Maury III AKA-36

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This Month in Naval History
Maury III AKA-36



(AKA-36: dp. 4,087; 1. 426'; b. 58'; dr. 16'; s. 16.9 k.; cpl. 303; a. 1 5", 8 40mm.; cl. Artemis; T. S4-SE2-BE1.)

The third Maury, built under Maritime Commission contract, was launched as Renate (AKA-36) by the WalshKaiser Shipyard, Providence, R.I., 31 January 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Joseph L. Baker; and commissioned 28 February 1945, Lt. Cmdr. Joseph F. Wickham in command.

Renate sailed from Portsmouth, Va., 31 March 1945 for Pearl Harbor where she took on passengers and cargo destined for Eniwetok, Ulithi, and Okinawa. Departing 14 May, she returned to Hawaii the day before the Japanese capitulation and was assigned to operation "Campus," the occupation of the defeated enemy's home islands. She got underway for Kyushu 1 September, mooring 16 days later at Sasebo where she disembarked units of the 5th Marines. Completing another occupation troop lift, from the Philippines to Sasebo, in early October, she joined in operation "Magic Carpet," the transportation of Pacific campaign veterans back to the United States. With San Francisco as her terminus --he completed two "Magic Carpet" runs by mid-January 1946.

The next month she sailed for the Fast Coast, arriving at Norfolk on the 26th. In June she entered Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for conversion to a survey ship and on 12 July was renamed Maury (AGS-16). As Maury she emerged from the shipyard in October with a new silhouette. Electronic survey and sounding equipment, as well as photographic, printing, and repair shops had been added within her compartments and a helipad, helicopter, and sound boats had been provided topside. The boats would be. used in charting positions and depths accurately, while the ship's helicopter would transport surveyors and their equipment to points ashore and perform aerial photographic missions.

On 6 January 1947 Maury got underway for the Pacific and her first hydrographic mission, the charting of the waters around Truk and Kwajalein. Having added to navigational knowledge of those areas she sailed for San Francisco, arriving 13 September and remaining until 11 July 1948. She then got underway for New York City where she reported for duty with Service Force, Atlantic Fleet, 10 August.

For the next 11 years Maury gathered navigational information with the Atlantic Fleet. Until 1952, her annual extended cruises of 7 to 8 months took her on survey missions to the Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf. In 1952 she began a resurvey of the North Atlantic. Through 1957 she served in the Western Atlantic, surveying as far north as Newfoundland in the summer months and working to the south, as far as the West Indies, during the winter.

In 1958 Maury returned to the Mediterranean for an abbreviated deployment, 3 February to 9 May. In July her North Atlantic resurvey missions were extended and she crossed the ocean to chart the waters in and around the Shetland and Faroe Islands. Throughout this period, while fulfilling her primary assignment of correcting navigational charts, she added to meteorological knowledge by studying the North Atlantic's weather patterns, particularly with regard to hurricanes.

Early in the Spring of 1959 Maury again passed through the Straits of Gibraltar. Continuing on to the Eastern Mediterranean she began a study of the Turkish coast. By September she was ready to extend that survey to the Turkish Black Sea coast and on the 17th and 18th transited the Dardanelles. Maury thus became the first U.S. naval unit to enter the Black Sea since 1945.

The next year, 1960, Maury was transferred to the Pacific Fleet and by 22 March was operating out of Pearl Harbor. Attached to the 7th Fleet's logistic support group during her extended cruises, she completed a preliminary survey of the Gulf of Siam in preparation for her next long-range assignment, an accurate survey of designated areas of the southwestern Pacific and Indian Oceans. After modernization at Pearl Harbor, she returned to the Gulf of Siam in December with Serrano (AGS-24). Working together, Maury concentrated on hydrographic survey while Serrano gathered information on the physical and chemical makeup of the waters and ocean floor. During their 1961, 1962, and 1963 7th Fleet tours, the oceanographic vessels charted and collected data on the Gulf of Siam, the Andaman Sea, the Straits of Malacca and areas of the Philippines.

On 1 February 1965 Maury departed Pearl Harbor for a 4-month survey of the continental shelf off Buenaventura, Colombia. Returning to Oahu 2 June, she began preparations for her return to Southeast Asia. Departing 15 November she soon commenced a 7-month survey of the coast of strife torn South Vietnam. Concentrating on the Mekong Delta area during that cruise, she has resumed her study of the Vietnamese coast with each annual deployment. Into 1969 her efforts have added significantly to knowledge of the characteristics of the coastal area in which naval forces conduct riverine warfare and amphibious operations.


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