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USNS Kellar (AGS 25) on 14 January 1969.
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Class: KELLAR (AGS 25)
Design: SCB Project Nos. 214 and 709.65 (small type)
Displacement (tons): 1,297 full load (1,320 ` AGS 25)
Dimensions (feet): 208.3' oa, 196’ wl x 39.4' molded x 13.9' mean full load
Armament: none
Accommodations: 12 officers, 18 unlicensed, 15 NAVOCEANO survey party (13 in AGS 25)
Speed (kts.): 12 (sustained)
Propulsion (HP): 1,000
Machinery: Diesel electric, 1 screw

Construction:
AGSNameOrdBuilderKeelLaunchSvc
25KELLAR18 Jan 1962Marinette Marine, Pt. Pleasant, WVa.20 Nov 196230 Jul 196431 Jan 1969
31S P LEE6 Dec 1965Defoe, Bay City27 Jun 196619 Oct 19672 Dec 1968

Disposition:
AGSNameTInactStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale
25KELLART1972[None in NVR]21 Jan 1972Trf--
31S P LEET1 Aug 19921 Oct 19927 Dec 1992Trf--

Class Notes:
Approved characteristics for a Surveying Ship (AGS), SCB Project No. 214, were promulgated on 13 December 1960 and updated for a small surveying ship for FY 1964 on 12 April 1963, as SCB Project No. 709.65 on 20 February 1964, and as revised approved characteristics for a small surveying ship (AGS), SCB Project No. 709.65, on 9 December 1968. These ships were essentially of the small 208-foot AGOR 3 type modified for hydrographic surveying. The surveying modification included the addition of a 26-foot survey launch, multi-beam echo sounders, a side scanning sonar, a stabilized gyro compass, and an active rudder. The contract design for AGS 25 was completed on 25 September 1961. A pamphlet for AGS 25 stated that her delivery had been delayed because of the prototype nature of her equipment, and that she was further delayed as a result of Hurricane Betsy in 1965. The rigs and dates of the two ships indicate that AGS 25 was a variant of the AGOR 6 type while AGS 31 was a variant of the AGOR 9 type.

On 1 Jan 1962 a second ship described as an AGOR-3 Class (SCB 185) was scheduled for operations as an applied research ship. The ship was finally budgeted in FY 1965. On 17 Jul 1965 the ship mission was changed from applied research to survey ship and she was listed as a replacement for SHELDRAKE. The SCB designation was changed from SCB 185 to SCB 214 to SCB 709. In November 1965 the SCB 709.65 ship was transferred to the charting and mapping program element. Both AGS 25 and AGS 31 were officially described as designed and equipped to collect depth soundings in the coastal waters of the world in response to economic and military charting requirements of the United States.

All new-construction surveying ships between AGS 25 and AGS 34 were operated by MSTS for Navy users. On 30 September 1969 MSTS informed MARAD that the Oceanographer of the Navy had scheduled four ships including three Navy-designed 208-foot oceanographic hulls, AGOR 4-5 and AGS 31, for deactivation and layup (soon changed to reduced readiness status) for a minimum period of one year as part of an AGOR cutback program. (The fourth ship was probably AGS 36, see AGM 16.) In June 1970 he assigned S P LEE (AGS 31) to the Naval Undersea Research and Developmennt Center (NUC) at San Diego for use as a laboratory research vessel for a minimum of two years. Her mission was to produce acoustic information in support of both anti-submarine and pro-submarine operations. The transfer occurred on 10 September 1970, and on 23 September 1970 the Oceanographer asked OPNAV to change the hull designation of the ship from T-AGS 31 to T-AG 192 for the period of her assignment to NUC. The classification was changed by CNO on 25 September 1970 effective that date. At NUC she took over programs previously handled by REXBERG (EPCER 855) and MARYSVILLE (EPCER 857). Her initial two year assignment at NUC was extended to February 1974.

Ship Notes:
AGSNameMANotes
25KELLARFY 1962. Contract with Marinette canc. 14 Apr 1965, completion assigned to Avondale. Sunk in hurricane Betsy 9 Sep 1965 while in Navy hands. New contract 30 Jul 1966 with Boland for completion with a delivery date of Jan 1969. Loaned to Portugal as CDTE ALMEIDA CARVALHO (commissioned 21 Jan 1972 at Treasure Is., Calif.). Sold to Portugal 11 Feb 1988. Struck 2002.
31S P LEEFY 1965. Name assigned 17 Aug 1966. To MSTS 13 Dec 1968. On 25 September 1970 effective that date S P LEE (T-AGS 31) was reclassified to T-AG 192. Loan to C&GS Feb 1974 to 1 Aug 1992, officially transferred 27 Feb 1974. FMS sale to Mexico 1992 as ANTARES.

Page Notes:
Compiled: 19 Oct 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Sources: DB, Maroon, NVR