It is with a heavy heart that the Hansen family informs you that John passed away peacefully in January 2023. We know how much John enjoyed managing this website and connecting with all of you over the years. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm.

The site will remain owned by the Hanson family and is now being maintained by a New Admin

All the best, The Hansen Family

Feb 20, 2024 Added the book; "Oceanographic ships, Fore and Aft" to the Books and Technical Papers section. This book gives surprising insite to the massive numbers of survey ships that existed up through 1971.

The "Triplets" are mentioned of course, but are only 3 amongst dozens of others!! An interesting read!

Submitted by Bob Lord.

Feb 11, 2024 Updated the Bowditch Crew Portraits with Scott Natte's crew photo from 1983. Also added Scott to the Crew Member Portraits and the Photo Galleries.

May 24, 2023 Updated Fred Martin's entry on the TAGS Ship Crew Roster.

Sept 10, 2023 Updated the TAGS Ship Photo Gallery Directory with a photo of Captain Bondeson.
Added a Master's Brass Nameplate picture to Captain Bondeson's photo essay page

May 24, 2023 Warren Rodie, Michael Lopes, and Mike Fitzherbert added to the TAGS Ship Crew Roster.

December 23, 2022 Updated the TAGS Ship Crew Roster.

November 30, 2022 Corrected some format errors in the TAGS Ship Crew Roster.

November 2, 2022 Two photos added of Michelson at Bergen and one of Bowditch at Southampton. These can be found in the Michelson and Bowditch Ship's Portraits pages. Also, added an article from a Coast Guard magazine with a photo showing MSTS Captain Landry recieving an award for the SS Grand rescue. Landry was Michelson's master at the time of the rescue.

October 30, 2022 Updated the TAGS Ship Crew Roster based on recent postings to the Guest Log.

October 15, 2022 Updated the TAGS Postal History page.

July 30, 2022 A photo of General Instruments tech rep Mike Rizzo and his canine friend added to Crewmwmember Portraits. Thanks to Bowditch photographer Steve Bevacqua (1983) for sharing this.

July 21, 2022 Another photo added to Dutton Ship's Portraits. Dated July 29, 1976, inscribed "Seattle Ship File" and "Official Navy Photograph" on back." Description taped to back reads "USNS Dutton as seen from lifeboat during drills at sea." Purchased on Ebay by John Hansen 7/2022. A different undated and unidentified copy of this photo was posted here earlier.

July 9, 2022 Another Dutton cover added to the TAGS postal history page. Naval covers are envelopes, or sometimes postal cards, postmarked aboard ship. Some have a cachet, an imprinted image or rubber stamped design, to create an interesting postal souvenir. We now have images of eight Bowditch covers, 20 from Dutton, three from Michelson and seven postmarked aboard H. H. Hess.

July 4, 2022 While Bowditch was in drydock at Falmouth, Cornwall during December 1971 and January 1972 the OcUnit crew was housed in a seaside hotel. Photos from their stay are presented in a new photoscroll.  These pictures are extracted from the original Bowditch cruise books contributed by Bob Lord. See more at Full Screen Photo Scrolls. 

June 7, 2022 Former Bunker-Ramo rep Bob Lord contributed his collection of original Bowditch cruise book paste-ups from the early 1970s. The photos in these are now being scanned, enlarged and added to the Full Screen Photo Scrolls. 

While these cruise books contain whimsical comments and captions that are nearly incomprehensible today, the photos convey a marvelous picture of life aboard ship and in port.

Images of the entire cruise book pages appear in the Bowditch Ship's Newspapers section.

June 5, 2022 Added photos to the Bowditch and H. H. Hess Ship Portrait pages. Bowditch is seen at Rio in 1985-86 and Bowditch at Liverpool in an undated photo. Also, more photos added to the Victory Ship Photo Gallery.

May 20, 2022 More photos added to Michelson's Ship Portraits. Also, Top of the World, a new page featuring Navy cruise certificates (Bluenose, Shellback, etc.), awarded to sailors at memorable milestones during their wide ranging travels.

May 10, 2022 Commentaries, Reminiscences and Sea Stories have been updated and reformatted.

May 6, 2022 More photos of the ship added to Dutton Portraits, including two of SS Tuskegee Victory, Dutton's originsl incarnation. Article about the Seagoing Cowboys added to Bowditch Early Operations. As SS South Bend Victory, the ship transported live cattle to Europe in 1946-47.

April 30, 2022 The Crew Roster has been corrected and updated from Guest Log entries.
April 21, 2022 The Memorabilia pages have been reformatted. Memories of SS Joliet Victory updated with wartime action reports and a 1953 crew manifest.

