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USS Littlehales (AGSC 15) on 11 Oct 1963.
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Class: LITTLEHALES (AGSC 15)
Design: Navy YF 257
Displacement (tons): 300 light, 650 full
Dimensions (feet): 133' oa x 31' e, 30' wl x 9' max nav
Speed (kts.): 10
Propulsion (HP): 1,000
Machinery: Geared diesel, 2 screws
|15||LITTLEHALES||14 Feb 1959||Erie Concrete & Steel||31 May 1945||28 Aug 1945||COM/SRV|
|15||LITTLEHALES||1 Apr 1968||20 Feb 1968||3 Apr 1969||Target||--|
YF 854, a standard World War II 132-foot self-propelled covered lighter (YF), was completed on 28 October 1945, delivered on 31 October 1945, and then laid up without being put into service. The remaining vessels in her contract, YF 853 and 855-860, were cancelled on 29 August 1945. She was at one point considered for postwar use as a range tender. On 25 August 1958 her commander wrote to CNO that his ship, which had not been used previously, had been placed in commission in 1952 at the request of the Hydrographic Office to assist in its hydrographic and oceanographic programs. Since then the vessel had conducted surveys in Panama, Alaska, and almost every port on the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts. In the coming years he expected that East coast ports would receive similar coverage. (By early 1959 the ship had been reassigned to Commander Eastern Sea Frontier.)
The ship's commander continued by noting that in 1952 many commissioned ships including LSTs and PCs had been nameless but that since then almost all commissioned ships had been given names, leaving the YF to share "its illegitimate status with only such plebeian types as the LSM and the floating drydock." He felt that a ship that was expected to operate independently at sea on voyages of up to 3,000 miles was deserving of more than a number. He also suggested that if the ship was not considered worthy of a name it could be redesignated as an AGSC (coastal surveying ship). This would prevent costly administrative and logistic errors by people who failed to consider that a YF service craft might be located away from its home port. The suggestion was favorably received and the name LITTLEHALES was proposed, honoring George Washington Littlehales who was Principal Scientist of the Hydrographic Office from 1885 to 1932. On 14 January 1959 CNO approved the change of the designation YF 854 to AGSC 15 effective 14 Feb 1959. The name was assigned on 3 March 1959 effective 14 Feb 1959. USS LITTLEHALES (AGSC 15) then operated for most of the next decade and was struck before being decommissioned.
|15||LITTLEHALES||(EX YF 854, completed 17 Dec 1952)|
Compiled: 19 Oct 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021