MV Retriever

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MV Retriever in 1966.jpg
MV Retriever in October 1966 (Apollo 1 training)
United States
Name: MV Retriever
Owner: NASA
Operator: NASA
Builder: Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans
Laid down: August 1954
Launched: 1954
In service: 1954
Out of service: 1972
Fate: ?
General characteristics
Class & type: LCT Mk 5
  • 133 short tons (121 t)
  • 286 short tons (259 t) (landing)
Length: 114 ft 2 in (34.80 m)
Beam: 32 ft 8 in (9.96 m)
  • 3 ft (0.91 m) forward
  • 4 ft 2 in (1.27 m) aft (landing)
Propulsion: 3 Gray Marine 225 hp (168 kW) diesel engines, triple screws
Speed: 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)
Range: 700 mi (1,100 km)
Capacity: 150 short tons (140 t) cargo
Complement: 1 officer, 12 enlisted

Motor Vessel Retriever was a World War II-era Landing Craft Utility transferred to NASA from the U.S. Army. It was used to train United States astronauts for post-splashdown ocean recovery operations and water egress from their command modules during the Gemini and Apollo programs from 1963 to 1972. It operated primarily in Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

MV Retriever was one of 500 Mk V LCTs built (numbered, not named). LCU-15301 was acquired by NASA under a reimbursable loan agreement dated March 4, 1963, from the U.S. Army at Ft. Eustis, Virginia.[1]

The sides of the vessel's midsection were cut down, a new bridge built and a hoist added for NASA use. It was under the jurisdiction of the Manned Spacecraft Center's Landing and Recovery Division, and its captains included Frank M. Gammon, Sr., CWO, US Army and Dino E. Bernardi, USCG (1971-72).



  1. ^ "MV Retriever". May 3, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 


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