S.S. American Mariner as a missile tracking ship for the U.S. Army underway about 1962.
American Mariner began construction in Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard in Baltimore, MD, as S.S. George Calvert, U.S. Maritime Commission hull number 20.
Immediately upon launching, the standard construction and outfitting contract with Fairfield was cancelled, and she was towed to the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's Key Highway plant in Baltimore for completion as a cadet training ship.
At that time, her name was changed to American Mariner to become a companion to American Seaman and American Sailor as cadet training vessels.
She continued in service as a training ship until 1950, when she was laid up at Kings Point, NY.
She was still used for training even though laid up until December 1953 when she was transferred to the Hudson River Reserve Fleet at Jones Point, NY.
Here she remained until June 1958 when she was towed out of reserve for conversion into a missile tracking platform for the Army.
She began her new duties on the Atlantic Missile Range in January 1959. She continued as a missile tracking ship for various agencies until 1965.
On October 21, 1966 she was sunk in 20 feet of water in the Chesapeake Bay near Point Lookout, MD as a target ship for Navy pilots flying from Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
She remains there today.
Converted Liberty ship, cadet training, missile tracking.
S.S. American Mariner underway May 1961
S.S. American Mariner as a target ship in the Chesapeake Bay, May 1985.