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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Sperry (AS-12)



International Radio Call Sign:
November - Charlie - Echo - Victor

NCEV
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Second Row - Navy Battle "E" (2) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon


Fulton Class Submarine Tender:
  • Laid down, 1 February 1941, at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.
  • Launched, 17 December 1941
  • Commissioned USS Sperry (AS-12), 1 May 1942, CAPT. R.H. Smith in command
  • Decommissioned, 30 September 1982
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 30 September 1982
  • Laid up in the Navy Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility (NISMF) Bremerton, WA.
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., 16 March 1998
  • Title transfer to the Maritime Administration, 1 February 1999
  • Final Disposition, sold 28 July 2011 to ESCO Marine, Brownsville TX. Departed the National Defense Reserve Fleet Suisun Bay Group, 28 September 2011. Sale Price $1,526.726
    Specifications:
    Displacement 9,250 t.(lt) 18,000 t.(fl)
    Length 530' 7"
    Beam 73' 4"
    Draft 23' 6"
    Speed 15.4 kts.
    Complement
    Officers - 107
    Enlisted - 1200
    Largest Boom Capacity 20 t.
    Armament
    four single 5"/38 cal gun mounts
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    twelve single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity - Diesel 26,600 Bbls
    Propulsion
    General Motors 16-248 Diesel electric engines
    single Fairbanks Morse Main Reduction Gear
    Ship's Service Generators
    three Diesel-drive 500Kw 450V A.C.
    one Diesel-drive 250Kw 450V A.C.
    two propellers, 11,800shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed By
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    Sperry 111k
    Namesake

