USS Guardian (YAGR-1)
USS Guardian (AGR/YAGR-1) was a Guardian-class radar picket ship, converted from a Liberty Ship, acquired by the US Navy in 1954. Her task was to act as part of the radar defenses of the United States in the Cold War, serving until 1965.
USS Guardian (AGR-1), moored pierside, Boston, July 1960.
|Name||James G. Squires|
|Namesake||James G. Squires|
|Owner||War Shipping Administration (WSA)|
|Operator||Waterman Steamship Corp.|
|Ordered||as type (EC2-S-C5) hull, MC hull 3137|
|Builder||J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida|
|Laid down||20 March 1945|
|Launched||8 May 1945|
|Sponsored by||Mrs. Elisa Broome|
|Completed||31 May 1945|
|Fate||Placed in the, James River Reserve Fleet, Lee Hall, Virginia, 5 October 1945|
|Status||Acquired by US Navy, 1954|
|Namesake||One who guards or protects|
|Commissioned||1 February 1955|
|Decommissioned||28 July 1965|
|Reclassified||Guardian-class radar picket ship|
|Refit||Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, South Carolina|
|Homeport||Newport, Rhode Island|
|Fate||Placed in National Defense Reserve Fleet|
|Status||Sold for scrapping, 23 November 1970, withdrawn from fleet, 21 December 1970, scrapped, September 1971|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type|
|Beam||57 feet (17 m)|
|Draft||27 ft 9.25 in (8.4646 m)|
|Speed||11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph)|
|Capacity||490,000 cubic feet (13,875 m3) (bale)|
|General characteristics (US Navy refit)|
|Class and type||Guardian-class radar picket ship|
|Armament||2 × 3 inches (76 mm)/50 caliber guns|
Guardian (YAGR-1) was laid down on 20 March 1945, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MC hull 3137, as the Liberty Ship James G. Squires, by J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida. She was launched 8 May 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Elisa Broome; and delivered 31 May, to Waterman Steamship Corporation.
Acquired by the US Navy, she was taken out of reserve in 1954, she was converted to a radar picket ship at the Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina, and commissioned Guardian (YAGR-1), at Norfolk, Virginia, 1 February 1955, Lieutenant Commander Robert Eastman Euliss, in command.
The first ocean radar station ship put into service by the Navy, Guardian conducted shakedown in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, and surrounding waters, reporting to Newport, Rhode Island, her home port, 2 June 1955. In 1958 the Atlantic Ocean radar picket force relocated to Davisville, Rhode Island.
Equipped with highly sensitive radar gear to enable her to detect, track, and report any aircraft penetrating the continental United States, Guardian was attached to the Eastern Continental Air Defense Command. She and her sister ships spent 3 or 4 weeks at a time off the US East Coast and West Coast on radar picket duty, even in the heaviest winter weather in the North Atlantic Ocean.
In addition to radar picket duty, Guardian participated in ASW exercises with both American and Canadian naval units and in local operations out of Newport and Key West, Florida. Her designation was changed to AGR-1 on 28 September 1958.
Guardian was decommissioned 28 July 1965. She was returned to the Maritime Commission (MARCOM) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet. She was sold for scrapping, 23 November 1970, and withdrawn from fleet, 21 December 1970. She was scrapped in Bilbao, Spain, September 1971.
Military awards and honorsEdit
Guardian's crew was eligible for the following medals:
- "Guardian". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 26 November 2019. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "Jones Construction, Panama City FL". www.ShipbuildingHistory.com. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
- Davies, James (May 2004). "Specifications (As-Built)" (PDF). p. 23. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
- "SS James G. Squires". Retrieved 26 November 2019.
- "USS Guardian (AGR-1)". Navsource.org. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
- Photo gallery of USS Guardian at NavSource Naval History