(YAGR-1: dp. 10,160(f); l. 441'6"; b. 56'11"; dr. 24'; s. 11 k.; cl. Guardian)
One who guards or protects.
Guardian (YAGR-1) was launched as Liberty Ship James Squires 8 May 1945 by J. A. Jones Construction Co., Inc., Panama City, Fla.; sponsored by Mrs. Elisa Broome; and delivered 31 May to Waterman Steamship Co. The ship served until 5 October 1945, when she was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Va. Taken out of reserve in 1954, she was renamed Guardian, converted at Charleston Navy Yard, and commissioned YAGR-1 at Norfolk 1 February 1955, Lt. Comdr. Robert E. Euliss in command.
The first ocean radar station ship put into service by the Navy, Guardian conducted shakedown in Roosevelt Roads, P.R., and surrounding waters, reporting to Newport, R.I., her home port, 2 June 1955. Equipped with highly sensitive radar gear to enable her to detect, track, and report any aircraft penetrating the continental United States, Guardian is attached to the Eastern Continental Air Defense Command. She and her sister ships spend 3 or 4 weeks at a time off the East Coast on radar picket duty, even in the heaviest winter weather in the North Atlantic. In addition to radar picket duty, Guardian has participated in ASW exercises with both American and Canadian naval units and in local operations out of Newport and Key West. Her designation was changed to AGR-1 28 September 1958, and the ship at present remains as a vital part of our Nation's Atlantic defenses.
PT-809 (q.v.) was under the Potomac River Naval Command in November 1959 as a Civil Defense boat and as escort to the Presidential Yacht Barbara Ann, later Honey Fits. The name Guardian was assigned to her at the request of Captain Aurand, Naval Aide to President Eisenhower, but her official designation remains PT-809.