USS Vigil AGR-12.jpg
USS Vigil (YAGR-12), 2 April 1957, newly converted from a Liberty-type merchant cargo ship. Masts and kingposts support search and height-finding radars and a club-like Tacan aircraft navigation beacon.
United States
NameRaymond Van Brogen
NamesakeRaymond Van Brogen
OwnerWar Shipping Administration (WSA)
OperatorA.H.Bull & Co.Inc.
Orderedas type (EC2-S-C5) hull, MC hull 2339
BuilderJ.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida[2]
Yard number80
Way number2
Laid down14 December 1944
Launched27 January 1945
Sponsored byMrs. Mary Anne Durham
Completed10 February 1945
United States
Commissioned5 March 1957
Decommissioned3 March 1965
ReclassifiedGuardian-class radar picket ship
RefitPhiladelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Stricken1 April 1965
  • Hull symbol: YAGR-12 (1956–1958)
  • Hull symbol: AGR-12 (1958–1965)
General characteristics [3]
Class and type
  • 441 feet 6 inches (135 m) oa
  • 416 feet (127 m) pp
  • 427 feet (130 m) lwl
Beam57 feet (17 m)
Draft27 ft 9.25 in (8.4646 m)
Installed power
  • 2 × Oil fired 450 °F (232 °C) boilers, operating at 220 psi (1,500 kPa)
  • 2,500 hp (1,900 kW)
Speed11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph)
Capacity490,000 cubic feet (13,875 m3) (bale)
General characteristics (US Navy refit)[4]
Class and typeGuardian-class radar picket ship
  • 443,646 US gallons (1,679,383 l; 369,413 imp gal) (fuel oil)
  • 68,267 US gallons (258,419 l; 56,844 imp gal) (diesel)
  • 15,082 US gallons (57,092 l; 12,558 imp gal) (fresh water)
  • 1,326,657 US gallons (5,021,943 l; 1,104,673 imp gal) (fresh water ballast)
  • 13 officers
  • 138 enlisted
Armament2 × 3 inches (76 mm)/50 caliber guns

USS Vigil (AGR/YAGR-12) was a Guardian-class radar picket ship, converted from a Liberty Ship, acquired by the US Navy in 1956. She was reconfigured as a radar picket ship and assigned to radar picket duty in the North Atlantic Ocean as part of the Distant Early Warning Line.


Vigil (YAGR-12) was laid down on 14 December 1944, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MC hull 2339, as the Liberty Ship Raymond Van Brogan, by J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida. She was launched 27 January 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Mary Anne Durham, wife of manager machinery JAJCC; and delivered 10 February 1945, to the War Shipping Administration.[5][1]

Service history

Merchant service

Following a shakedown cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, the ship transited the Panama Canal, on 19 February, and headed for Terminal Island, California, where she was turned over to A.H.Bull & Co.Inc., for operation under contract to the War Shipping Administration.[5]

She performed several resupply missions in the Pacific Ocean theater, carrying aircraft as well as other materiel and some troops.[5]

Following the end of World War II, the War Shipping Administration transferred her contract to the Waterman Steamship Corporation, which firm operated her from Mobile, Alabama. In the summer of 1947, Raymond Van Brogan was taken out of service and berthed with the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Mobile.[5]

US Navy service

Nine years later, in June 1956, she was brought out of the US Maritime Commission's (MARCOM) reserve fleet for conversion to a radar picket ship and active service with the Navy. She was moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she completed her conversion at the naval shipyard.[5]

On 7 August 1956, she received a new name and her Navy hull designation to become Vigil (YAGR-12). She completed conversion early in 1957, and was placed in service on 5 March 1957, Lieutenant Commander Stanley Abstetar, USNR, in command.[5]

During Vigil's eight-year naval career, she was assigned to the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) and served as one of that organization's radar picket ships operating as seaward extensions of its radar coverage system. The ship operated out of Davisville, Rhode Island, during her entire period of service, and spent on the average of 200 days per year actually engaged in picket patrols in waters off the coast of New England.[5]

On 28 September 1958, she was redesignated AGR-12, thereby dropping her yard craft designation and becoming a commissioned auxiliary.[5]


On 3 March 1965, Vigil was placed out of commission. Her name was struck from the Navy List on 1 April 1965, and she was returned to the MARCOM for lay up with the Hudson River Reserve Fleet, Jones Point, New York. On 23 November 1970, she was sold to the Spanish firm, Revalorizacion de Materiales, for scrapping.[5]

Honors and awards

Vigil's crew was eligible for the following medals:




  • "Vigil". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2019.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  • "Jones Construction, Panama City FL". 13 October 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  • Davies, James (May 2004). "Specifications (As-Built)" (PDF). p. 23. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  • "SS Raymond Van Brogen". Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  • "USS Vigil (AGR-12)". 11 April 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.