USS Palm Beach (AGER-3)

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Career (United States)
U.S. Army service:
Name: FS-217
Colonel Armond Peterson
Builder: Higgins Industries, New Orleans, Louisiana
In service: December 1944
Out of service: Placed in reserve 17 February 1956
U.S. Navy service:
Name: USS Palm Beach (AGER-3)
Acquired: 18 June 1966
Status: Sunk as Diving Wreck
General characteristics
Type: Design 427 coastal freighter
Displacement: 693 long tons (704 t)
Length: 180 ft (55 m)
Beam: 33 ft (10 m)
Draft: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Propulsion: 2 500hp GM Cleveland Division 6-278A 6 cyl V6 Diesel engines, twin screws
Speed: 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)
Complement: 42 as AKL, 83 as AGER
Armament: Two 12.7mm M2HB .50 caliber HMG's

USS Palm Beach (AGER-3) was a former Army Auxiliary Aircraft Repair Ship converted to an electronic and signals intelligence ship of the United States Navy.[1]

Service history[edit]

She was laid down as FS-217 one of the 18 specialized Design 427 variants of the Army Freight and Supply type, officially Vessel, Supply, Aircraft Repair, Diesel, Steel, 180', at Higgins Industries in New Orleans.[2] FS-217 was delivered to the US Army Transportation Corps operation under technical control of the United States Army Air Forces in December 1944. At some point, after delivery, the Army Air Forces named the repair vessels with FS-217 being named Colonel Armond Peterson.[2][3][note 1] The ship was first based in San Francisco, but later engaged in coastal surveys off the Lesser Antilles and coast of Central America. The ship was based at Balboa, Canal Zone before being placed in reserve status on 17 February 1956.[1]

Colonel Armond Peterson was acquired and converted by the United States Navy and redesignated as Light Cargo Ship Palm Beach (AKL-45) on 18 June 1966. She was converted to a Banner class environmental research ship at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and reclassified as AGER-3. The Palm Beach was commissioned on 13 October 1967 and served two years as an ELINT/SIGINT ship, deploying in the Mediterranean and in the North Sea. She was decommissioned and later struck on 1 December 1969.[1] She was sold to a private owner, then resold to a Panamanian company and renamed MV Oro Verde. The ship was eventually involved in drug smuggling and ran aground in the Cayman Islands. She was sunk by the Cayman Islands government as a SCUBA dive wreck. [4]

Commanders[edit]

USS Palm Beach had two commanders during her service:[4]

  • LCDR Albert Raper (13 May 1967 – 14 August 1968)
  • LCDR Donald Burson (14 August 1968 – 1 December 1969)

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Only the USAAF named the FS types, though some of the others gained names after the war.

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Grover, David (1987). U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-766-6. LCCN 87015514. 
  • Jackson, Ramon (23 January 2012). "Army FP/FS Vessels". Army Ships—The Ghost Fleet. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  • Naval History And Heritage Command (January 7, 2015). "Palm Beach". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History And Heritage Command. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  • NavSource Online (25 April 2014). "USS Palm Beach (AGER-3)". NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive. NavSource Online. Retrieved 29 March 2015.