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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Orion (AS-18)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Uniform - Golf - Zulu
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Secretary of the Navy Letter of Commendation
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (3) - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (3)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - National Defense Service Medal (3) - Armed Forces Service Medal - Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

Fulton Class Submarine Tender:
  • Laid down, 31 July 1941, at Moore Dry Dock Co., Oakland, CA.
  • Launched, 24 June 1942
  • Commissioned USS Orion (AS-18), 30 September 1943, CAPT.. C. S. Isgrig in command
  • During World War II USS Orion was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Decommissioned, 3 September 1993
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 3 September 1993
  • Title transfer to MARAD, 1 March 1999
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA.
  • Final Disposition, scrapping contract awarded, 2 June 2006, ($734,230.00) to North American Ship Recycling of Sparrows Point, MD. for removed for the James River Reserve Fleet and towed to Sparrows Point, MD. for scrapping, 27 July 2006, scrapping completed 19 July 2007
    Displacement 9,734 t.(lt) 15,034 t. (fl)
    Length 529' 6"
    Beam 73' 4"
    Draft 23' 6"
    Speed 15.4 kts.
    Officers 72
    Enlisted 1470
    Largest Boom Capacity 20 t.
    four single 5"/38 gun mounts
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    twelve single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity
    Diesel 26,560 Bbls
    General Motors 16-248 Diesel electric engines
    single Fairbanks Morse Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    three Diesel-drive 500Kw 450V A.C.
    one Diesel-drive 200Kw 450V A.C.
    twin propellers, 11,200shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed By
    Orion - In Greek mythology, Orion was a giant huntsman whom Zeus (or perhaps Artemis) placed among the stars as the constellation of Orion. (Wikipedia)
    Print of the copperplate engraving for Johann Bayer's Uranometria (1661) showing the constellation Orion, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory Library.
    Tommy Trampp
    AS18 7699-43, 11/22/43
    167k USS Orion (AS-18) at Mare Island 22 and 23 November 1943 at the end of her post commissioning overhaul.
    File name: AS18 7699-43, US Navy, 11/22/43 - Bow view of USS Orion (AS 18) departing Mare Island, 22 November 22, 1943 for bay trials
    File name: AS18 7701-43, US Navy, 11/22/43 - Broadside view of USS Orion (AS 18), 22 November 22, 1943 on bay trials
    File name: AS18 7702-43, US Navy, 11/22/43 - Stern view of USS Orion (AS 18), 22 November 22, 1943 on bay trials
    File name: AS 18 7821-43, US Navy, 11/23/43 - Bow view of USS Orion (AS 18) moored at Mare Island, 23 November 1946. USS Celeno (AK-76) is berth to the right.
    File name: AS 18 7824-43, US Navy, 11/23/43 - View of the after 5" gun mounts of the USS Orion (AS 18) while at Mare Island, 23 November 1943.
    Darryl Baker
    AS18 7701-43, 11/22/43
    AS18 7702-43, 11/22/43
    AS18 7821-43, 11/23/43
    AS18 7824-43, 11/23/43
    Orion 259k USS Orion (AS-18) moored, date and location unknown. John W. Klar
    Orion 118k USS Orion (AS-18) moored, date and location unknown. John W. Klar
    Orion 58k USS Orion (AS-18) moored at Saipan in September 1944, with 7 fleet-type submarines alongside.
    Photo from "United States Submarine Operations In World War 11," by Theodore Roscoe
    Robert Hurst
    129k USS Orion (AS-18) moored in berth S10 at Submarine Base Pearl Harbor, 30 Dec 1944, with submarines USS Burrfish (SS-312) and USS Piper (SS-409) alongside.
    Photo by Eugene Smith, Life Magazine. Used for educational and non-commercial purpose.
    John Chiquoine
    224k USS Orion (AS-18), left and USS Howard W. Gilmore (AS-16) , right, at anchor in New York Harbor, 27 October 1945, during the 1945 New York Naval Review. Note the two destroyers passing astern of the two tenders, crews of tenders and destroyers manning the rail and the blimp passing above.
    Photo from Operation Enduring Service
    Chin Yu Chu
    Orion 73k USS Orion (AS-18) at anchor or moored to a buoy, circa 1950, location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Robert Hurst
    Orion 55k USS Orion (AS-18) and nest of submarines take a brief rest in the Virgin Islands alongside docking facilities made available by local residents, date unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, February 1954
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Orion 75k
