USNS Timber Hitch (T-AGM-17)

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USNS Timber Hitch 1962.jpg
Timber Hitch receiving fresh water from the USAS American Mariner, Clarence Bay, Ascension Island, in December 1961.
Career (USA)
Name: USNS Timber Hitch
Namesake: A name retained
Builder: Consolidated Steel Corporation, Ltd., Wilmington, California
Laid down: date unknown, as a type (C1-M-AV1) hull, MC hull 2466
Launched: 12 October 1944
Completed: January 1945
Acquired: by the U.S. Navy in 1964
In service: circa 1958 as a missile tracker
Out of service: date unknown
Struck: 9 October 1969
Fate: disposed of by MARAD, 27 July 1977, fate unknown
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 Timber Hitch (T-AGM-17) was a U.S. Navy missile range instrumentation ship which earlier operated as the U.S. Air Force Ocean Range Vessel USAFS Timber Hitch (ORV-17) on the U.S. Air Force’s Eastern Test Range during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Timber Hitch operated under an Air Force contract with Pan American Airways Guided Missile Range Division headquartered in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Timber 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.

Timber Hitch operated in the intercontinental ballistic missile re-entry area near Ascension Island, and was home-ported out of Recife, Brazil.

Acquisition by the Navy

Timber 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.


Timber Hitch was struck from the Navy list 9 October 1969, and was scrapped by MARAD, 27 July 1977. Her subsequent fate is not known.

See also