USS Investigator (AGR-9)

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Career (USA) Union Navy Jack 100x35px
Name: USS Investigator
Namesake: One who makes an inquiry or examination
Ordered: as type (Z-EC2-S-C5) hull, MCE hull 2336
Builder: J. A. Jones Construction Co. Inc., Panama City, Florida
Laid down: date unknown, as Liberty ship SS Charles A. Draper
Launched: 9 January 1945
Sponsored by: Mrs. E. L. Cills
Acquired: by the U.S. Navy, 2 July 1956
Commissioned: 16 January 1957 as USS Investigator (YAGR-9) at Charleston Naval Shipyard
Decommissioned: 29 March 1965
Renamed: Investigator, 1956
Reclassified: AGR-9, 28 September 1958
Refit: converted to a Radar Picket Ship at Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, South Carolina
Struck: 1 April 1965
Homeport: Davisville, Rhode Island
Honours and
National Defense Service Medal
Fate: sold to Pakistan 23 December 1971; scrapped in Spain 15 May 1971
General characteristics
Type: Guardian-class radar picket ship
Tons burthen: 10,760 tons
Length: 441' 6"
Beam: 56' 11"
Draft: 24'
Installed power: two Electric Generators
Propulsion: two 220 PSI boilers; one 3 cylinder triple-expansion reciprocating engine; one 4 blade, 18' 6" propeller; Shaft Horsepower 2,500
Speed: 11 knots
Capacity: Fuel Oil, 443,646 gals; Diesel, 68,267 gals; Fresh Water, 15,082 gals; Ballast, 1,326,657 gals fresh water
Complement: 13 officers, 138 enlisted
Armament: two 3"/50 guns

USS Investigator (AGR-9/YAGR-9) was a Guardian-class radar picket ship acquired by the U.S. Navy in 1956 from the “mothballed” reserve fleet. She was reconfigured as a radar picket ship and assigned to radar picket duty in the North Atlantic Ocean as part of the Distant Early Warning Line.

Liberty ship built in Florida

Investigator (YAGR-9) was launched by J. A. Jones Co., Inc., Panama City, Florida, as Liberty Ship Charles A. Draper 9 January 1945; sponsored by Mrs. E. L. Cills; and delivered 24 January 1945 to Polarus Steamship Co., Inc.

World War II service

The ship carried replacement aircraft and cargo until the end of the war and entered the James River National Defense Reserve Fleet 26 October 1945.

1957-1965 radar picket duty

After a brief period of service in 1947, she entered the Reserve Fleet at Mobile, Alabama, and was acquired by the Navy 2 July 1956. Renamed Investigator, she was converted to Navy use at Charleston Naval Shipyard and commissioned there 16 January 1957, Lt. Comdr. J. H. Mehus in command.

Equipped with the latest in air search and tracking systems, the ship conducted her shakedown training in the Caribbean and departed Guantanamo Bay for her new home port, Davisville, Rhode Island. Investigator began her operational pattern of three- to four-week cruises in the North Atlantic Ocean as the seaward extension of the Continental Air Defense Command's air early warning system. Operating with search aircraft, she could detect, track, and report aircraft at long ranges, and could control high speed U.S. interceptor aircraft and direct them to targets.

The ship was reclassified AGR-9 effective 28 September 1958. She continued radar picket station duties for the Continental Air Defense Command, detecting and tracking inbound airborne objects and controlling jet interceptor aircraft until decommissioned 29 March 1965.


Her name was struck from the Navy List 1 April 1965. She was transferred the same day to the U.S. Maritime Commission and entered the Maritime Hudson River Defense Reserve Fleet, New York, where she remained until sold for scrap in Spain, 15 May 1971.

See also