USS Conserver (ARS-39)

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For the computer management software, see Conserver.
USS Conserver (ARS-39) Off Oahu, Hawaii, 26 April 1967
USS Conserver (ARS-39) Off Oahu, Hawaii, 26 April 1967
Career (US)
Name: USS Conserver
Builder: Basalt Rock Company
Laid down: 10 August 1944
Launched: 27 January 1945
Commissioned: 9 June 1945
Decommissioned: 1 April 1994
Struck: 1 April 1994
Homeport: Bishop Point, Pearl Harbor HI
Motto: Doing time on 39
Nickname: The fighting "C". (Crew was known to start fights for any reason)
Fate: sunk as a SINKEX target on or about 13 November 2004 in the Hawaii area
General characteristics
Class and type: Bolster-class rescue and salvage ship
Tonnage: 1,441 Tons
Displacement: 1,497 long tons (1,521 t) (lt), 2,048 long tons (2,081 t) (fl)
Length: 213 ft 6 in (65.07 m)
Beam: 39 ft (12 m)
Propulsion: diesel-electric, twin screws, 2,780 hp.
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h)
Complement: 100
Armament: two 40 mm guns

USS Conserver (ARS-39) was a Bolster-class rescue and salvage ship acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War II. Her task was to come to the aid of stricken vessels.

Conserver was launched 27 January 1945 by Basalt Rock Company in Napa, California; sponsored by Mrs. H. Price; and commissioned 9 June 1945 at South Vallejo, California, Lieutenant Commander C. H. Rooklidge, USNR, in command.

End-of-World War II operations[edit]

Conserver arrived at Sasebo, Japan, 21 September 1945, and until 3 March 1946, she carried out salvage operations at Sasebo, Okinawa, Yokosuka, Aomori, and Hakodate in support of the occupation.

Participation in nuclear testing[edit]

After preparations at Pearl Harbor, Conserver arrived at Bikini Atoll 29 March. She served in the Marshall Islands, aiding in Operation Crossroads, the atomic weapons tests of 1946, until 2 September 1947, when she arrived at Manila for duty in the Philippines. From 9 April 1948 to 26 September, she served in Hawaiian waters, and then in Alaskan waters, returning to Pearl Harbor 13 January 1949.

Korean War era operations[edit]

From Pearl Harbor, Conserver returned to operate off Alaska between 14 April 1949 and 7 June, and from 10 December to 25 March 1950. With the outbreak of the Korean war, she arrived at Yokosuka 15 July, and between 15 July and 1 August carried out salvage and diving assignments in Korean waters. After a brief overhaul at Yokosuka, she salvaged a fuel pipeline at Iwo Jima, and from 10 September until 24 December returned to Korean waters.

After a final towing voyage from Japan to Korea in January 1951, Conserver returned to local operations at Pearl Harbor from 16 February to 28 May. After salvage duty at Kwajalein and Majuro, she returned to Pearl Harbor to prepare for her second tour of duty in the Korean War. She arrived at Sasebo 27 September, and operated primarily in Korean waters until 7 May 1952, when she cleared for San Diego, California.

After operating on the U.S. West Coast until 4 August 1952, Conserver sailed for brief duty at Pearl Harbor, Kwajalein, Guam, Subic Bay, Bangkok, Singapore, and Sangley Point, returning to Pearl Harbor 22 October. On 6 April 1953, she returned to Sasebo for duty in Korean waters until 9 November, when she cleared for Pearl Harbor.

Post-Korean War activity[edit]

USS Conserver (ARS-39) Hawaii.jpg

From the close of the Korean war through 1960, Conserver alternated operations in the Hawaiian Islands with occasional towing and salvage duty in Pacific islands and tours of duty in the Far East in 1954, 1955, 1955–56, 1957, 1958–59, 1959, and 1960. Between 20 September 1958 and 20 October, she gave salvage and towing service off Taiwan as American ships stood by during the Quemoy Crisis. The Conserver also saw duty as part of Task Force 71 of the US Seventh Fleet in search of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 shot down by the Soviets off Sakhalin Island on 1 Sept. 1983. LCDR Joseph Sensi jr. served as commanding officer for her last two years of service. Former Florida state House Of Representative's Senator Richard(Dick)Renick and stand up comedian [Ron White]"Tater" served on this ship.[1]


Conserver was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register 1 April 1994. She was laid up in the Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Final Disposition, Conserver was sunk as a SINKEX target on or about 13 November 2004 in the Hawaii area.

Military awards and honors[edit]

Conserver received nine battle stars for Korean war service:

  • North Korean Aggression
  • Communist China Aggression
  • Inchon Landing
  • First UN Counter Offensive
  • UN Summer-Fall Offensive
  • Second Korean Winter
  • Third Korean Winter
  • Korea, Summer-Fall 1953

She received the following campaign stars for the Vietnam War:

  • Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
  • Tet Counteroffensive
  • Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase IV
  • Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase V
  • Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
  • Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII

Her crew was eligible for the following medals, ribbons, and commendations:


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

  1. ^ White, Ron (February 13, 2014). WTF with Marc Maron. Interview with Marc Maron. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of Conserver at NavSource Naval History
  • [1] Basalt Rock Compay Shipbuilding History