USS Taconic

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Taconic AGC-17

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Taconic

(AGC-17: dp. 13,910 (tl.), 1. 469'2", b. 63'0", dr. 24'0" (lim.); s. 16.4 k. (tl.), cpl. 633, a. 2 6", 840mm.; cl. Adirondack; T. C2-S-AJ1)

Taconic was laid down under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1710) at Wilmington, N.C., on 19 December 1944 by the North Carolina Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 10 February 1946, sponsored by Mrs. O. W. Turner, acquired by the Navy on 6 March 1946, converted to an amphibious force flagship at the Atlantic Basin Iron Works in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and commissioned there on 16 January 1946, Capt. C. G. Christie in command.

Upon commissioning, Taconic began a long tour of duty with the Atlantic Fleet. She served alternately as flagship of the Atlantic Fleet Amphibious Force and of Amphibious Groups 2 and 4. Between June 1946 and June 1949, she participated in CAMID I, II, and III, amphibious warfare exercises conducted in the Chesapeake Bay area and encompassing joint training for Military Academy cadets and Naval Academy midshipmen. Each spring, the amphibious force flagship joined the Atlantic Fleet maneuvers carried out in the Caribbean area.

In June 1949, following a yard overhaul at Norfolk, Va., she took part in Operation "Diaper," the transportation of Navy men and their dependents from the Canal Zone to Norfolk.

Taconic remained in active service for 20 more years. During that entire period of time, she retained Norfolk as her home port She participated in numerous exercises both with the 2d and 6th Fleets, and with units of NATO nations. The amphibious force flagship was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea on eight different occasions in those two decades, and, in the summer of 1958, she served as flagship of the Commander, Middle East Force, during the Lebanon landings. In November 1959, she served as communication and support ship to President Eisenhower during the Pakistan-Afghanistan India leg of his visit to a number of European and Asian countries. When not deployed with the 6th Fleet, she operated with the 2d Fleet in the western Atlantic and in the Caribbean. The bulk of those operations consisted of exercises; but, on one occasion in March 1967, she carried President Eisenhower's limousines to Bermuda for his meeting with British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan. In January 1963, Taconic patrolled the Haitian coast during political unrest in that country. She returned to the Caribbean area for special duty again in May and June of 1966 during similar troubles in the Dominican Republic.

In January 1969, at the beginning of her last year of service, Taconic was redesignated ICC-17. After 12 months of operations and preparations for decommissioning, the amphibious force flagship was placed out of commission, in reserve, on 17 December 1969 at Norfolk, Va. She was berthed with the National Defense Reserve Fleet at its James River, Va., berthing area and remained there into October 1979.
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