USS Dixie (AD-14)

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USS Dixie (AD-14) underway off the coast of southern California on 1 April 1976 (6392044).jpg
USS Dixie (AD-14) in 1976
History
United States
NameUSS Dixie
BuilderNew York Shipbuilding
Laid down17 March 1938
Launched27 May 1939
Sponsored byMrs. A. C. Pickens
Commissioned25 April 1940
Decommissioned15 June 1982
Stricken15 June 1982
Honors and
awards
5 battle stars for Korean War service
FateSold for scrap, 17 February 1983
General characteristics
Class and type Dixie-class destroyer tender
Displacement9,450 tons
Length530 ft 6 in (161.70 m)
Beam73 ft 3 in (22.33 m)
Draught24 ft 5 in (7.44 m)
PropulsionSteam
Speed18 kts
Complement1262
Armament4 x 5 in (130 mm)/38 cal

The second USS Dixie (AD-14) was the first of her class of destroyer tender built just before the start of World War II for the U.S. Navy. Her task was to service destroyers in, or near, battle areas and to keep them fit for duty.

Dixie was launched on 27 May 1939 by New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden, New Jersey, sponsored by Mrs. A. C. Pickens; and commissioned on 25 April 1940, with Lieutenant Commander G. H. Bahm in command.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Dixie sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, on 20 June 1940 for Pearl Harbor to serve the destroyers of the Battle Force until October, when she cleared for the West Coast and similar operations at San Diego, California. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, she was undergoing overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard, and quickly took up the task of readying ships for war service. In March 1942 she returned to Pearl Harbor to tend destroyers and other ships of the Fleet until November.

Dixie with six Allen M. Sumner class destroyers at Leyte, 1945.

Dixie alternated between Nouméa and Espiritu Santo in support of the operations in the Solomons from November 1942 to March 1944, then went to the Solomons where she was based at Hathorn Sound. In September she arrived at the huge fleet base at Ulithi, serving there until February 1945. Her essential services were next given at San Pedro Bay, Leyte, where Dixie remained until the end of the war. She served ships on occupation duty at Okinawa and Shanghai, then returned to the west coast in December 1945.

Post-World War II operations and Korean War[edit]

In the summer of 1946, Dixie sailed to Bikini Atoll for atomic weapons experiments, Operation Crossroads. In 1947 and in 1949 she cruised to the Far East and was based at Tsingtao to serve destroyers on patrol off the Chinese coast. Dixie was the last U.S. vessel to leave China when the Communist advance forced the evacuation of Americans from the mainland. It would take 37 years before U.S. naval vessels would once again visit China when USS Rentz (FFG-46), USS Reeves (DLG-24) and USS Oldendorf (DD-972) visited Tsingtao as part of China's new open door policy.

Dixie off Korea, 1950.

Following her departure from China, she acted as headquarters for the American consul and chargé d'affaires at Hong Kong. She continued her active service alternating flagship duty for Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet, at San Diego, with tours in the Far East, based on Sasebo, Japan, or Subic Bay, Philippine Islands. During two of these western Pacific tours, she rendered valuable assistance to the ships of the United Nations operating off Korea. In 1959 and again in 1960, in addition to serving at San Diego, she sailed to the Far East to provide tender facilities for the 7th Fleet.

Dixie received five battle stars for Korean War service.

Post-Korean War operations[edit]

From the early 1960s to 1982 Dixie was home-ported at Subic Bay in the Philippines where she served as a support ship for destroyers in the 7th Fleet. USS Dixie was home-ported out of San Diego, California 1969–1982 at least and was flagship for COMCRUSDESPAC usually tied up at pier 4.

Fate[edit]

In 1981, she was the first ship to be awarded the First Navy Jack as the ship with the longest active service in the Navy. Dixie was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 June 1982. She was sold for scrap 17 February 1983 and scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

References[edit]

Preceded by
?
Oldest active ship of the United States Navy
–1982
Succeeded by