USNS Shearwater (T-AG-177)

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Name: USNS Shearwater
Namesake: Shearwater, a long winged seabird
Builder: Hichenbotham Brothers Construction Division at Stockton, California
Laid down: date unknown, as USAT FS-411 for the U.S. Army
Completed: in April of 1945
Commissioned: 25 October 1944 as USAT FS-411
Decommissioned: 15 May 1947
In service: May 1964 as Survey Support Ship, USNS Shearwater (T-AG-177)
Out of service: February 1969
Reclassified: LSI(L)-882 on 28 February 1949
Struck: 12 July 1956; second time: circa 1969
Fate: transferred to the U.S. Army; fate unknown
General characteristics
Type: LCI(L)-398-class LCI(L)
Tonnage: 381 tons
Tons burthen: 935 tons
Length: 165 ft
Beam: 32 ft
Draft: 14 ft 3 in
Propulsion: two 500 hp General Electric diesel engines, twin screws
Speed: not known
Complement: 26 personnel
Armament: five 20mm machine guns

USNS Shearwater (T-AG-177) was a Shearwater-class miscellaneous auxiliary built during the final months of World War II, and then found to be excess to needs. She was placed back into service by the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1969, after which she was transferred to the U.S. Army.

Built in New Jersey

LCI(L)-882 was initially constructed as a LCI(L)-398-class LCI(L) and was laid down on 22 September 1944 by the New Jersey Shipbuilding Company at Barber, New Jersey as USAT FS-411; launched on 18 October 1944; and commissioned on 25 October 1944.

LCI(L)-882 reported for shakedown on 31 October 1944 and thereafter remained in the United States. She was placed out of commission, in reserve, on 15 May 1947, and berthed with the Florida Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs, Florida.

Planned conversion to minesweeper

Reclassified LSI(L)-882 on 28 February 1949, she was nominated for conversion to a coastal minesweeper equipped with underwater object locating equipment in October 1950. On 7 March 1952, LSI (L)-882 was designated Shearwater (AMCU-40). Her conversion to a mine hunter was cancelled in January 1954, and she remained out of commission in Florida. Effective 1 July 1954, she reverted to LSIL-882, having never served under the name, Shearwater.

Interim inactivation

On 11 July 1956, LSIL-882 was certified as not essential to national defense, and her disposal was authorized on 12 July 1956. LSIL-882 was struck from the Navy list on that same date.

Operational history as T-AG-177

Shearwater began her naval service as a survey support ship with the Military Sea Transportation Service in May 1964. Operated by a Civil Service crew, she operated in the Atlantic Ocean until mid-February 1969, when she was transferred to the U.S. Army.