    Orion 248k USS Orion (AS-18) at Naval Station Norfolk, VA. during a change of command ceremony with the following submarines alongside.
    Inboard to outboard:
    USS Sailfish (SSR-572),
    probably, USS Cutlass (SS-478),
    USS Runner (SS-476),
    USS Cobbler (SS-344),
    USS Argonaut (SS-475),
    USS Requin (SSR-481), and
    USS Barbero (SSG-317).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 92321.
    Robert Hurst
    Orion 88k USS Orion (AS-18) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, March 1959
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Orion 77k USS Orion (AS-18) moored at the D&S Piers, Naval Station Norfolk, VA.. Across the pier is USS Sirago (SS-485). Laying alongside Orion is an unidentified Sturgeon Class attack submarine.
    Undated US Navy photo
    Robert M. Cieri
    Orion 613k USS Orion (AS-18) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, January 1971.
    Stanley C. Svec and
    John W. Klar
    Orion 517k USSOrion (AS-18) underway, date and location unknown. John W. Klar
    Orion 685k USS Orion (AS-18) underway, date and location unknown. John W. Klar
    Orion 403k USS Orion (AS-18) underway, date and location unknown. John W. Klar
    Orion 609k USS Orion (AS-18) underway, date and location unknown. John W. Klar
    Orion 99k USS Orion (AS-18) moored while tending submarines, date and location unknown. John W. Klar
    Orion 61k USS Orion (AS-18) tending submarines, Naval Station Charleston, S.C., date unknown.  
    Orion 136k USS Orion (AS-18) arriving at Genoa, Italy, 22 January 1980. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Orion 443k USS Orion (AS-18) tending submarines, forward deployed at La Maddalena, Sardinia, Italy. Orion is "Med Moored" at her berth on Santa Steffano Island about half way between "Mainland" Sardinia (off screen lower left) and the islands of La Maddalena and Capra (in the background), circa 1983. Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret and
    John W. Klar
    Orion 201k USS Orion (AS-18) forward deployed at La Maddalena, Sardinia, Italy. Orion is "Med Moored" at her berth on Santa Steffano Island, 30 September 1983. Crew members celebrate their ship's 40th birthday on the foredeck of USS Orion (AS-18), one of the Navy's oldest ships on active duty. Homeported in La Maddalena, Italy, Orion serves as flagship for Commander Submarine Refit Training Group, La Maddalena and Command Submarine Group Eight
    US Navy photo.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    Orion 125k USS Orion (AS-18) tending a submarine while forward deployed at La Maddalena, Sardinia, Italy, circa 1983. Wendell McLaughlin
    Fulton 803k Aerial view of USS Orion (AS 18) and USS Fulton (AS-11) moored side by side at La Maddalena, Sardinia in March 1985. Fulton (the oldest active ship in the fleet at the time, 43 years) relieved Orion for a period of 49 days so that Orion could receive needed maintenance and repairs. Thomas K. Peters EN1 (SW) US Navy 1982-1991
    Orion 79k USS Orion (AS-18) in her moorings at La Maddalena, Sardinia, Italy in August 1987.
    Photo by Wendell McLaughlin PN1 (SS), USN Ret.
    Wendell McLaughlin for his father Wendell McLaughlin PN1 (SS), USN Ret.
    Orion 292k USS Orion (AS-18) and USS Key West (SSN-722), off Cartagena, Spain, 26 May 1990. Manuel García García
    Orion 258k
    Orion 225k USS Orion (AS-18) moored to a buoy, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Scott Koen
    Orion 1,025k Starboard quarter view of the decommissioned ex-USS Orion (AS-18) in a dry dock at Norfolk Naval Shipyard Portsmouth, VA., 26 August 1994. The ship yard is making sure the hull is water tight before moving the ship to storage.
    Department of Defense photo # DN-SC-95-000679 a US Navy photo by Don Montgomery, now in the collections of Defense
    Mike Smolinski
    Orion 331k Ex-USS Orion (AS-18) being prepared for preservation at Norfolk Naval Shipyard Portsmouth, VA., 8 September 1994. To the left of Orion is the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) in overhaul.
    Department of Defense photo # DN-SC-95-01396 a US Navy photo by Don Montgomery, now in the collections of Defense
    Mike Smolinski
    CVN-73 George Washington
    2.67M Aerial view of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on the Elizabeth River, 25 March 1995. Ships in the yard, (L to R), the decommissioned Orion (AS-18), a destroyer under overhaul, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73), decommissioned submarine tender Hunley (AS-31), the stripped-down hull of the decommissioned nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser Virginia (CGN-38) and a medium auxiliary repair dock inside the large graving dock at lower right.
    Photo by Robert J. Sitar.
    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # 330-CFD-DN-SC-95-01523.

