USNS Mizar (T-AK-272, later T-AGOR-11), 1958-____



USNS Mizar, a 1850-ton Eltanin class ice-breaking cargo ship, was built at Avondale, Louisiana, for use in Arctic and Antarctic waters. Placed in service with the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) in March 1958, she spent the next several years supporting military construction, base operations and scientific endeavors in Greenland and northern Canada. In late 1961, she also made one supply trip to Antarctica.

In 1963, Mizar was converted to an oceanographic research ship, with a deep-submergence support capability. She was reclassified T-AGOR-11 in April 1964, and was operated by MSTS on behalf of the Naval Research Laboratory. During the 1960s she played an important role in locating and examining the wrecks of the lost nuclear submarines Thresher and Scorpion and in finding and recovering a lost thermonuclear weapon off the coast of Spain. Later, she helped locate other sunken submarines, including the French Eurydice and the Soviet "Golf" type K-129.

Mizar was assigned to the Military Sealift Command Pacific in 1975 and was heavily modified in about 1980, resulting in a greatly changed appearance. She continued her research functions throughout that decade, but left active service in the early 1990s and was turned over to the U.S. Maritime Administration. Her classification was subsequently changed back to AK-272. At present, Mizar is part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet in the James River, Virginia.

This page features all our images of USNS Mizar (T-AK-272, later T-AGOR-11).

For photographs of the wreck of USS Scorpion (SSN-589) taken by USNS Mizar in October 1968, see:

  • Wreck of USS Scorpion - Images taken in 1968.



    Click photograph for a larger image.

    Photo #: NH 79130

    USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11)


    Photographed on a winter day in the middle or later 1960s.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 72KB; 740 x 585 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 97572

    USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11)


    Photographed underway in icy waters, during the middle or later 1960s.

    U.S. NHHC Photograph.

    Online Image: 85KB; 740 x 630 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 97573

    USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11)


    Departing Boston, Massachusetts, 24 June 1964.
    Note notch in her stern, a design feature intended to assist pushing by another ship during ice navigation.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the NHHC.

    Online Image: 64KB; 740 x 520 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 97574

    USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11)


    Photographed circa 1970, by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, for which the ship was operated by the Military Sealift Command.
    The original caption, received with this photograph under date of October 1970, states: "... The ship has been used to investigate the ocean depths and to locate lost ships and, most recently, to find the site of the scuttled Liberty Ship Le Baron Russell Briggs which sank during August 1970 in 16,000 feet of water about 230 miles off the coast of Florida with 418 concrete and steel coffins of nerve-gas rockets aboard."

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the NHHC.

    Online Image: 127KB; 740 x 580 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 97575

    USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11)


    Is photographed by one of her crewmen, while she was moored at Naval Air Station, Adak, Alaska, during the 1980s.
    Photographed by Bob Borden, MSCPAC.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Military Sealift Command Collection at the NHHC.

    Online Image: 114KB; 570 x 765 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 97576-KN (Color)

    USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11)

    Photographed during the 1980s.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Military Sealift Command Collection at the NHHC.

    Online Image: 106KB; 740 x 590 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 97577

    USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11)


    "...... Side view of the towed sled used by the Navy research ship Mizar in the search for the nuclear submarine USS Scorpion (SSN-589). Various types of search and detection equipment can be mounted on this vehicle. Mizar yesterday located objects identified as portions of the hull of the Scorpion at a depth of more than 10,000 feet, about 400 miles southwest of the Azores."
    Quoted from the original caption, released with this photograph under date of 31 October 1968.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 69KB; 740 x 590 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 97578

    USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11)


    "...... Bottom view of the towed sled used by the Navy research ship Mizar in the search for the nuclear submarine USS Scorpion (SSN-589). Various types of search and detection equipment can be mounted on this vehicle. Mizar yesterday located objects identified as portions of the hull of the Scorpion at a depth of more than 10,000 feet, about 400 miles southwest of the Azores."
    Quoted from the original caption, released with this photograph under date of 31 October 1968.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 95KB; 740 x 615 pixels

     



    For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions





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