USS Locator (AGR-6)

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Name: USS Locator
Namesake: One who discovers a position
Ordered: as type (Z-EC2-S-C5) hull, MCE hull 2347
Builder: J. A. Jones Construction Co. Inc., Panama City, Florida
Laid down: 9 February 1945, as Liberty ship SS Frank O. Peterson
Launched: 23 March 1945
Sponsored by: Mrs. Evelyn Flynn
Acquired: by the U.S. Navy, 10 June 1955
Commissioned: 21 January 1956 as USS Locator (YAGR-6)
Decommissioned: 9 August 1965 at San Francisco, California
Renamed: Locator 12 September 1955
Reclassified: AGR-6, 28 September 1958
Refit: converted to a radar picket ship at Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, South Carolina
Struck: date unknown
Homeport: San Francisco, California
Fate: sold for scrapping, 4 January 1975
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 Locator (AGR-6/YAGR-6) was a Guardian-class radar picket ship acquired by the U.S. Navy in 1955 from the “mothballed” reserve fleet. She was reconfigured as a radar picket ship and assigned to radar picket duty in the North Pacific Ocean as part of the Distant Early Warning Line.

Liberty ship built in Florida

Locator (YAGR-6) was laid down as SS Frank O. Peterson by J. A. Jones Construction Co., Panama City, Florida, 9 February 1945; launched 23 March 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Evelyn Flynn; acquired by the Navy 10 June 1955; renamed Locator 12 September 1955; converted to naval use; and commissioned at Charleston, South Carolina, 21 January 1956, Lt. Comdr. Frank A. Wigner in command.

Departing Charleston 21 February, Locator steamed through the Panama Canal and arrived San Francisco, California, 17 March. After a period of repair and training she was assigned to a radar picket station off the U.S. West Coast. Coordinating operations with the Continental and North American Air Defense Commands, she detected, tracked, and reported all air contacts that came within her radar surveillance.

Locator was reclassified AGR-6 on 28 September 1958 and for the next 7 years continued the constant vigil at sea, ever ready to sound the signal of enemy air attack. Her operations at sea were alternated by in-port replenishment periods at San Francisco, California.


After contributing 9 years to the defense of the United States. Locator decommissioned at San Francisco 9 August 1965. Her name was struck from the Naval Register 1 September 1965 and was sold for scrapping, 4 January 1975.

See also