The USAS American Mariner was a U.S. Army research vessel from January 1959 to 30 September 1963. She was originally assigned to DAMP Project by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) to attempt to collect radar signature data on incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles in the Caribbean, the South Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. Her initial operations involved providing radar track on the Atlas missile, which was under development at the time. Subsequently, she provided track on other types of missiles as they proceeded through their development and operational stages.
Laid down in 1941 as the Liberty shipSS George Calvert (MC #20), she first saw service as the U.S. Coast Guard training ship TS American Mariner, where she served until 1953 when she was placed in reserve. After her Army career, she was transferred to the U.S. Air Force on 1 October 1963, and was redesignated the USAFS American Mariner. After Air Force service, she was transferred to the U.S. Navy and designated the USNS American Mariner (T-AGM-12). In 1966 she was scuttled in shallow waters of the Chesapeake Bay about 5 NM north west of Ewell, Smith Island, MD to be used for a target ship.
She appears to have been the only ship to have served in the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy after being built for service with the United States Merchant Marine.
Initial construction and early history
The keel for SS George Calvert' (build number 2007/MC... Read More