965)
2PUEBLO1 Jun 1967Kewaunee SB/Engg30 Sep 1943ca Jul 194413 May 1967

AGERNameTDecommStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale
1BANNER14 Nov 196914 Nov 196925 May 1970Navy sale--
2PUEBLONo--23 Jan 1968Seized--

Class Notes:
In 1965 the Navy sought to add to its large intelligence collection ships of the AGTR 1 and AGTR 4 types some smaller trawler-type vessels similar to those used by the Soviets. In mid-June 1965 the Navy set the general minimum characteristics for an Integrated Intelligence Ship for trawler-type surveillance operations at a length of around 175 feet, a 90-day endurance, a cruising range of 7,500nm, and a minimum cruising speed of 10kts. BUSHIPS then conducted a detailed investigation of suitable hull types and concluded that the standard large (167-foot) tuna boat hull was the most feasible hull for at least the next (3-ship) phase of the program. On 29 June 1965, however, the Navy chose BANNER (AKL 25) as the first vessel, to be modified only to the minimum required to perform her new mission. (BANNER had previously been employed as a cargo ship on the Marianas Resupply mission.) The classification "Environmental Research Ship" was created for this type, although the Intelligence Community called their Soviet equivalents Intelligence Collection Ships (AGIs). The conversion work was done at NSY Bremerton between August and October 1965, when it was hoped that BANNER could deploy on the first test operation.

To augment this force, SECNAV on 27 December 1965 asked the Secretary of the Army for the transfer of one FS hull, preferably from the West Coast area, to the Navy. The Army replied in January 1966 that the FS that SECNAV had specified was then supporting active training of a National Guard Unit in her area and was not available for transfer, but that FS 344, then in wet storage at Rio Vista, California, was available for immediate transfer on an "as-is where-is" basis and should meet the navy's requirement. The name PUEBLO was assigned to AKL 44 (ex FS 344) and she was placed on the list on 18 June 1966 along with PALM BEACH, AKL 45 (a Design 427 aircraft repair variant of the FS). On 2 May 1967 effective 1 Jun 1967 AKL 25, 44, and 45 were reclassified AGER 1-3. See other sources for the North Korean seizure of PUEBLO on 23 January 1968. After the LIBERTY and PUEBLO incidents, BANNER was taken out of service at the end of 1969 with the other large (AGTR) and small (AGER) intelligence collection ships.

Ship Notes:
1BANNER(ex AKL 25, ex-Army CAPT WILLIAM W GALT, ex-FS 345, compl. 31 Jul 1944) Acquired by MSTS from the Army as AKL 25 1 Jul 1950. Transferred from MSTS to USN 11 Sep 1952 and commissioned as USS BANNER, primarily to resupply bases in the Marianas from Guam. Converted to environmental research ship at NSY Puget Sound Aug-Oct 1965 and reclassified AGER 1 on 2 May 1967 effective 1 Jun 1967. To Japanese scrap buyer 22 Jun 1970.
2PUEBLO(ex-AKL 44, ex-FS 344, ex-FP 344). Acquired as AKL 44 12 Apr 1966, on list 18 Jun 1966 with AKL 45. Reclassified AGER 2 on 2 May 1967 effective 1 Jun 1967. Seized by North Korea on 23 Jan 1968. Still carried as "active in commission" in the NVR in 2021.

Page Notes:
Compiled: 18 Oct 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021