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USNS Eltanin (T-AK-270/T-AGOR-8) was a Eltanin-class cargo ship with an ice-breaking hull acquired by the U.S. Navy in 1957 and then operated by the Navy in a non-commissioned status. Her designation was changed to that of an oceanographic research ship in 1962 when she operated in Antarctic waters.

Built in Avondale, Louisiana

Eltanin (T-AK-270) was launched on 16 January 1957 by Avondale Marine Ways, Inc., Avondale, Louisianamarker. She was turned over to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) in October 1957 for operation in a noncommissioned status.

Conversion to research ship

On 23 August 1962 her classification was changed to Oceanographic Research Vessel and designated T-AGOR-8.

Antarctic duty

Eltanin, under the direction of the National Science Foundation, and operated by the Military Sea Transportation Service, operated in the Antarctic Oceanmarker, and became the first Antarctic research ship to do so.


Eltanin was place out of service at an unknown date and struck from the Naval Vessel Register, also at an unknown date, and transferred to the U.S. Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleetmarker. In 1974 she was transferred to the Argentine Navy and renamed ARA Islas Orcadas. She was later disposed of by the Argentine Navy in 1979.

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