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USS Shenandoah (AD-26)
USS Shenandoah
Shenandoah off the coast of Italy in July 1973
Name: USS Shenandoah
Builder: Todd Pacific Shipyards, Tacoma, Washington
Laid down: 16 September 1944
Launched: 29 March 1945
Commissioned: 13 August 1945
Decommissioned: 1 April 1980
Struck: 1 April 1980
Fate: Sold for scrapping, 1 March 1982
General characteristics
Type: Shenandoah-class destroyer tender
Displacement: 11,755 long tons (11,944 t)
Length: 492 ft (150 m)
Beam: 69 ft 6 in (21.18 m)
Draft: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement: 1,035
Armament: • 2 × 5"/38 caliber guns
• 8 × 40 mm AA guns
• 22 × 20 mm AA guns

USS Shenandoah (AD-26) was one of ten planned destroyer tenders built at the tail end of World War II (orders for four of the ships were cancelled due to the cessation of hostilities). The lead ship in her class, she was the third United States naval vessel named for the Shenandoah River which runs through Virginia and West Virginia.

The third Shenandoah was laid down on 16 September 1944 by Todd Pacific Shipyards, Inc. of Tacoma, Washington, launched on 29 March 1945, sponsored by Mrs. Daniel Hunt, and commissioned on 13 August 1945 with Captain Albert C. Burrows in command.

Service history[edit | edit source]

Shenandoah completed her fitting out in December and sailed to the East Coast via the Panama Canal, where she reported for duty with Destroyer Force, United States Atlantic Fleet in January 1946. Until June 1947 she tended destroyers in various east coast ports, primarily at Norfolk, Virginia, her home port. The tender deployed on her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet from June through August 1947. In the next 20 years, she was assigned 13 more tours in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1958, she was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal service in Lebanon.

Shenandoah's most publicized tour of duty was in 1964. She won international acclaim for her heroic rescue of the crew of the Dutch merchant ship Doris. The freighter broke loose from her moorings during the height of a storm and became impaled upon the rocks of Molo San Vincenzo in Naples' outer harbor. A line was run to the freighter by the crew of the Shenandoah, and all aboard were rescued minutes before Doris rolled over and sank. The destroyer tender also won recognition in 1965 for her repairs to the bow of the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La (CV-38) which had collided with a destroyer during maneuvers.

Shenandoah was awarded the Battle Efficiency Pennant for her competence in destroyer tending in 1952 and 1956 and the Meritorious Unit Commendation in 1970. She was awarded the Engineering "E" in 1958 and 1965, and the Supply "E" in 1962, 1963, and 1967. Shenandoah was again deployed with the 6th Fleet in 1968, 1970, and 1973. She returned to her home port on 15 December 1973 and into July 1974 was tending ships on the East Coast.

Shenandoah was decommissioned at Naval Station Norfolk, and simultaneously struck from the Naval Register on 1 April 1980. Transferred to the Maritime Administration for disposal, she was sold, 1 March 1982.

References[edit | edit source]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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