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USNS Sirius (T-AFS 8)

- formerly RFA LYNESS (A 339) -
- Military Sealift Command -
- decommissioned -

USNS SIRIUS was the lead ship of the SIRIUS - class of Combat Stores Ship. All three ships in this class were transfered from the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary to the Military Sealift Command between 1981 and 1983. Deactivated on July 1, 2005, the SIRIUS was transfered to the Texas Maritime Academy the same day to serve as training ship TS TEXAS CLIPPER III. Later in 2005 and early in 2006, the ship was used in hurricane relief operations in Louisiana and, therefore, could not undergo a planned refit to comply with USCG safety regulations. This prevented the ship from entering service as a training ship for the Texas Maritime Academy. In 2009, the ship was eventually decommissioned and transfered to the MARAD for lay-up in the Beaumont Reserve Fleet. Sold for scrapping to ESCO Marine, Brownsville, Tx., on May 5, 2014, dismantling was completed on January 22, 2015.

General Characteristics:Keel laid: April 1, 1965
Launched: April 1, 1966
Commissioned: December 22, 1966
MSC "in Service": January 1, 1981
Decommissioned: July 1, 2005
Builder: Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne, UK
Propulsion system: 1 Wallsend-Sulzer 8RD76 diesel
Propellers: one
Length: 524 feet (159.7 meters)
Beam: 72 feet (22 meters)
Draft: 22 feet (6.7 meters)
Displacement: approx. 16,800 tons full load
Speed: 19 knots
Aircraft: two CH-46 helicopters
Armament: none
Crew: 49 Navy personnel, 115 civilian crew

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USNS SIRIUS. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Accidents aboard USNS SIRIUS:

1981Mediterranean Sea
During an underway replenshment in the Med with the then USS CONCORD (AFS 5), the SIRIUS lost power while alongside. The two ships successfully conducted an emergency breakaway. There was no injuries nor loss of any stores.
1981Mediterranean Sea
USNS SIRIUS lost one of it's civilian Yeoman Storekeepers overboard. It was unclear if he fell or if it was intentional. The body was found nude a week later by the USNS WACCAMAW (T-AO 109).
1982off the coast of Salvador
While resupplying the UNITAS 23 ship USS PORTLAND (LSD 37), the USNS SIRIUS, USS PORTLAND, and USS O'BANNON (DD 987) conducted a connected replenishment with all three ships at anchor. The O'BANNON was on the port side of SIRIUS, the PORTLAND on the Starboard. During the inital approach, the PORTLAND mildly brushed against the SIRIUS causing minor damage to one of her British lifeboats. There were no injuries.
1983Braswell Ship Yard, Charleston, SC
During the installation of SIRIUS' new helo deck at Braswell Ship Yard in Charleston, South Carolina, the ship suffered a fire. During the welding process, the officer's mess, which is located directly below the helo deck, caught fire. The fire was quickly extinguished without incident and there were no injuries.
November 19, 1998off Sicily, Italy
A CH-46, deployed on board USNS SIRIUS crashed while conducting routine vertical replenishment with USS STUMP (DD 978) in the central Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Sicily. Killed in the accident were Lt. Aaron John Barbosa, 28, of Grosse Point, Mich.; and Aviation Structural Mechanic (Structures) 2nd Class Ross E. Daniel, 28, of Lexington, N.C. Both were assigned to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) EIGHT, Naval Air Station Norfolk. The other CH-46 crewmen, both recovered immediately after the accident with no injuries, were pilot Lt. Michael Trent Wolfersberger and Chief Aviation Electronics Technician (NAC) Nathan Garrity.

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USNS SIRIUS Patch Gallery:

HC-6 Det. 4 - Jan. - June 2004

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contributed by TJ Tropea

The photos below were taken by TJ Tropea in 1983. They show the USS SAN DIEGO (AFS 6) and the SIRIUS in the Mediterranean. The SIRIUS can be seen before the AFS conversion (no hangar and the large Helo deck). The white box on the Signal Bridge served as the Radio Shack from 1981 to 1983. The radiomen were forced to endure pitch black nights and stormy seas to get to the radio shack.

Click here for more photos of SIRIUS after the take-over.

The photo below was also taken by TJ Tropea. It shows the SIRIUS and the SATURN (T-AFS 10) inport Malaga, Spain, in 1984. At that time, SIRIUS had already been through the conversion, but the SATURN had not.

The photo below was taken and contributed by Michael Martin. It shows the SIRIUS as TS TEXAS CLIPPER III at the Texas A & M at Galveston Maritime Training Academy dock. The photo was taken on May 17, 2008.

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