Logo compliments of YAGR Association Harry Miller

USS Searcher AGR-4 
She was placed into service on 5 February 1945 as the Liberty Ship SS James W. Wheeler.  Commissioned 2 April, 1955 as YAGR-4 and reclassified 28 September 1958 as AGR-4.  She was decommissioned on July 1, 1965 and scrapped August 7, 1970.

USS SEARCHER Emblem from YAGR Exhibit on the USS MASSACHUSETTS

Here are a few pictures taken around 1960 on board the USS Searcher, a radar picket ship stationed at Davisville, RI.  

Looking toward the fantail with the SPS-8 Radar antenna in view.

USS SEARCHER AGR-4 in heavy seas

Sometime the Atlantic did not co-operate and with the round hull of these converted WWII Liberty ships 10 to 20 degrees of roll was the  norm.  We once took a 57 degree roll while changing course in a hurricane and were told that if the ship rolled a few more degrees than that, it would have been bottom side up.

The Searcher was the only  ship that could brag of having a swimming pool.  It was around 30 ft square and 3 feet deep just forward on the main deck.  I can remember cooling off in that salt water on hot days.  Other recreational activities included fishing off the fantail (usually shark), a basketball half court and weight room, and a movie theater below decks.

Yes, there were recreational activities, but most of our time was spent manning the radar screens to detect all the aircraft headed to the US mainland, transmitting data (secret or otherwise), maintaining the electronic equipment, providing for a sea worthy ship, detecting our weather conditions, creating great meals, keeping our health in order, smallstores..gedunk...haircuts.....just to mention some.....and the unsung heroes who kept those boilers going so we could return to port. 

Picket duty tended to be boring at times because of its length of time at sea vs. time in port.  Consequently, on occasion, instead of pulling into Davisville, RI we would head to another port for recreation.  During my tour from 1958 to 1961 we had three such excursions.  The first being Nova Scotia, 2nd was Bermuda, and 3rd Key West, FL.  They were welcome changes.  

Click on thumbnails below to view picture full size. After viewing click "back" on your browser to return to this page.


 SPS-17 Radar
AN/SPS17

 SPS-12 Radar

  Whale Boat
Motor Whale Boat

    3 sailors
3 sailors

 Charlie & Ski
Charlie & Ski

   3"50 gun
3 inch gun

Ski
Ski

SPS-8 Radar
AN/SPS-8

Quarterdeck
Quarterdeck

Bow at dusk
Bow

Other Web Sites 

Articles/Deck Logs/More Pictures/Events

John Westcott's Dress Blue Jersey at 2003 reunion

Join the YAGR Association  
USS SKYWATCHER AGR-3

USS TRACER AGR-15
 
USS WATCHMAN AGR-16
USS INVESTIGATOR AGR-9
USS INTERPRETER AGR-14

Battleship Cove Fall River, MA

navsource.org
List of Liberty Ships
Rates/Insignia's/Duties  
HullNumber.com



 2018 YAGR'S ASSOCIATION
REUNION

New Orleans, LA
Sept 18-23, 2018
Contact Lee Doyel
Director of YAGRS
yagrs16@cox.net

 


 

 

Memorial to those who lost their lives
Engine Room Fire on the High Seas


Ship's Company (over 1000 names listed)
YAGR REUNION 2006
YAGR REUNION 2005  
YAGR REUNION 2004 
YAGR REUNION 2003   

YAGR REUNION 2002
YAGR REUNION 2001
USS Searcher Emblem (Actual)
Navigation Techniques by Byron Franklin 
USS Outpost AGR-10 Ship's Emblem
Boston Naval Shipyard News Article On The USS Searcher
Read about when the USS Searcher lost its screw on the high seas.
Grueling Duty Will End Soon on 11 Picket Ships 
USS Searcher picture
 
Plan Of The Day Christmas 1959
 

1959 Christmas menu at sea
Guide to a good coffee "Mess"
Halifax Nova Scotia Visit
Total wages for 1960
It's a Small World
History of the USS SEARCHER
USS SEARCHER COMMISSIONING CEREMONY
Failed Rescue At Sea  
1965 Volleyball Tournament  
USS Skywatcher AGR-3 Picture  
Shark Fishing on board the USS Searcher  
Simulate Life On Board An AGR 
 
Searcher is towed to Boston - Dec. 16, 1959
Old Pictures 



Contributors to the USS Searcher Web Site
 
If you have any good stories, articles, or pictures, and want to share them to put on this site, please E-Mail me or contact me via my guest book.

I have recently sent some of you email to have it returned.  If you have changed you email address can you send me an email so I can get your new email address.

    E-Mail to Frank Pulaski (Ski)