USS Shackle (ARS-9)

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United States
Builder: Basalt Rock Company
Laid down: 26 October 1942
Launched: 1 April 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs. Walker Cochran
  • as USS Shackle (ARS-9),
  • 5 February 1944
Decommissioned: 29 June 1946
In service:
  • as USCGC Acushnet (WAT-167),
  • 23 August 1946
Out of service:
  • as WMEC-167,
  • 11 March 2011
Struck: date unknown
Fate: currently for sale in Washington state 7/16
General characteristics
Tonnage: 1,441 tons
Displacement: 1,720 tons
Length: 213 ft 6 in (65.07 m)
Beam: 39 ft (12 m)
Draught: 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric, four Cooper-Bessemer GSB 8 engines driving four generators and motors, driving two shafts with 3460 Shaft Horse Power
Speed: 15 kts.
Complement: 120
Armament: two 40mm AA gun mounts; four .50 cal. machine guns

USS Shackle (ARS-9) was an Diver-class rescue and salvage ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II. She was responsible for coming to the aid of stricken vessels.

Shackle (ARS-9) was laid down on 26 October 1942 by the Basalt Rock Company in Napa, California; launched on 1 April 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Walker Cochran; and commissioned on 5 February 1944, Lt. Charles G. Jenkins, Jr., in command.

World War II service[edit]

Deck plans as of 1942

Following shakedown out of San Diego, California, Shackle proceeded to Pearl Harbor. In May, she continued west to Midway Island where she cleared the entrance channel of the wreckage of Macaw (ARS-11). She then returned to Hawaii; and, in late November, took ARD-2H in tow and again headed west. Brief duties at Eniwetok, Guam, and Saipan followed; and, in late January 1945, she commenced preparations for the assault on Iwo Jima.

Okinawa operations[edit]

A unit of Task Force 51, she arrived in the Volcano Islands on 19 February and remained until 10 March. Having completed over 44 salvage and diving assignments, she then sailed for Ulithi to prepare for the Okinawa campaign. On 27 March, she departed the Carolines for the Ryukyus where, operating from Kerama Retto, she provided assistance to ships on the vulnerable screening stations in the Okinawa area and made repairs and pumped water from damaged ships in preparation for docking them. In May alone, she provided salvage and repair assistance to 21 ships, many of which were kamikaze victims.

Minesweeping the East China Sea[edit]

On 1 July, Shackle joined Task Group 39.11, a mine-sweeping group; and, during that month, as area "Juneau" in the East China Sea was swept, she combined salvage and mine disposal duties. At the end of the month, she returned to Buckner Bay, where, on 12 August, she witnessed the torpedoing of Pennsylvania and immediately commenced salvage work on the damaged battleship. Three days later, the war ended.

End-of-war activity[edit]

Shackle remained in the Buckner Bay area until 20 September. She then sailed for Tokyo Bay where, into November, she was employed in clearing the docking area at Yokosuka. On the 27th, she started back across the Pacific Ocean. Salvage duties interrupted her voyage at Wake Island. At the end of December, she arrived at Pearl Harbor; and, in February 1946, continued on to the west coast.

Post-war decommissioning[edit]

She remained at San Diego, California, until ordered to San Francisco, California, where, on 29 June, she was decommissioned and transferred to the United States Coast Guard as the USCGC Acushnet.

Current status[edit]

On 23 February 2007 Acushnet was designated as "Queen of the Fleet" being the oldest commissioned cutter in the fleet. This distinction is denoted by gold hull numbers on the bow of the ship.

The ship was decommissioned on 11 March 2011.[1]

As of 2016, efforts are underway to save the USS Shackle and transport her from her berth in Washington state to the Twin Ports of Lake Superior where she will serve as a permanent duty station for US Navy Cadets who have for the past six years been actively participating in exercises aboard another decommissioned Coast Guard Cutter; the USCGC Sundew.

Military awards and honors[edit]

Shackle (ARS-9) earned three battle stars during World War II:

  • Iwo Jima operation (Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 19 February to 10 March 1945)
  • Okinawa Gunto operation (Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, April to June 1945)
  • Minesweeping Operations Pacific (Juneau (East China Sea) 1 to 31 July 1945)

Her crew was eligible for the following medals:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Braesch, LT Connie (11 Mar 2011). ""Queen of the Fleet" Decommissions". USCG Compass. US Coast Guard. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 

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

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of Shackle at NavSource Naval History
  • [1] Basalt Rock Company Shipbuilding History