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United States Navy salvage ships (hull classification symbol ARS) are tasked with coming to the aid of stricken vessels. Their general mission capabilities include combat salvage, lifting, towing, retraction of grounded vessels, off-ship firefighting, and manned diving operations.
Lapwing class minesweeper conversions
The earliest designated US Navy salvage ships (ARS) were converted Lapwing class minesweepers. Ships of this type were operated by the United States Navy as salvage ships from June 1941 until Viking was decommissioned and scrapped in 1953.
- USS Viking (ARS-1)
- USS Crusader (ARS-2)
- USS Discoverer (ARS-3)
- USS Redwing (ARS-4)
- USS Warbler (ARS-11)
- USS Willet (ARS-12)
- USS Brant (ARS-32)
- USS Diver (ARS-5)
- USS Escape (ARS-6)
- USS Grapple (ARS-7)
- USS Preserver (ARS-8)
- USS Shackle (ARS-9)
- USS Protector (ARS-14)
- USS Cable (ARS-19)
- USS Chain (ARS-20)
- USS Curb (ARS-21)
- USS Current (ARS-22)
- USS Deliver (ARS-23)
- USS Grasp (ARS-24)
- USS Safeguard (ARS-25)
- USS Seize (ARS-26)
- USS Snatch (ARS-27)
- USS Valve (ARS-28)
- USS Vent (ARS-29)
- USS Clamp (ARS-33)
- USS Gear (ARS-34)
The United States Navy operated Weight class salvage ships (ARS) from August 1943 until the last example was decommissioned in June 1946. The Weight class ships were originally intended for delivery to the Royal Navy under different names, as part of the the Lend-lease program. However, they were instead delivered to and operated by the United States Navy
- USS Bolster (ARS-38)
- USS Conserver (ARS-39)
- USS Hoist (ARS-40)
- USS Opportune (ARS-41)
- USS Reclaimer (ARS-42)
- USS Recovery (ARS-43)
- USS Retriever (ARS-44) (canceled)
- USS Skillful (ARS-45) (canceled)
- USS Support (ARS-46) (canceled)
- USS Toiler (ARS-47) (canceled)
- USS Urgent (ARS-48) (canceled)
- USS Willing (ARS-49) (canceled)
Safeguard class salvage ships (T-ARS) are operated by Military Sealift Command in support of United States Navy operations. They were operated by the United States Navy as commissioned auxiliaries from November 1982 until the last example Safeguard was decommissioned in September 2007.
- USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50)
- USNS Grasp (T-ARS-51)
- USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52)
- USNS Grapple (T-ARS-53)
- (unnamed) ARS-54 (canceled)
Miscellaneous converted civilian vessels
Several ships were converted and redesignated as Salvage ships (ARS) during World War II.
- http://www.nvr.navy.mil/nvrships/s_ARS.htm Naval Vessel Register: "SALVAGE SHIP"
- USS Salvor Command History 1986
- USS Grapple Command History 2002
- US Navy Fact File: Rescue and Salvage Ships T-ARS
- http://www.shipbuildinghistory.com/history/smallships/auxrescue.htm Salvage and Rescue Ships (ARS, ARSD, ARST, ASR, ATS)
- http://www.msc.navy.mil/sealift/2007/November/safeguard.htm%7CSealift "USNS Safeguard joins MSC fleet"