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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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(AG-165: dp. 8,345 (lt.); l. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 22'9"; s. 11 k.; cpl. 213; a. none; cl. Oxford; T.-Z-EC2-S-C-5)

Communities in 22 States.

Georgetown (AG-165), a converted "Liberty-type" cargo ship, was laid down as Robert W. Hart under Maritime Commission contract 4 May 1945 by New England Shipbuilding Corp., South Portland, Maine; launched 10 July 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Fred W. Woolsey; and delivered under General Agency Agreement from WSA to Agwilines, New York, N.Y., 2 August 1945.

Robert W. Hart sailed in merchant service until entering the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Wilmington, N.C., in December 1946. She was chartered by Waterman Steamship Corp., Mobile, Ala., 31 January 1947 and operated under bareboat charter until 29 October when she entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Jamestown, Va. Acquired by the Navy 10 August 1962, she was taken to Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va., for conversion to a technical research ship; renamed Georgetown (AG-165) 6 March 1963; and commissioned at Norfolk 9 November 1963, Comdr. W. A. Gleason in command.

Equipped with the latest communications and electromagnetic research installations, Georgetown sailed for shakedown at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 2 January 1964. She was reclassified AGTR-2 on 1 April 1964 and began her operational service 13 April. Assigned to Service Squadron 8, she operated in the Caribbean until June, then departed Norfolk 30 June on a 4-month deployment along the eastern coast of South America. After participating in electronic research programs, she returned to Norfolk 26 October.

Departing Norfolk 5 January 1965, Georgetown steamed via the Panama Canal to the Southeast Pacific for research operations off the coast of Chile. Before returning to Norfolk 14 May, she also operated in the Caribbean. Between 20 July and 13 October she again operated off the eastern coast of South America; and, after returning to Norfolk, she received new electronics equipment, including a Communications Moon Relay System. She departed Norfolk 14 December and resumed important research and test equipment operations in the Caribbean and equatorial Pacific. The year 1966 was a busy one for Georgetown. Besides an outstanding performance gathering valuable information about the ocean, she made two rescues at sea, transited the Panama Canal four times, passed through the eye of a hurricane, and won the Battle Efficiency "E."

At present Georgetown continues a long-standing Navy tradition of maintaining the highest standards in scientific research requirements.

Published: Mon Jul 13 09:12:05 EDT 2015