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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Patch at left contributed by Mike Smolinski, at right by Lawrence K Brown ETC USN Ret (1958-60)

USS Sunbird (ASR-15)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Uniform - Tango - Alpha
NUTA
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation (2)
Bottom Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon - National Defense Service Medal (2)


Chanticteer Class Submarine Rescue Ship:
  • Laid down, 2 April 1945, at Savannah Machinery and Foundry, Co., Savannah, GA.
  • Launched, 3 April 1946
  • Accepted by the Navy and towed to Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, SC. for lay up, 15 January 1947
  • Commissioned USS Sunbird (ASR-15), 23 June 1950, at New London, CT., LCDR. Alexander H. Clark, Jr., in command
  • Decommissioned, 30 September 1993
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 2 November 1993
  • Transferred to MARAD custody, 1 May 1999, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA.
  • Contract for scrapping awarded to Bay Bridge Enterprises, Chesapeake, VA., 18 July 2005
  • Removed from the National Defense Reserve Fleet James River Group, 17 August 2005, by towing to Bay Bridge Enterprises, scrapping completed 12 November 2005.
    Specifications:
    Displacement 1,780 t.(lt) 2,141 t.(fl)
    Length 251' 4"
    Beam 42'
    Draft 14' 10" (lim)
    Speed 14.5 kts.
    Complement
    Officer 6
    Enlisted 96
    Largest Boom Capacity 20 t.
    Armament
    two single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    eight single 20mm gun mounts
    four depth charge tracks
    Fuel Capacity Diesel-1,785 Bbls
    Propulsion
    four General Motors model 12-278A Diesel engines
    Ship's Service Generators
    two GM Diesel 8-268A Diesel-drive 200Kw 120V D.C.
    one GM Diesel 3-268A drive 60Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 3,000shp

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Sunbird 23k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) underway in 1959, with a submarine rescue chamber or "diving bell" on her after deck. Two cylindrical mooring buoys are carried in racks amidships.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Sunbird 123k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Scott Koen
    Sunbird 97k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) in drydock (marine railway), at East Boston, MA, 4 July 1961. ©Richard Leonhardt
    Sunbird 67k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) in drydock (marine railway), at East Boston, MA, 4 July 1961. ©Richard Leonhardt
    Sunbird 492k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) off Sardinia, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 227k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) Auxiliary Switchboard, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 299k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) main engines 2 and 3, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 276k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) main engine room, forward, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 282k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) takes a roll to starboard while underway, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 160k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) aft decompression chamber, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 227k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) pilot house, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 246k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) engine room main control, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 226k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) reduction gear and one main motor, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 442k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) returns home from a Mediterranean deployment, circa October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 454k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) underway in heavy weather takes a wave over the bow, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 833k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) decompression chamber room, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 233k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) rigging the port diving station during a dependents cruise, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 286k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) diving demonstration during a dependents cruise, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 233k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) chamber. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 246k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) fantail. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 294k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) highline exercise. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 543k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) recovers an exercise MK 37. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 236k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) reduction gear and thrust bearing. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 223k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) underway, looking aft from the port bridge wing, circa April - October 1970. Photo by Chris Williams
    Sunbird 107k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) anchored in Monaco harbor, date unknown. Jim Pastore USS Sunbird, 1974-75
    Sunbird 53k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) underway, date and location unknown. Jim Pastore USS Sunbird, 1974-75
    Sunbird 66k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr
    Sunbird 267k Starboard bow view of USS Sunbird (ASR-15) entering Port Canaveral, FL., 1 February 1986 during Space Shuttle "Challenger" recovery operation.
    A US Navy photo now in the collections of the Defense Visual Information Center photo # DN-SC-86-06843.
    Bill Gonyo
    Sunbird 107k USS Sunbird (ASR-15) underway, circa 1980s or 1990s. Note the satellite communications antennas over the bridge wings.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo # Unknown
    Mike Green

    USS Sunbird (ASR-15)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Clark Jr., Alexander Hugh23 June 1950 - 4 June 1952
    02LCDR. Heg, James Elmer4 June 1952 - 21 April 1954
    03LCDR. Steele, Robert Dache21 April 1954 - 14 March 1956
    04LCDR. Brockett, Earl Elisha14 March 1956 - 10 July 1957
    05LCDR. Carpenter, Emmett Warren10 July 1957 - 29 August 1959
    06LCDR. Crabtree, Alan Barry29 August 1959 - 5 May 1961
    07LT. Clark, Lynn Reginald5 May 1961 - 27 April 1963
    08LT. Graham, Miles Thompson27 April 1963 - 4 August 1965
    09LCDR. Osborne, Charles Nason4 August 1965 - 28 March 1968
    10LCDR. Thompson, Ernest Travers28 March 1968 - 15 October 1970
    11LCDR. Esau, Anthony Christopher15 October 1970 - 30 August 1972
    12LCDR. Cleary, Donald James30 August 1972 - 22 August 1975
    13CDR. Craig, Edward Coleman22 August 1975 - 30 June 1978
    14LCDR. Conant, Edward Harvey30 June 1978 - 29 January 1981
    15LCDR. Ferguson, Paul Frederick29 january 1981 - 29 January 1983
    16LCDR. Holland, Barry Stephen29 January 1983 - 1 February 1985
    17LCDR. Cranston, James Spencer1 February 1985 - 9 October 1985
    18CDR. Holland, Barry Stephen9 October 1985 - 6 June 1986
    19LCDR. Baccei, Patrick Kent6 June 1986 - 18 August 1989
    20CDR. Albury, Merrill Carl18 August 1989 - 10 October 1991
    21LCDR. McElwee, Adrian Carrell10 October 1991 - 30 September 1993
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Ship Photo Index Back To The Submarine Rescue Ship (ASR) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 4 April 2014