Private Jose F. Valdez
An Army name retained.
Private Jose F. Valdez, originally Joe P. Martinez (MC hull 2245), was laid down by Walter Butler Shipbuilders Inc., Duluth, Minn., 22 April 1944; launched as Round Splice, 27 October 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Guy R. Porter; transferred to the American Shipbuilding Co., Chicago, III., for completion, 15 December 1944; and delivered to the U.S. Army for operation 16 February 1945.
Round Splice, owned by the Maritime Commission and operated by the Army Transportation Service during and after World War II, was renamed Private Jose F. Valdez in 1947. On 2 September 1950 she was acquired by the Navy, designated T–APC–119, and assigned to MSTS. Manned by a civil service crew she operated in the Gulf and Caribbean areas until August 1951. Between then and December she cruised the Mediterranean and in January 1952 began runs to Newfoundland and Greenland which continued until she was ordered inactivated in late 1959. On 22 December she arrived in the James River National Defense Reserve Fleet berthing area and was transferred to the custody of the Maritime Administration.
Private Jose F. Valdez was reacquired by the Navy in August 1961. Converted to a research vessel (AG–169) and reassigned to MSTS, she departed Brooklyn, her homeport, in November on the first of her extended hydrographic survey cruises to the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Into 1970 she has continued that work, primarily in African waters, with few interruptions.