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USNS Point Barrow (T-AKD 1) on 18 September 1959.
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Class: POINT BARROW (AKD 1)
Design: MA S2-ST-23a
Displacement (tons): 6,100 light, 10,615 full
Dimensions (feet): 465' oa, 435' wl x 74' e, 72' wl x 20' ext nav
Accommodations: 16 officers, 50 nonlicensed, plus 42 passengers
Speed (kts.): 15
Propulsion (HP): 6,000
Machinery: Steam turbines, 2 boilers, 2 screws
|1||POINT BARROW||5 Aug 1955||Maryland SB & DD||18 Sep 1956||25 May 1957||28 Feb 1958|
|1||POINT BARROW||T||27 Sep 1993||28 Sep 1993||18 Dec 1998||MA/T||15 Dec 2005|
On 8 August 1956 classifications and names were approved for four cargo ships (AK 269-272) and one Cargo Ship Dock (AKD 1) then under construction for MSTS that had not been named. Cargo Ship Dock (AKD) was noted on 28 June 1956 to be a new type similar to Dock Landing Ships, and AKD 1 received the name POINT BARROW, the northernmost point in the Arctic where the Navy operated a Dew Line site which was to be a focal point in the ship's operations. It seems likely that before the AKD designation was developed the designation AK 268 may have been reserved for this ship. The name was recommended by an officer in MSTS. Gibbs & Cox were probably the design agent. Like AK 270-272, the ship was ice-strengthened. She was modified in 1964-65 to carry Saturn rocket boosters to Cape Kennedy for the Apollo program.
The ship was converted to replace WHITE SANDS (ARD 20, later AGDS 1) and APACHE (ATF 67) as support ship for the TRIESTE II deep submergence vehicle. On 14 Feb 1974 POINT BARROW (AGDS 2) was ordered to be placed "In Commission, Special" on 26 Feb 1974 and, when determined ready on or about 31 January 1975, was to be placed in full commission and assigned to duty in the Submarine Force, Pacific Fleeet. On 20 Feb 1974 the ship's new operational commander requested a name change from POINT BARROW to POINT LOMA as the Coast Guard had a POINT BARROW and the new support ship was to be based at Point Loma. The name POINT BARROW (AKD 1) was changed to POINT LOMA (AGDS 2) by message on 23 Feb 1974 with a formal name notice to follow. On 25 Feb 1974 the prospective commissioning date was slipped two days to 28 Feb 1974, when she was placed in commission, special. On 8 March 1974 SECNAV cancelled the AGDS classification (Auxiliary Deep Submergence Support Vehicle, in the service craft category) used for WHITE SANDS and established a new AGDS classification (Auxiliary Deep Submergence Support Ship, in the auxiliary vessels category) for POINT LOMA. He also reported that the change of designation for POINT LOMA from AKD 1 to AGDS 2 had become effective on 28 February. After completing her deep submergence duties POINT LOMA supported TRIDENT SLBM test launches as a missile range instrumentation ship.
|1||POINT BARROW||43||FY 1955. [In service 9 May 1958, PHS.] Decomm. 1 Oct 1986 and to MSC. Inactivated 27 Sep 1993, strike approved 28 Sep 1993, to MA custody in SBRF 4 Oct 1993. Navy contract for BU 29 Sep 1995 and withdrawn 8 Feb 1996 but contract cancelled by Navy, ship repossessed 30 Jul 1997 and to MA for disposal. To MA custody from Mare Is. 10 Sep 1998. Departed SBRF 15 Feb 2006 for Brownsville (All Star Metals). Scrapping completed 27 Oct 2006 by Marine Metal Inc, Brownsville.|
Compiled: 7 Aug 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Sources: DB, Maroon, NVR, PHS