MISSILE MEASUREMENT SHIP
Radar - Missile Tracking
January 22, 1959
ABOARD THE NEW MISSILE RESEARCH SHIP
This videotape recorder, similar to that used by television networks
for recording and rebroadcasting programs, has been installed on the
Defense Department's new "missile measurement ship," the
S. S. [American] Mariner. to record flight
of missiles on the Atlantic test range.
It is part of elaborate system of electronic and optical instruments
installed by Radio Corporation of America to make vessel a veritable
floating laboratory. The ship, inspected by military and civilian
scientists today, (Thursday), January 22 at [the] Baltimore yard of
Maryland Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, is scheduled to sail tomorrow
to take up her duties.
Operating the recorder is Gerald G. Guess, of Bisbee, Ariz., one
of RCA crew of engineers who will operate the complex equipment.
Original Caption by Science Service
© Radio Corporation of America
February 21, 2005
AMERICAN MARINER with reference
American Mariner began construction in Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard
in Baltimore, MD, as S.S. George Calvert, U.S. Maritime Commission
hull number 20. Immediately upon launching, the standard construction
and outfitting contract with Fairfield was cancelled, and she was
towed to the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's Key Highway plant
in Baltimore for completion as a cadet training ship.
At that time, her name was changed to American Mariner to become
a companion to American Seaman and American Sailor as cadet training
vessels. She continued in service as a training ship until 1950, when
she was laid up at Kings Point, NY.
She was still used for training even though laid up until December
1953 when she was transferred to the Hudson River Reserve Fleet at
Jones Point, NY.
Here she remained until June 1958 when she was towed out of reserve
for conversion into a missile tracking platform for the Army.
She began her new duties on the Atlantic Missile Range in January
1959. She continued as a missile tracking ship for various agencies
On October 21, 1966 she was sunk in 20 feet of water in the Chesapeake
Bay near Point Lookout, MD as a target ship for Navy pilots flying
from Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
She remains there today.
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Courtesy: A. Davis Whittaker, Jr.