    Elmer Ambrose Sperry was born on 12 October 1860 at Cortland, N.Y. After spending three years at the state normal school there, he became interested in dynamo electricity during a year of study at Cornell University in 1878 and 1879. He moved to Chicago, Ill., early in 1880 and, soon thereafter, founded the Sperry Electric Co. He organized the Sperry Electric Mining Machine Co. and the Sperry Electric Railway Co. in 1888 and 1890, respectively. In 1900, Sperry established an electrochemical laboratory at Washington, D.C., where he and his associate, C. P. Townshend, developed a process for making pure caustic soda from salt and discovered a process for recovering tin from scrap metal. Sperry experimented with diesel engines and gyroscopic compasses and stabilizers for ships and aircraft. In 1910, he started the Sperry Gyroscope Co. in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and his first compass was tested that same year in Delaware (Battleship No. 28). His compasses and stabilizers were adopted by the United States Navy and used in both world wars. In 1918, he produced a high-intensity arc lamp which was used by both the Army and Navy. After setting up eight companies and receiving over 400 patents, Sperry died at Brooklyn, N.Y., on 12 June 1930.
    Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress
    Bill Gonyo
    Sperry 113k USS Sperry (AS-12) keel laying at Mare Island Navy Yard, 1 February 1941. The official party is from left to right: Bottom row: CDR A. S. Pitre, USN (Shipbuilding Supt.), E. W. Buel (Chief Clerk, Supply), F. T. Machiel (Procurement Clerk, Public Works), N. E. Hanson (Chief Clerk, Public Works); on the keel above are CDR E. B. Keating (CEC), USN (Asst. Public Works Officer) and Capt G. P. Shamer, USN, (Supply Officer).
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 309-41.
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 132k USS Sperry (AS-12) ready for launching at Mare Island Navy Yard, 17 December 1941.
    US Navy photo.
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 740k VIPs for the launching of USS Sperry (AS-12) at Mare Island's Officer Club, 17 December 1941.
    File name: AS 12 3476-41, Navy Photo, 12/17/41
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 1076k Official launching party of USS Sperry (AS-12) prior to her launching at Mare Island on December 17, 1941. From left to right: Mrs. Wilhelm L. Friedell, Radm. Wilhelm L. Friedell (Shipyard Commander), Culbert L. Olson (Governor of California), Miss Margot Dean (Maid of Honor) and Mrs. Robert D. Lea (Sponsor).
    File name: AS 12 3474-41, Navy Photo, 12/17/41
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 111k USS Sperry (AS-12)'s Sponsor, Mrs. Robert B. Lea, christens the ship at Mare Island, 17 December 1941. Pictured are from left to right: Miss Margot Dean (Maid of Honor), Mrs. Robert B. Lead (Sponsor), RADM W. L. Friedell (Shipyard Commandant), and Governor Culbert L. Olson of California.
    US Navy photo.
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 145k USS Sperry (AS-12) at the end of the ways during her launching at Mare Island Navy Yard, 17 December 1941.
    US Navy photo # AS 12 3459-41.
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 135k USS Sperry (AS-12) is waterborne for the first time after her launching at Mare Island Navy Yard, 17 December 1941.
    US Navy photo.
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 79k USS Sperry (AS-12) is waterborne for the first time after her launching at Mare Island Navy Yard, 17 December 1941.
    US Navy photo.
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 361k USS Sperry (AS-12) departing Mare Island, 24 July 1942.
    File name: AS 12 4250-42, Navy Photo, 7/24/42, Navy Photo, 12/17/41
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 48k USS Sperry (AS-12) tending submarines, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    .
    Sperry 66k USS Sperry (AS-12) tending submarines, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Courtesy Randy Guttery Tendertales web site
    Sperry 120k Amidships looking aft plan view of USS Sperry (AS-12) at Navy Yard Mare Island, Vallejo, CA., 27 April 1945.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 3014-45.
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 88k Broadside view of USS Sperry (AS-12) underway off Navy Yard Mare Island, Vallejo, CA., 28 April 1945. Sperry was in overhaul at Mare Island from 7 March to 28 April 1945.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 3092-45.
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 83k Bow on view of USS Sperry (AS-12) departing Navy Yard Mare Island, Vallejo, CA., 28 April 1945. USS Nereus (AS 17) is just visible in the background to the left of Sperry.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 3094-45.
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 90k Stern view of USS Sperry (AS-12) departing Navy Yard Mare Island, Vallejo, CA., 28 April 1945.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 3090-45.
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry 98k USS Sperry (AS-12) near the Mare Island Navy Yard, 24 July 1942.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM. photo # 19-N-32025, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Robert Hurst
    Sperry 258k Post card of USS Sperry (AS-12) at anchor, probably in San Diego Bay, from the Jack Davidson Studio, San Diego, CA., circa 1945. David Buell for his father CWO4 Benton E. Buell USN Ret. DCA USS Sperry 1968-69
    Sperry 87k Port view aft of USS Sperry (AS-12) at San Diego in 1949 with two Submarine Squadron Three (SUBRON 3) boats alongside. Visible in the photo are the conning towers and periscope shears of the USS Blenny (SS-324) and USS Barbero (SS-317). Ric Hedman TN(SS) USS Flasher and USS Cusk.
    Sperry 48k USS Sperry (AS-12) probably at San Diego, circa 1949. Ric Hedman TN(SS) USS Flasher and USS Cusk.
