USS Los Alamos (AFDB-7)

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Los Alamos (AFDB-7)
USS Los Alamos (AFDB-7) at Holy Loch, Scotland
Career
Name: USS Los Alamos
Builder: Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (4 sections)
Pollock Stockton Shipbuilding Co. (2 sections)
Pittsburgh Des Moines Steel Co. (1 section)
Commissioned: 1 March 1945
Decommissioned: 5 December 1994
Reclassified: AFDB-7 (Large Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock), 10 November 1961
Struck: 5 December 1994
Fate: Section "F" sunk as a target 19 July 2001
Remaining sections transferred to Brownsville, Tx 11 August 1995
Status: Sections "A", "B", "C", "D", "E" and "G" all active, Brownsville, Tx
General characteristics
Type: Advance Base Sectional Drydock
Displacement: 30,800 long tons (31,294 t)
Length: 825 ft 3 in (251.54 m)
Beam: 246 ft 5 in (75.11 m)
Draft: 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m)
Propulsion: None
Complement: 187
Armament: 14 × 40 mm guns
14 × 20 mm guns

ABSD-7, an advanced base sectional dock,[1] was constructed of seven advance base docks (ABD) as follows: ABD-37, ABD-38, ABD-39, and ABD-40 were built by Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, Morgan City, Louisiana, and completed in December 1944 and January and February 1945; ABD-51 and ABD-52 were built by Pollock Stockton Shipbuilding Co., Stockton, California, and completed in January and March 1945; and ABD-58 was built by Pittsburgh Des Moines Steel Co., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and completed in October 1944.

Mare Island[edit]

The seven advance base docks were towed to Mare Island Navy Yard where they were erected and assembled into ABSD-7. Completed in March 1945, the advance base section dock began duty at Mare Island, she served there until placed on the inactive list in March 1946. In August 1946 she was reclassified to auxiliary floating drydock AFDB-7. Disassembled and towed to the east coast, she entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs, Florida in January 1947.

Holy Loch[edit]

Early in 1961, four sections—"A", "B", "C", and "D"—of AFDB‑7 were towed across the Atlantic Ocean to Holy Loch, Scotland, where on 3 March 1961 the Navy established an important base for fleet ballistic submarines. A detachment of Seabees from MCB-4 erected and assembled the four sections. Completed 10 November, the auxiliary floating drydock was placed in service as USS Los Alamos (AFDB-7).

Assigned to SUBRON 14, Los Alamos began drydock service for the FBM boats.

Converted for use by submarines, she had the following characteristics:

  • Displacement: 18,795 long tons (19,097 t)
  • Length: 513 ft (156 m)
  • Draft: 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m) light, 67 ft 4 in (20.52 m) submerged
  • Complement: 143
  • Armament: none

Late in 1961 she carried out her first SSBN drydocking of USS George Washington (SSBN-598). She then served submarines of the "Highland Squadron" at Holy Loch. She supported refit and repair operations by submarine tenders Proteus, Hunley, Holland, Simon Lake, and Canopus. In February 1964 she successfully completed the first "off center" docking of a Polaris submarine. By providing keel blocks preset for two separate classes of SSBN boats, Los Alamos "added immeasurably to the site’s repair flexibility."

On 18 June 1966, section "F" was turned over to the U.S. Army, where it was converted into a floating power plant at Kwajalein named Andrew J Weber (BD-6235). On 1 October 1977, Andrew J Weber was returned to the U.S. Navy and reinstated on the Naval Vessel Register as YFP-14. Stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 29 May 1991, YFP-14 remained at Guam and was designated to be used in a Sinkex on 18 June 1998. YFP-14 was sunk 250 nmi (460 km; 290 mi) southeast of Agana, Guam on 19 July 2001.[2][3] The Naval Vessel Register's entry for YFP-14 incorrectly indicates the vessel was sunk on 18 June 1998, that was the date the vessel was designated to be sunk.[citation needed]

On 5 December 1994 Los Alamos was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. Disassembled into sections and returned to the United States, the remaining six original ABSD-7 sections ("A", "B", "C", "D", "E" and "G") were transferred to the Brownsville Navigation District, Texas on 11 August 1995. Currently in use as Solomon Ortiz Dry Dock at Keppel AmFELS Shipyard, Brownsville, Texas.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°58′06″N 97°21′30″W / 25.96821°N 97.35843°W / 25.96821; -97.35843