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Navy Recovery Ships

This is a directory of U.S. Navy ships used to recover NASA astronauts and spacecraft from human spaceflight missions.

"PRS" = Prime Recovery Ship (all other ships, unless otherwise noted, are Secondary Recovery Ships)

This list includes only vessels designated as part of the official naval recovery force. Tracking ships are also excluded from this list.

Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3) - May 5, 1961

USS Lake Champlain (PRS)
USS Abbot
USS Ability
USS Decatur
USS Newman K. Perry
USS Notable
USS Recovery
USS Rooks
USS Sullivans
USS Wadleigh

Mercury-Redstone 4 (MR-4) - July 21, 1961

USS Randolph (PRS)
USS Alacrity
USS Conway
USS Cony
USS Exploit
USS Lowry
USS Recovery
USS Stormes

Mercury-Atlas 6 (MA-6) - February 20, 1962

USS Noa (actual recovery ship)
USS Randolph (PRS)
USS Antietam
USS Bearss
USS Barry
USS Blandy
USS Brownson
USS Chuckawan
USS Cone
USS Constellation
USS Exploit
USS Glennon
USS Goodrich
USS Hugh Purvis
USS Kenneth D. Bailey
USS Norfolk
USS Observer
USS Recovery
USS Sarsfield
USS Charles S. Sperry
USS Stormes
USS Stribling
USS Turner
USS Witek USS Antietam

Mercury-Atlas 7 (MA-7) - May 24, 1962

USS John R. Pierce (actual recovery ship)
USS Intrepid (PRS)
USS Barton
USS Dewey
USS Donner
USS Ellison
USS Elokomin
USS English
USS Farragut
USS Forrestal
USS Fred T. Berry
USS Hank
USS Hoist
USS Hunt
USS Massey
USS Moale
USS Remey
USS Robinson
USS Shenandoah
USS Soley
USS Spiegel Grove
USS Sturdy
USS Swerve
USS Wren

Mercury-Atlas 8 (MA-8) - October 3, 1962

USS Kearsarge (PRS)
USS Affray
USS Alacrity
USS Barry
USS Bordelon
USS Charles Adams
USS Charles S. Sperry
USS Decatur
USS Dyess
USS Epperson
USS Fletcher
USS Fred T. Berry
USS Furse
USS Haynesworth
USS Henley
USS Hoist
USS Independence
USS Ingraham
USS John Paul Jones
USS Kaskaskia
USS Lake Champlain
USS Norris
USS O'Bannon
USS Phillip
USS Radford
USS Walker
USS Willard Keith

Mercury-Atlas 9 (MA-9) - May 15-16, 1963

USS Kearsarge (PRS)
USS Adroit
USS Beatty
USS Chipola
USS Compton
USS Davis
USS De Haven
USS Duncan
USS Epperson
USS Fletcher
USS Frank Knox
USS Gainard
USS Harwood
USS Hyman
USS John A. Bole
USS John W. Thomason
USS Kawishiwi
USS Lofberg
USS Mansfield
USS Myles C. Fox
USS Opportune
USS Stalwart
USS Taussig
USS Wasp

Gemini-Titan 3 (GT-3) - March 23, 1965

USS Intrepid (PRS)
USS Ault
USS Bigelow
USS Boston
USS Cony
USS Diligence
USS Douglas H. Fox
USS Harold J. Ellison
USS Harwood
USS John Paul Jones
USS Kankakee
USS Mullinix
USS Nipmuc
USS Rich
USS Robert L. Wilson
USS Robert Owens
USS Sarsfield
USS Sturdy
USS Swerve
USCGC Vigilant (US Coast Guard Cutter)

Gemini-Titan 4 (GT-4) - June 3-7, 1965

USS Wasp (PRS)
USS Barry
USS Blandy
USS Charles S. Sperry
USS Chukawan
USS Furse
USS Goldsborough
USS Hawkins
USS Higbee
USS Hoist
USS Leonard F. Mason
USS Nimble
USS Orleck
USS Ponchatoula
USS Rich
USS Robert A. Owens
USS Rupertus
USS Skill

Gemini-Titan 5 (GT-5) - August 21-29, 1965

USS Lake Champlain (PRS)
USS Avenge
USS Chipola
USS DuPont
USS Exultan
USS George MacKenzie
USS Goldsborough
USS James C. Owens
USS John W. Weeks
USS Leonard F. Mason
USS Manley
USS Neosho
USS New
USS Preserver
USS Taylor
USS Waldron

Gemini-Titan 6A (GT-6A) - December 15-16, 1965

USS Wasp
USS Ability
USS Aucilla
USS Cochrane
USS George MacKenzie
USS Joseph P. Kennedy
USS Meredith
USS Paiute
USS Ponchatoula
USS Power
USS Renshaw
USS Rupertus
USS Waccamaw
USS Waldron

