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USS Ability (AFDL-7)
Career (US)
Name: Ability
Owner: United States Navy
Operator: United States Navy
Awarded: American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal
Builder: Chicago Bridge & Iron Company
Laid down: 1943
Launched: April 1944
Decommissioned: 1981
Struck: 15 February 1981
Fate: Sold for scrap
Notes: dock width 45 ft (14 m)
General characteristics
Type: Floating dry dock
Displacement: 1,200 tons
Length: 288 ft (88 m)
Beam: 64 ft (20 m)
Draft: 3 ft 3 in (0.99 m) empty
31 ft 4 in (9.55 m) flooded
Speed: non-self-propelled
Capacity: 1,900 tons
Complement: 40

The third USS Ability (AFDL-7) was a small auxiliary floating dry dock in the service of the United States Navy.

She was laid down in 1943 at Eureka, California by Chicago Bridge & Iron Company and launched in April 1944 as the unnamed, one-section, steel, floating dry dock AFDL-7.

The non-self-propelled floating dry dock was then towed from Eureka, Calif., to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and approximately three weeks later to Kwajelein, Marshall Islands. She laid at anchor at Kwajelein until April 1945, at which time the Navy towed her to Eniwetok, a journey of two days.[1] During World War II, she docked small naval combatants — up to the size of destroyer escorts — for hull repairs.

At the end of World War II, the vessel proceeded via Pearl Harbor to Guam. Following brief operations at the naval operating base at Guam, AFDL—7 was taken out of service on 1 January 1947 and laid up with the Pacific Reserve Fleet. Some time in 1948, she was towed back to Hawaii and laid up at Pearl Harbor. New Year's Day 1950 found her at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for repairs, which lasted into the following year. Two years later, she was back at Pearl Harbor — still inactive. She was inactive, in reserve, there until June 1970 when she was transferred, on loan, to the United States Army for service in South Vietnam. In October 1971, the small dry-dock was returned to the United States Navy and laid up at Guam. On 1 January 1973, she was reactivated and served at various advanced Pacific bases. She remained in this status through 1980. During this period of service, AFDL-7 was named Ability on 7 June 1979. While at Guam, she was taken out of service early in 1981. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 15 February 1981. She was sold for scrap on 1 July 1982.

See also[edit | edit source]

See USS Ability for other ships of the same name.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. MoMM 2C E.D. Stephenson, who served on the USS AFDL-7 from April 1944 to March 1946

This article includes information collected from the public domain sources Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships and Naval Vessel Register.

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