USS Prairie (AD-15)

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USS Prairie AD-15.jpg
USS Prairie
Career (USA)
Name: USS Prairie
Builder: New York Shipbuilding
Laid down: 7 December 1938
Launched: 9 December 1939
Sponsored by: Mrs. Samuel M. Robinson
Commissioned: 5 August 1940
Decommissioned: 26 March 1993
Struck: 26 March 1993
Fate: Scrapped
General characteristics
Class & type: Dixie-class destroyer tender
Displacement: 16,500 tons
Length: 530.5 ft (161.7 m)
Beam: 73.3 ft (22.3 m)
Draft: 24.5 ft (7.5 m)
Speed: 18 knots (33.3 km/h)
Complement: 698 officers and men
Armament: 4 × 5 in (127 mm) / 54 caliber guns
4 × 40 caliber guns

USS Prairie (AD–15) was a Dixie-class destroyer tender built just before the start of World War II for the U.S. Navy. Prior to U.S. entry into World War II, Prairie cruised between Atlantic ports from Colon, C.Z. to Argentia, Newfoundland. She was docked at Argentia, tending Allied ships, on 7 December 1941 as the first direct blows of World War II struck the United States.

She was laid down 7 December 1938 by New York Shipbuilding, Camden, New Jersey; launched 9 December 1939; sponsored by Mrs. Samuel M. Robinson; and commissioned 5 August 1940, Capt. J. B. W. Waller in command.



Post-Korean War operations[edit]

Prairie with destroyers at San Diego, in 1963.

After this period of increased activity, Prairie continued to provide repair, supply, and medical services to ships of the 7th Fleet. In March 1956, the tender returned to San Diego after completing an around-the-world cruise, a rarity for a destroyer tender. In 1958, Prairie steamed to Yokohama 8 May for the ceremonies at which Yokohama and San Diego became sister cities. In October 1959, she steamed to Taiwan for the “10–10 Day” festival, a day similar to U.S. Independence Day for the Nationalist Chinese.

In Spring 1961, the tender participated in the “Pony Express” exercises held by SEATO forces. She returned to Pearl Harbor 15 July 1966 for her first visit in over 20 years; she repaired over 100 vessels there before departing the area 6 December. During a 6 month tour at Pearl Harbor beginning in July 1967, Prairie rescued survivors from the yacht Anobell in turbulent waters 600 miles off Hawaii 11 December and transported them to San Diego.

In 1968, Prairie added a People-to-People program to her schedule of duties while at Taiwan. As part of that program, her crew painted a new orphanage and provided dental care to remote areas of the island.

The Prairie was decommissioned on 26 March 1993 at Long Beach, California, and was later towed to Singapore and sold for scrap.