Gemini-Titan 7 (GT-7) - December 4-18, 1965

USS Wasp (PRS)
USS Ability
USS Aucilla
USS Cochrane
USS George MacKenzie
USS Joseph P. Kennedy
USS Meredith
USS Paiute
USS Ponchatoula
USS Power
USS Renshaw
USS Rupertus
USS Waccamaw
USS Waldron

Gemini-Titan 8 (GT-8) - March 16, 1966

USS Leonard F. Mason (actual recovery ship)
USS Boxer (PRS)
USS Caloosahatchee
USS Charles P. Cecil
USS Cochrane
USS Fidelity
USS George K. MacKenzie
USS Goodrich
USS Hassayampa
USS Myles C. Fox
USS Noa
USS Paiute

Gemini-Titan 9A (GT-9A) - June 3-6, 1966

USS Wasp (PRS)
USS Bordelon
USS Chikaskia
USS Epperson
USS George K. MacKenzie
USS Hassayampa
USS McCaffery
USS Nimble
USS Opportune
USS Papago
USS Robert L. Wilson
USS Rupertus
USS Sabine
USS Saratoga
USS William C. Lawe

Gemini-Titan 10 (GT-10) - July 18-21, 1966

USS Guadalcanal (PRS)
USS Allen M. Sumner
USS Benjamin Stoddert
USS Collet
USS DeHaven
USS Kawishiwi
USS Norris
USS Opportune
USS Severn
USS William C. Lawe

Gemini-Titan 11 (GT-11) - September 12-15, 1966

USS Guam (PRS)
USS Forest Royal
USS Kawishiwi
USS Mansfield
USS McCaffery
USS Nimpuc
USS O'Bannon
USS O'Brien
USS Severn
USS Theodore Chandler
USS Wallace L. Lind

Gemini-Titan 12 (GT-12) - November 11-15, 1966

USS Wasp (PRS)
USS Canisteo
USS Charles H. Roan
USS Hollister
USS Joseph P. Kennedy
USS Joseph Strauss
USS Kankakee
USS Kawishiwi
USS Lloyd Thomas
USS Ozbourn
USS Preserver

Apollo-Saturn 7 (AS-7) - October 11-22, 1968

USS Essex (PRS)
USS Arneb
USS Cambria
USS Cochrane
USS Henry Tucker
USS Nicholas
USS Paiute
USS Ponchatoula
USS Rupertus

Apollo-Saturn 8 (AS-8) - December 21-27, 1968

USS Yorktown (PRS)
USS Arlington
USS Chipola
USS Chuckawan
USS Cochrane
USS Francis Marion
USS Guadalcanal
USS Nicholas
USS Rankin
USS Rupertus
USS Salinan
USS Sandoval

Apollo-Saturn 9 (AS-9) - March 3-13, 1969

USS Guadalcanal (PRS)
USS Algol
USS Cochrane
USS Leonard F. Mason
USS Nicholas
USS Paiute

Apollo-Saturn 10 (AS-10) - May 18-26, 1969

USS Princeton (PRS)
USS Arlington
USS Carpenter
USS Chilton
USS Ozark
USS Rich
USS Salinan

Apollo-Saturn 11 (AS-11) - July 16-24, 1969

USS Hornet (PRS)
USS Arlington
USS Carpenter
USS Goldsborough
USS Hassayampa
USS New
USS Ozark
USS Salinan

Apollo-Saturn 12 (AS-12) - November 14-24, 1969

USS Hornet
USS Austin
USS Escape
USS Hawkins
USS Joseph J. Strauss

Apollo-Saturn 13 (AS-13) - April 11-17, 1970

USS Iwo Jima (PRS)
USS Benjamin Stoddert
USS Bordelon
USS Escape
USS Forest Royal
USS Granville S. Hall
USS Kawishiwi
USS New
USS William C. Lawe

Apollo-Saturn 14 (AS-14) - January 31-February 9, 1971

USS New Orleans (PRS)
USS Carpenter
USS Hawkins
USS Paiute
USS Ponchatoula
USS Spiegel Grove

Apollo-Saturn 15 (AS-15) - July 26-August 7, 1971

USS Okinawa (PRS)
USS Austin
USS Kawishiwi
USS Salinan

Apollo-Saturn 16 (AS-16) - April 16-27, 1972

USS Ticonderoga (PRS)
USS Alacrity
USS Exploit
USS Goldsborough
USS Opportune
USS Ponchatoula

Apollo-Saturn 17 (AS-17) - December 7-19, 1972

USS Ticonderoga (PRS)
USS Camden
USS Recovery
USS Saginaw

Skylab-2 (SL-2) - May 25-June 22, 1973

USS Ticonderoga (PRS)
USS Escape
USS Grapple

Skylab-3 (SL-3) - July 28-September 25, 1973

USS New Orleans (PRS)
USS Escape
USS Grapple

Skylab-4 (SL-4) - November 16, 1973-February 8, 1974

USS New Orleans (PRS)
USS Opportune

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) - July 15-24, 1975

USS New Orleans (PRS)

Mark Kahn, Author
Steve Garber, NASA History Web Curator
For further information email hq-histinfo@nasa.gov

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