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USS Liberty (AGTR-5)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Liberty (AGTR-5)

The Navy contacted the Maritime Administration (MarAd) (formerly the Maritime Commission) on 14 February 1962 about acquiring Simmons Victory for conversion into a missile range instrumentation ship. Permanently transferred to the Navy from MarAd on 25 March 1963, the ship was delivered to the Willamette Iron & Steel Corp., Portland, Ore., for conversion. Simmons Victory, renamed Liberty and initially classified as a Technical Research Ship (communications and electromagnetic radiation), AG-168, on 8 June 1963, was reclassified to AGTR-5 on 1 April 1964.

USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was commissioned at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., at 1532 on Wednesday, 30 December 1964. Liberty stood in to San Francisco Bay on 7 February 1965, passing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge shortly before the start of the forenoon watch. USS Liberty (AGTR-5) moored at Pier D, Berth 4, U.S. Naval Supply Center, Oakland, Calif. at 0858, assisted by medium harbor tug USS Yuma (YTM-748) on her port quarter. Her course set for the Canal Zone, USS Liberty (AGTR-5) drilled frequently over the next eight days, the training ranging from general quarters, man overboard, steering casualty, darken ship, fire, and gunnery to crash stops and starts.

Underway for Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, at 0824 on 2 April 1965, USS Liberty (AGTR-5) stood past the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel at 1115, then stood out into the Atlantic “in accordance with CinCLantFlt [Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet] Fourth Quarter Employment Schedule.” During the forenoon watch the following day [3 April], she conducted roll stabilization tank tests, then wartime cruising drills.

USS Liberty (AGTR-5) reached Abidjan on 30 June 1966, mooring starboard side-to Pier 1, north quay wall, soon after which she received a boarding call from the Chief of Naval Operations of the Ivorian Navy (1150-1220). USS Liberty (AGTR-5) steamed thence to Lagos, standing in to the harbor there during the morning watch on 8 July 1966, mooring at buoys no.1 and no.2, soon thereafter, at 0835. During her visit, the technical research ship also hosted the Liberian Secretary of Defense (1220-1345) on 17 August, and a contingent from the Liberian Coast Guard the following day (0945-1110). Ultimately, USS Liberty (AGTR-5) cleared Monrovia at 0923 on 19 August, setting course for Norfolk.

 [6 June 1967], CinCUSNavEur informed ComSixthFleet that USS Liberty (AGTR-5) would come under his control at the start of the mid watch on 7 June “to facilitate area command and control and any possible requirement for protection during the Middle East hostilties,” and noted that local conditions might lead to a revision of the technical research ship’s schedule. Three hours later, ComSixthFleet encouraged USS Liberty (AGTR-5) to “maintain a high state of vigilance against attack or threat of attack,” specifically warning against the “unpredictability” of actions by the UAR. 

For a complete history of USS Liberty (AGTR-5) please see its DANFS page.