Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Range Tracker

(AGM-1: displacement 11,100; length 455-; beam 62-; draft 22-; speed 17 knots; complement 89; class Range Tracker; type VC2-S-AP3)

A ship or shore-based radar system which follows the progress of missiles, space vehicles, and satellites.

Range Tracker (AGM-1) was laid down 6 April 1945 by Oregon Shipbuilding Corp. as Skidmore Victory (MCV hull 685); launched 19 May 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Harry C. Bates; delivered to Northland Transportation 18 June 1945; and later served American President Lines as President Buchanan. She was taken out of the National Defense Reserve Fleet in the late 1950s and converted by Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, Miss., into a complex electronics center; named Range Tracker and designated AG-160 on 12 July 1960; reclassified AGM-1 on 27 November 1960; and placed in service in May 1961.

A mobile tracking platform for recording data on missiles and satellites that are out of range of established land stations, Range Tracker was homeported at Port Hueneme, Calif., on the Pacific Missile Range from June 1961 to 1969. She was operated by the Military Sea Transportation Service with a Civil Service crew. In 1969, when the Air Force Systems Command no longer needed Range Tracker, she was placed out of service at Port Hueneme 27 September 1969; transferred to the Maritime Administration 12 November 1969; and laid up at Suisun Bay. On 10 July 1970, she was sold to American Ship Dismantlers, Inc., for scrapping.

16 September 2005

Published: Wed Aug 26 09:47:45 EDT 2015