(AGM-2: displacement 935 (full load); length 176-6-; beam 32-; draft 11-5-; speed 10 knots; complement 24)
A ship stationed in the anticipated landing area of a space vehicle.
Range Recoverer (AG-161) was built for the Army in 1944 as FS-278 by the Wheeler Shipbuilding Corp., Whitestone, N.Y.; acquired by the Navy in April 1960; converted by Pacific Ship Repair, San Francisco; and placed in service as AG-161 on 22 June 1960, Capt. John Strom in command.
Named Range Recoverer on 12 July, she reported to the Pacific Missile Range in August 1960. On 27 November she was reclassified a missile range instrumentation ship and designated AGM-2. She is equipped with telemetry, data processing and radio instruments as well as recovery facilities to retrieve nose cones.
Manned by a Civil Service crew of the Military Sea Transportation Service, Range Recoverer served first as a telemetry and recovery ship on the Pacific Missile Range where she launched, tested, and evaluated the Regulus missile; then, in July 1962, shifted to Little Creek, Va., to support the NASA facility at Wallops Island, Va. There she replaced two T-1 tankers, Dumont and Whitlock, damaged during a storm. Since that time, into 1970, Range Recoverer has operated out of Little Creek primarily between Wallops Island and the splash down area near Bermuda.
NASA, assisting other government agencies, has also loaned Range Recoverer to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, to conduct oceanographic surveys off the coast of Virginia.
16 September 2005