April 16, 2022 Four "Bowditch Spitoon" cruise books from 1978 were added to our collection of nautical newspapers.

April 10, 2022 Full Screen Photoscrolls and the landing (index) page have been reformatted as part of an effort to make the site look better on tablet (iPad) devices.

March 18, 2022 Headshots (crewmember portraits) has been reformatted and photos added.  Guest Log reformatted.

March 13, 2022 All of the Ship's Newspapers and Cruise Books have been reworked in a new format with an updated document viewer. These are now easier to page through and feature a zoom in magnification on hover.

February 20, 2022 Reformatting of all of the Photo and Photo Essay Galleries is now complete. Images are now arranged in a mosaic grid format and open in a lightbox effect. Also, the Commentaries and Memorabilia pages have been reworked.

January 22, 2022 Full Screen Photoscrolls are being added to the site. These collections of  pictures can be viewed using the scroll wheel on a mouse or the "two finger gesture" on a laptop trackpad.

December 27, 2021 Crew Roster updated.

December 10, 2021 Added a page of Ship's Drawings. These are USNS Dutton's blueprints when converted to a survey ship in 1958, rendered in black and white.

November 30, 2021 Installed a new File Uploader. Visitors may now add comments to their submissions of files, photos, videos and sea stories.

November 11, 2021 More naval covers (postmarked stamped envelopes) added to the TAGS Postal History page.

October 31, 2021 More ship's portraits added of USNS Dutton and USNS H. H. Hess.

October 1, 2021 A photo of Bowditch docked at Bremerhaven added to the ship's portraits. This one pictures the ship tied up starboard side to, with a dozen 20 foot United States Lines shipping containers and three old style (pre-container) cranes on the pier. Photo purchased from a seller in Berlin on Ebay.

September 1, 2021 Another photo added to the Bowditch Ship's Portraits page, an unusual stern port quarter view. This is from a color slide for sale on Ebay, taken at an unidentified foreign port.

August 20, 2021 Added a new page, Memories of SS Joliet Victory. More photos added to the Victory Ship Photo Gallery.

July 23, 2021 Four more Dutton covers added to the TAGS Ship Cover page. This is postal history stuff, images of envelopes and postal cards postmarked aboard ship.

July 9, 2021 More names added to the Crew Roster.

July 6, 2021 More 1970-71 Dutton photos added to the Ship's Portrait page and to Channing Zucker's Photo Gallery.

June 22, 2021 Photos and images on the Systems and Equipment page now open in "lightbox" format. Internal and external links corrected.

June 17, 2021 Three editions of the Dutton Digest and three Dutton Familygrams from 1970-71 have been added to the Ship's Newspapers. Opened a new Photo Gallery page for Channing Zucker.

June 10, 2021 Commentaries, Reminicences and Sea Stories have been reformatted and new material added.

June 3, 2021 Carl Friberg was first mate aboard Dutton in 1970-71. When he posted this photo in 2007 he had forgotten who was in the picture with him, taken in the pilot house. Carl is on the left , LCDR Channing Zucker, OcUnit 2 CO, is in the center and John J. Cullen, the ship's Master, is at the right. Thanks to Channing Zucker for the update.

May 31, 2021 Ron Walker contributed more Dutton photos to his Photo Gallery. 

May 16, 2021  More pictures added to Bill Truslow's photo gallery.

May 7, 2021  More photos added to the Victory Ship Photo Gallery.

April 26, 2021  More TAGS ship covers (postmarked aboard ship) added to our postal history (Naval Ship Covers) page.

April 17, 2021  Two more names added to the Crew Roster. Thanks to Bill Truslow for the updates.

March 15, 2021  More photos added to the  Victory Ship photo gallery.

March 9, 2021  The punched paper tape that was used to boot the Bowditch SASS array sonar's CP-677 computer now scrolls across this website's index (landing) page. It resided in Christine Headley's desk drawer for 42 years until recently.

February 17, 2021  Added a Victory Ship photo gallery with images of 70+ VC2 class vessels.

February 14, 2021  Dutton and Michelson ship's movements pages updated.

February 13, 2021  A new posting in the blog En Visita de Cortesia tells about the Sea Cowboys. The SS South Bend Victory (later USNS Bowditch) and other vessels transported cattle, horses, chickens, goats and rabbits from the US to European countries in the days after WW II.

February 11, 2021  Posted under Bowditch Newspaper Articles is a item from La Guardia Espanola of December 31, 1967, reporting on a Barcelona port visit by USNS Bowditch. The inaccurate and somewhat amusing story claims that the crew wore "helmets demagnetized to avoid disturbances in the trajectories of the Polaris missiles". Perhaps this was an early tin foil hat conspiracy!