    Sperry 65k USS Sperry (AS-12) underway, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII
    Sperry 41k USS Sperry (AS-12) underway, date and location unknown. Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    Sperry 203k Overhead photo of USS Sperry (AS-12) at San Diego, CA., circa 1950. In the photo are USS Greenlet (ASR-10) at Sperry's port bow with six of her squadrons submarines off her port side.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, June 1950.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    Sperry 34k USS Sperry (AS-12) with submarines alongside, at San Diego, CA., circa 1950s. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Sperry 882k USS Sperry (AS-12) outbound to sea exiting San Diego Bay off Point Loma, 18 April 1955
    US Navy photo # USN 668277
    David Buell for his father CWO4 Benton E. Buell USN Ret. DCA USS Sperry 1968-69
    Sperry 1036k USS Sperry (AS-12) underway, circa 1950s, location unknown.
    USN photo via the US Naval Institute.
    David Buell for his father CWO4 Benton E. Buell USN Ret. DCA USS Sperry 1968-69
    Sperry 73k USS Sperry (AS-12) underway at San Francisco Bay in October 1957.
    Photo by ©Allied Photographers San Francisco.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Sperry 298k USS Sperry (AS-12) underway, circa 1960, location unknown. Mike Donegan, Naval & Aviation Artist
    Sperry 68k USS Sperry (AS-12) rides between her mooring buoys with most of the submarines of Squadron Three alongside, at San Diego, CA., date unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, March 1960
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Sperry 139k USS Sperry (AS-12) moored in harbor with submarines alongside, circa 1960s.
    US Navy photo.
    Scott Koen
    Sperry 133k USS Sperry (AS-12) underway, circa 1960s, location unknown. Note the automobiles loaded on deck.
    US Navy photo.
    Scott Koen
    Sperry 46k USS Sperry (AS-12) moored pierside in 1964, location unknown. Submarines alongside include the attack submarines USS Plunger (SSN-595) and USS Scamp (SSN-588) forward, and USS Permit (SSN-594) aft.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Sperry 97k Cover of USS Sperry (AS-12) Welcome Aboard pamphlet, circa 1968. Note she still carries MK 12/22 radar on her MK 37 gun director in this picture. Submarines alongside include, from inboard to outboard USS Atule (SS-403), USS Bugara (SS-331) and USS Sea Fox (SS-402. David Buell for his father CWO4 Benton E. Buell USN Ret. DCA USS Sperry 1968-69
    Sperry 486k Overhead view of USS Sperry (AS-12) moored pierside with submarines alongside, circa 1970s.
    US Navy photo.
    Scott Koen
    Nereus 391k USS Sperry (AS-12) and USS Nereus (AS-17) moored at Naval Base Point Loma, circa 1970s. Ron Reeves
    Nereus 344k
    Sperry 411k USS Sperry (AS-12) with USS Ethan Allen (SSBN-608) alongside, Naval Station Point Loma, CA., circa 1973-74. Photo by Tom Brownrigg BTFN USS Dixon
    Sperry 101k USS Sperry (AS-12) at anchor in San Diego harbor, 1976. Darryl Baker
    Sperry 100k USS Sperry (AS-12) at anchor in San Diego harbor, 1980. Darryl Baker
    Sperry 73k USS Sperry (AS-12) pierside, San Diego, CA., 1981. Darryl Baker
    Sperry 141k Stern first view of USS Sperry (AS-12) pierside at Point Loma, San Diego, CA., date unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Sperry
    09361231
    1864k Photos of USS Sperry (AS-12)'s, bridge received by Mare Island Naval Shipyard shortly before Sperry decommissioned, 30 September 1982.
    09361231 - File name: AS 1982 01, Navy Photo, circa 1982 - Major ship control stations in the bridge of USS Sperry (AS 12) looking from the radar repeater to the port side
    09361232 - File name: AS 1982 02, Navy Photo, circa 1982 - Major ship control stations in the bridge of USS Sperry (AS 12) looking from aft/port center to forward center line.
    09361233 - File name: AS 1982 04, Navy Photo, circa 1982 - Port side aft bulkhead of the bridge of USS Sperry (AS 12) between boatswain mate's station and center line.
    09361234 - File name: AS 1982 08, Navy Photo, circa 1982 - Boatswain mate's station on the bridge of USS Sperry (AS 12) looking from center line to post side.
    Darryl Baker
    Sperry
    09361232
    1717k
    Sperry
    09361233
    2119k
    Sperry
    09361234
    1455k
    Sperry 945k Ex-USS Sperry (AS-12) in dry dock #3 at Mare Island CA. 1-2 October 2011, for hull cleaning by Allied Defense Recycling prior to being towed to Brownsville for dismantling. Photos by Darryl Baker
    Sperry 642k
    Sperry 2919k Ex-USS Sperry (AS-12) moored pierside at Mare Island CA. 20 October 2011, after cleaning and prior to being towed to Brownsville for dismantling. Photo by Darryl Baker
    Sperry 97k Ex-USS Sperry (AS-12) beginning her transit through the Panama Canal, 6 December 2011, while under tow from tug Rachael. Ex-Sperry was outbournd from Mare Island to Brownsville, TX. for scrapping. Ron Reeves
    Sperry 118k Ex-USS Sperry (AS-12) transiting the Panama Canal (Gatun Locks), 6 December 2011, while under tow from Mare Island to Brownsville, TX. for scrapping. Ron Reeves
    Sperry 124k Ex-USS Sperry (AS-12) transiting the Panama Canal, 6 December 2011, while under tow from Mare Island to Brownsville, TX. for scrapping. Ron Reeves
    Sperry 143k

    Additional Sperry Ship's Patches
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski

    Sperry Sperry


    For more photos and information about USS Sperry, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Data Base
  • USS Sperry Reunion Association
  • Submarine Tenders of the United States Navy
  • Commanding Officers
  • Suisun Reserve Fleet photos by Michael McDermott

  • Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S.Navy Memorial Foundation

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    Last Updated 5 December 2014