When the Training Ship Docked at Fort Trumbull

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Training Ship American Mariner

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Instruction aboard a training ship

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     Training ships are a long-established feature of maritime training programs, whether for the Merchant Marine, Coast Guard or Navy.  Most instruction at Fort Trumbull took place in classrooms and simulated shipboard facilities (including a "bridge" atop one of the school buildings), but an impressive training ship, USMS Training Vessel American Mariner, visited from time to time for short cruises into Long Island Sound for real-life shipboard training and experience.  

     American Mariner was a 10,000 ton Liberty Ship launched at Baltimore in 1941 that was converted to a training ship the next year.  Her later history is unusually interesting:  after the war she became a Coast Guard training ship, then the training ship serving the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.  From 1953 to 1956 she was mothballed, then chosen to be used as a missile tracking ship, serving until 1964 in both the Atlantic and Pacific.  While in the Pacific she radar-tracked NASA Astronaut Wally Schirra's Project Mercury transits high overhead.  But her time was up, and in 1966 she was scuttled in Chesapeake Bay for naval target practice, a sad end for the only ship to serve all four military branches in addition to the Merchant Marine.   

When the Training Ship Docked at Fort Trumbull