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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 584-94
October 14, 1994

NAVY ANNOUNCES CHRISTENING OF OCEANOGRAPHIC

NAVY ANNOUNCES CHRISTENING OF OCEANOGRAPHIC

RESEARCH SHIP BOWDITCH (T-AGS 62)

A christening ceremony will be held for the U.S. Navy's newest oceanographic research vessel, Bowditch (T-AGS 62), on Saturday, October 15, 1994 at Halter Marine in Moss Point, Mississippi, commencing at 11 a.m.

Margaret Taylor, wife of Representative Gene Taylor of Mississippi, will be the ship's sponsor. Mrs. Taylor will break a bottle of champagne across the bow in the age old Navy tradition, and formally name the ship.

Representative Taylor will be the principal speaker at the ceremony.

Bowditch (T-AGS 62) is named in honor of American astronomer and navigator Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838), and commemorates the service of two previous surveying ships that have borne this name. The first Bowditch (AG 30) earned three battle stars for service in the Pacific during World War II. The second Bowditch (T-AGS 21) (ex-South Bend Victory) (1958-1988), was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation in 1982.

Bowditch is the last of three new design oceanographic vessels in the T-AGS 60 Class authorized to be built by Congress. Each are multi-mission oceanographic ships capable of effectively performing operations that will satisfy a broad spectrum of oceanographic requirements in coastal and deep water areas, including physical, chemical and biological oceanography, multi-disciplinary environmental investigations, ocean engineering and marine acoustics, marine geology and geophysics, and magnetometric surveying.

Bowditch, crewed by civilian-mariners, will be operated for the Oceanographer of the Navy by the Military Sealift Command. The ship is 329 feet in length, has a beam of 58 feet and displaces approximately 5,000 tons fully loaded.

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