    US National Archives

    USS Orion (AS-18) Memorabilia
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski

    Bill of Fare General Mess, 4 July 1945
    Imperial Domain of Golden Dragon card

    For more photos and information about USS Orion, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • USS Orion AS-18, Scrapping in Baltimore, MD., 2006-2007
  • Submarine Tenders of the United States Navy

  • Commanding Officers
    01 CAPT. Isgrig, Clayton Shadek 30 September 1943 - 10 July 1944
    02 CAPT. Shane, George Leonard :RADM10 July 1944 - 27 May 1945
    03 CAPT. Hannon, Edward Robert 27 May 1945 - 11 June 1947
    04 CAPT. Laing, Frederick Williams11 June1947 - 1 June 1948
    05 CAPT. Davidson, John Frederick :RADM1 June 1948 - 1 July 1949
    06 CAPT. McGregor Jr., Louis Darby (Sandy) :RADM1 July 1949 - 1 July 1950
    07 CAPT. Eddy, Ian Crawford 01 July 1950 - 23 June 1951
    08 CAPT. Porter Jr., George Egbert 23 June 1951 - 3 January 1952
    09 CDR. Baer, Donald George :RADM03 January 1952 - 17 January 1952
    10 CAPT. Murphy Jr., Charlton Lewis, :RADM17 January 1952 - 9 April 1953
    11 CAPT. Laughon, Willard Ros, 9 April 1953 - 8 May 1954
    12 CAPT. Kinsella, William Thomas :RADM8 May 1954 - 8 July 1955
    13 CAPT. Kefauver, Russell 8 July 1955 - 11 August 1956
    14 CAPT. Nimitz Jr., Chester William 11 August 1956 - 25 July 1957
    15 CAPT. Bowers, Richard Harwood 25 July 1957 - 1 August 1958
    16 CAPT. Brown, Charles Donald, 1 August 1958 - 11 August 1959
    17 CAPT. Mason, John Denning, USN (USNA 1938)11 August 1959 - 20 July 1960
    18 CAPT. Eubanks, Leon Stuart20 July 1960 - 7 July 1961
    19 CAPT. Bergner, Allen Alfred :RADM7 July 1961 - 6 August 1962
    20 CAPT. Vandergrift Jr., Jacob. Jay 6 August 1962 - 30 August 1963
    21 CAPT. Schocken, Julian Ivan 30 August 1963 - 21 August 1964
    22 CAPT. McCants, Thomas Robert 21 August 1964 - 12 January 1966
    23 CAPT. Siple, William Lynn, USN (USNA 1944) 12 January 1966 - 15 January 1967
    24 CAPT. Bellah, James Crawford, USN (USNA 1946)15 January 1967 - 22 July 1969
    25 CAPT. Nicklas Jr., William Conrad, USN (USNA 1946)22 July 1969 - 6 October 1970
    26 CAPT. Nuss, Jerry John, USN (USNA 1947)6 October 1970 - 20 May 1972
    27 CAPT. Barunas Jr., George Aloysius, USN (USNA 1951)20 May 1972 - 23 August 1974
    28 CAPT. Drain, John Frederick 23 August 1974 - 19 June 1976
    29 CAPT. Henson, George Marshall 19 June 1976 - 30 August 1978
    30 CAPT. Skorupski Jr., Stanislaus Sidney (Stanley), USN (USNA 1955)30 August 1978 - 27 June 1980
    31 CAPT. Charles, Richard Noel, USN (USNA 1957)27 June 1980 - 30 July 1982
    32 CAPT. Branch Jr., Daniel Bernice 30 July 1982 - 24 July 1984
    33 CAPT. Morgan, Robert Veron 24 July 1984 - 6 June 1986
    34 CAPT. Ferrier, Donald Robert 6 June 1986 - 5 November 1988
    35 CAPT. Morgan, Edward Lee5 November 1988 - 14 February 1991
    36 CAPT. Hack, Theodore Walter (Ted) 14 February 1991 - 30 September 1993
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 25 March 2022