USS Interpreter (AGR-14)
USS Interpreter (AGR-14) was a Guardian-class radar picket ship, converted from a Liberty Ship, acquired by the US Navy in 1957. She was reconfigured as a radar picket ship and assigned to radar picket duty in the North Pacific Ocean as part of the Distant Early Warning Line.
USS Interpreter (AGR-14), underway, date and location unknown.
|Owner:||War Shipping Administration (WSA)|
|Operator:||Merchants & Miners Transportation Company|
|Ordered:||as type (EC2-S-C5) hull, MC hull 2341|
|Builder:||J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida|
|Laid down:||5 January 1945|
|Launched:||8 February 1945|
|Sponsored by:||Miss Carriek Cobitt|
|Completed:||21 February 1945|
|Fate:||Placed in the, National Defense Reserve Fleet, 1947|
|Status:||Acquired by US Navy, 5 June 1957|
|Namesake:||One who explains, translates, or tells the meaning of|
|Commissioned:||29 September 1958|
|Decommissioned:||1 July 1965|
|Reclassified:||Guardian-class radar picket ship|
|Refit:||Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Stricken:||1 July 1965|
|Fate:||Placed in National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, California, 1 July 1965|
|Status:||Sold for scrapping, 4 November 1974|
|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|
Interpreter (AGR-14) was laid down on 5 January 1945, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MC hull 2341, as the Liberty Ship Dudley H. Thomas, by J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida. She was launched 8 February 1945; sponsored by Miss Carrie Corbitt; and delivered 21 February 1945, to the Merchants and Miners Transportation Co., Boston, Massachusetts.
In 1946, after World War II, Dudley H. Thomas was converted to a livestock ship, also called a cowboy ship. From 1945 to 1947, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and the Brethren Service Committee of the Church of the Brethren sent livestock to war-torn countries. These "seagoing cowboys" made about 360 trips on 73 different ships. The Heifers for Relief project was started by the Church of the Brethren in 1942; in 1953, this became Heifer International. Dudley H. Thomas was one of these ships, known as cowboy ships, as she moved livestock across the Atlantic Ocean. Dudley H. Thomas moved 780 horses, several thousand baby chicks and hay bales to Poland, on each leg of her trip. Dudley H. Thomas moved horses, heifers, and mules, as well as some chicks, rabbits, and goats.
In 1947, with her war and relief work done, she was laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet.
In 1950, a new war was starting in the Far East, so she was removed from the Reserve Fleet in 1951.
Dudley H. Thomas served as merchant marine ship supplying goods for the Korean War. About 75 percent of the personnel taken to Korea for the Korean War came by the merchant marine ship. Dudley H. Thomas transported goods, mail, food and other supplies. About 90 percent of the cargo was moved by merchant marine naval to the war zone. Dudley H. Thomas made trips between 1951 and 1953, helping American forces engaged against Communist aggression in South Korea.
US Navy service
She was converted to a radar picket ship at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and commissioned Interpreter (AGR-14), 29 September 1958, Commander John Sherwood Craft, USN, in command.
One of a class of sixteen radar picket ships, Interpreter conducted shakedown exercises in the Caribbean before departing Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 1 February 1959, for her new home port, San Francisco, California.
Equipped with the most advanced long range radar and communications gear, Interpreter joined the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) as part of America's vital early warning system. Operating with search aircraft for periods of 3 to 4 weeks at sea, the ship reported and tracked aircraft at great distances and controlled interceptors in the event of enemy air attack.
Struck 1 July 1965, Interpreter was transferred to the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay-up in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, California, where she remained until sold for scrapping, 4 November 1974.
Honors and awards
Interpreter's crew was eligible for the following medals:
- J.A. Panama City 2010.
- Davies 2004, p. 23.
- Heifer International
- Sea going cowboys
- seagoingcowboys, In Memorium [sic], Posted on April 1, 2017
- Seacowboys report
- Korean War Educator, Merchant Marine, Accounts of the Korean War
- Small United States and United Nations Warships in the Korean War, By Paul M. Edwards
- "Interpreter". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 5 December 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 5 December 2019.
- Davies, James (May 2004). "Specifications (As-Built)" (PDF). p. 23. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
- "SS Dudley H.Thomas". Retrieved 5 December 2019.
- "USS Interpreter (AGR-14)". Navsource.org. 2 February 2018. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
- Photo gallery of USS Interpreter at NavSource Naval History