USNS Michelson TAGS-23
Oceanographic Detachment/Unit Three

About the Ship

USNS Michelson T-AGS-23 was converted from the WWII Victory ship SS Joliet Victory

Early Operations

About SS Joliet Victory during World War II and in 1953.

  • Recollections by an Original Crewmember, Submitted by Arthur H. Stimson

  • Joliet Victory At the Battle of Leyte, Submitted by Chet Headley

  • The Diary of a Seaman Aboard SS Joliet Victory

  • SS Joliet Victory at Iwo Jima in March 1945 (Microfilm Records from National Archives)

  • SS Joliet Victory Crew Roster, September 1953

Michelson Portraits

Crew Portraits

Group pbotos of Navy personnel and civilian tech reps aboard Michelson 1963-73.

Crew Rosters

  • Combined TAGS Ship Rosters

  • Oceanographic Unit Three Crew Roster 1968

  • Oceanographic Unit Three Crew Roster May 1969

Significant Events

Accounts of the SS Grand Rescue January 1965

  • Pictures and Commentary Contributed by Chet Headley

  • Photos from Jeff Lawrence

  • Account in Pacific Voyager

  • Sealift Magazine Articles

  • Navy and Marine Corps Medal Award for Ben Gorman

Ship's Newspapers and Cruise Books

Newspapers and Cruise Books Produced Aboard Ship from 1962-74

Michelson at Sea Video

Michelson at sea with heavy wind and sea spray

Wide screen long version

Video by Phil Brooks

Ship's Documents

  • OcDet 3 Bulletin, June 12, 1961

  • Maintenance Assignments 1970-1971

  • Naval Message May 9, 1972

  • Food Service Menus 1961

Ship's Movements

Michelson's Voyages and Ports of Call 1958-74

Newspaper Articles

  • Sealift Magazine February 1962

  • River Falls Journal, River Falls, Wisconsin, 1999

Final Fate

According to a hand written notation in the Bowditch "The Crew's Cruise Book May 5, 1975", page 3, Michelson was "detained by Coast Guard, unfit for sea".

Michelson was taken out of service in 1975 and disposed of by US Maritime Administration sale on September 22, 1977, sold to National Metal and Steel Corp. for scrapping.

Oceanograsphic Unit Three was later (c. 1978) embarked on USNS H. H. Hess (TAGS-38) as Michelson's successor.

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