Thanks to Antoni Casinos for sending this along to us.

February 9, 2021  Images of the AN/UYK-1 computer logand cards added to the systems & equipment page. Thanks to Phil Brooks for sending these.

January 31, 2021  A new photo gallery for 27 Bowditch photos contributed by David Crestin along with four issues of the Bowditch Surveyor from 1965 added to the Bowditch ship's newspapers page.

January 26, 2021  Phil Brooks sailed aboard both Michelson and Dutton. A photo of his custom made TAGS ship hats can be seen on his memorabilia page.

January 18, 2021  Three photos added to the Dutton ship's portraits pages.

January 3, 2021  Two photos added to the Bowditch and Dutton ship's portraits pages.

January 1, 2021  Reworked the naval ship covers page, fixing the goofed up image magification. Added five more covers (envelopes) postmarked aboard TAGS ships. Added note about Michelson covers being postmarked at a landlocked Pennsylvania Navy supply center.

December 19, 2020  Added to Flotsam & Jetsam, some screen grabs from the 1958 movie The Decks Ran Red, filmed aboard an operating Liberty ship.

December 15, 2020  Three more naval ship covers added. These are interesting postal souvenirs documenting the TAGS ships' movements worldwide.

December 11, 2020  More updates to the crew roster and more headshots added.

November 29, 2020  More pictures added to Bill Truslow's photo gallery and memorabilia page.

November 15, 2020  Added another photo of Bowditch and a new item to Ron Walker's memorabilia page.

November 8, 2020  Bowditch, Dutton and H. H. Hess ship's movement pages updated. Thanks to Bill Truslow.

October 26, 2020  Crew roster updated.

October 24, 2020  An excellent photo of Captain Bondeson in dress uniform aboard Michelson and some news clippings in a new photo gallery. Thanks to Constance Niclas.

October 19, 2020  New items added to Bill Truslow's memorabilia page and Bill and Ron Walker's photo gallery pages.

October 7, 2020  Reworked and expanded the Systems and Equipment section.

October 2, 2020  Fixed broken links in List of Contributors.

September 29, 2020  Added a newly discovered photo of SS Tuskegee Victory at Antwerp and two 1964 photos of Michelson at Port Canaveral in Ship's Portraits.

September 20, 2020  Crew roster updated. There are now more than 1500 shipmates listed.

September 7, 2020  Bowditch, Dutton, Michelson and H. H. Hess ship portrait pages reformatted.

September 6, 2020  Flotsam & Jetsam, a new section of miscellaneous maritime material added. Includes an intriguing piece called Who Really Discovered the Titanic by Dr. Paul Lee.

August 30, 2020  Bowditch, Dutton, Michelson and H. H. Hess ship's movement pages reformatted and updated.

August 28, 2020  NAVOCEANO Bulletins added to reformatted Newpaper Articles pages.

August 24, 2020  H. H. Hess ship's newspaper page added. BoWatch from October 1981, February 1982 and July 1982 furnished by Bill Truslow.

August 14, 2020  Bowditch Spitoon from February 1982, March, April, May and August 1983 and December 1984 were added to the ship's newspapers. Thanks to Bill Truslow for sending them.

August 12, 2020  Crew roster updated. There are now more than 1400 shipmates listed.

August 8, 2020  A new article about the Victory Ship Electrical System.

July 29, 2020 Some nice comments in the guest log about Captain Bondeson, master of USNS Michelson and and USNS Bowditch during the 1960s from persons who knew him. A biographical article about the captain can be found here.

July 26, 2020  A new article about the Victory Ship steering system.

July 24, 2020  Crew roster updated.

July 23, 2020  Links to information on the Bendix G-15 computer added to the Equipment and Systems page. Thanks to Phil Brooks for the links.

July 16, 2020  Added an extended version of Michelson at Sea video by Phil Brooks.

July 9, 2020  A new article about Victory Ship propulsion.

July 5, 2020  Memorabilia page for USNS H. H. Hess added as well as new photos in the ship portrait page.

July 2, 2020  The communications equipment installed in NIC c. early 1970s is identified here.

May 30, 2020  A page of Naval Ship Covers added. Not a sailor's white hat, a naval cover is an envelope or post card postmarked and mailed aboard ship. These sometime have a cachet, a printed or rubber stamped image.

May 28, 2020  Bowditch cruise books from October 1972 and June 1976 were added. Thanks to Bob Lord for sending them.

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