USNS Sampan Hitch (T-AGM-18)

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Career (USA)
Name: USNS Sampan Hitch
Namesake: A name retained
Builder: Walter Butler Shipbuilding Inc., Superior, Wisconsin
Laid down: date unknown, as a type (C1-M-AV1) hull, MC hull 2133
Launched: 12 July 1945
Completed: August 1945
Acquired: by the U.S. Navy in 1964
In service: circa 1958
Out of service: date unknown
Struck: date unknown
Fate: sold for scrapping 23 April 1973 to a South Korean steel firm
General characteristics
Type: missile range instrumentation ship
Tonnage: 3,366 tons
Tons burthen: 6,090 tons
Length: 338' 9"
Beam: 50' 4"
Draft: 17' 7"
Propulsion: Diesel, single propeller
Speed: 11.5 knots
Endurance: 30 days at sea
Complement: unknown
Sensors and
processing systems:
Armament: none

USNS Sampan Hitch (T-AGM-18) was a missile range instrumentation ship which earlier operated as the U.S. Air Force Ocean Range Vessel USAFS Sampan Hitch (ORV-1836) on the U.S. Air Force’s Eastern Test Range during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Sampan Hitch operated under an Air Force contract with Pan American Airways Guided Missile Range Division headquartered in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Sampan Hitch, assigned to the South Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean area, provided the Air Force with metric data on intercontinental ballistic missiles launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

Sampan Hitch operated in the intercontinental ballistic missile re-entry area near Ascension Island, and was home-ported out of South Atlantic Fleet Hqtrs, Chagaramus (Port of Spain) Trinidad, BWI.

Acquisition by the Navy

Sampan Hitch was acquired from the U.S. Air Force by the U.S. Navy in 1964.

Operational data

Operational data while on U.S. Navy service during post-1964 period on this vessel is lacking.


Sampan Hitch was struck from the Navy list at an unknown date, and was sold for scrapping 23 April 1973 to Dongkuk Steel Mill Company, Ltd., South Korea. Her subsequent fate is not known.

See also