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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Dixon (AS-37)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Whiskey - Romeo - Hotel
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (4)
Second Row - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (3) - Navy Expeditionary Medal - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Third Row - Southwest Asia Service Medal (1) - Sea Service Deployment Ribbon - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

L. Y. Spear Class Submarine Tender:
  • Laid down, 7 September 1967, at General Dynamics Corp., Quincy, MA.
  • Launched, 20 June 1970
  • Commissioned USS Dixon (AS-37), 7 August 1971, CAPT. D. S. Boyd, USN
  • Decommissioned, 15 December 1995
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 18 March 1996
  • Laid up at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Portsmouth, VA.
  • Final Disposition, sunk as a target, 21 July 2003, Location: 031° 16' 17.9" North, 073° 57' 46.2" West Depth: 2805 fathoms
    Displacement 14,362 t.(lt) 23,396 t. (fl)
    Length 643'
    Beam 85'
    Draft 29'
    Speed 18.5 kts.
    Officers 87
    Enlisted 1,235
    Armament (As Built)
    two 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts
    four 50 cal machine guns
    two boilers
    one steam turbine
    single shaft

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Dixon 47k

    George E. Dixon’s pre-war home was Mobile, Alabama, where he is believed to have been a steamboat engineer and auxiliary policeman. It was here he became close to Queen Bennett the oldest of 8 children of a steamboat captain. He was, however, many years her senior, which seemed to make no difference at all. In 1861 George Dixon went to war in the 21st Alabama Infantry where he was wounded at Shiloh. At this time his romance with Queen Bennett becomes legendary. Before his departure she had given him a twenty-dollar gold piece for good luck; and it was this gold coin that saved his leg and possibly his life as it stopped a minie ball that went crashing into his leg at Shiloh. After Shiloh, Dixon returned to Mobile to convalesce where he also worked in the machine shop preparing the submarine for service. Horace Lawson Hunley was a Louisiana sugar planter and deputy collector of U.S. Customs in New Orleans. With a handful of private associates he helped bankroll the submarine which was a private venture. On August 7, 1863 Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard called Hunley to Charleston to help break the blockade. Shown as follows is H. L. Hunley and the Park and Lyons Machine Shop in Mobile where the submarine was constructed.
    The Hunley actually sank three times during its career before she was finally successful. On August 29, 1863, the Hunley was swamped while moored by a passing ship when swells entered its open hatches. Five of its nine crewmen drowned. On October 15, 1863, the Hunley sank with all hands when unable to recover from a dive. The crew was unable to release the ballast which would have enabled them to resurface. All eight crewmen drowned which included H.L. Hunley. The third sinking was on Feb 17, 1864 when George E. Dixon and the Hunley made a night attack against the USS Housatonic, an 1800 ton blockading warship mounting 23 guns. The Hunley rammed the Housatonic with a harpoon-like spar, having an explosive charge of about ninety pounds attached to it. After embedding the spar into the Union warship's wooden side, the Hunley backed off several yards; a lanyard was pulled inside the submarine triggering the explosive charge against the Housatonic's hull. The Union warship sank, becoming the first victim of a submarine attack in history. There was to be a pre-arranged blue carbide signal from the Hunley that the attack had been completed and that the sub was coming home. This signal was actually observed from shore. The Hunley however was lost and not rediscovered for another 131 years until the found by author Clive Cussler and his team from the National Underwater and Marine Agency in partnership with the South Carolina Institute of Anthropology and Archaeology. On August 8th, 2000 at 8:37 a.m. the Hunley was lifted to the surface by a crane from the Clarissa B. 136 years after setting out on its attack.
    Photo is a facial re-creation of George E. Dixon by Sharon Longs for National Geographic Magazine.
    Bill Gonyo
    Samuel Gompers 413k The ship's sponsor Mrs. Paul Masterson, the wife of retired Vice Adm. Paul Masterson, USN breaks the traditional bottle of champagne across the bow of USS Dixon (AS-37) as she christens the ship, 20 June 1970, at General Dynamics Corp., Quincy, MA. Dale Hargrave
    Dixon 93k USS Dixon (AS-37) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, January 1974
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    204k USS Dixon (AS-37) underway off San Diego, CA., date unknown.
    © George Barber
    Nicholas Tiberio
    273k USS Dixon (AS-37) underway off San Diego, CA., date unknown.
    © George Barber
    Nicholas Tiberio
    231k USS Dixon (AS-37) underway outbound to sea passing Point Loma while exiting San Diego Bay, date unknown.
    © George Barber
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Dixon 172k USS Dixon (AS-37) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Scott Koen
    Dixon 43k USS Dixon (AS-37) tending submarines at Diego Garcia, date unknown. Contributed by Dave Gibson to
    Randy Guttery's
    Tendertales web site
    Dixon 28k USS Dixon (AS-37) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Courtesy Randy Guttery
    Tendertales web site
    Dixon 55k USS Dixon (AS-37) tending submarines at San Diego, CA., 1973. Photo by Thomas Brownrigg BTFN USS Dixon
    Dixon 84k USS Dixon (AS-37) tending submarines at Sub Base San Diego, circa 1977-79 Photo by Dr. Kenneth Hartman
    Dixon 269k USS Dixon (AS-37) at left, and USS Holland (AS-32) at right, tied up pierside in August 1978. Alongside Holland is an unidentified floating crane. In the foreground is a 65-foot Patrol Boat Mark 111 Sea Specter belonging to Coastal Riverine Squadron Two.
    Photo from "U.S. Small Combatants: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman.
    Robert Hurst
    Dixon 53k USS Dixon (AS-37) tending submarines at Sub Base San Diego, date unknown. Robert Hall USS Tidewater
    Dixon 66k USS Dixon (AS-37) underway, date and location unknown. Robert Hall USS Tidewater
    Samuel Gompers 55k USS Dixon (AS-37) and USS Samuel Gompers (AD-37) side by side at Diego Garcia. After a 60-day deployment Samuel Gompers turned over the job of Indian Ocean fleet repairs to Dixon, May 1981.
    US Navy photo by PH3 Book.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    YTB-826 2469k USS Dixon (AS-37) in her berth at Sub Base San Diego, 1 July 1982. In the foreground the large harbor tug Washtucna (YTB-826) nudges the Los Angeles class nuclear-powered attack submarine USS La Jolla (SSN-701) into her berth outboard of the 594 class attack submarine USS Plunger (SSN-595). .
    DVIC photo # DN-ST-83-10231 by PH2 Randy Hays.
    Defense Visual Information Center
    Dixon 189k USS Dixon (AS-37) underway at Vancouver, B.C., 15 July 1988.
    Photo courtesy Rick Garcia
    Chris Howell, Southland Ship Stores Limited, Port of Bluff, N.Z.
    Arco 400k An aerial view of some of the service craft, submarines and support ships tied up at the submarine base at Point Loma. At left is the medium auxiliary repair dock Arco (ARDM-5); on the other side of the same pier is the auxiliary repair dry dock San Onofre (ARD-30) with a submarine aboard. At right is the submarine tender USS Dixon (AS-37), 1 January 1989.
    Department of Defense photo # DN-SC-90-00223.
    Sperry 727k Submarine tenders moored pierside at Ballast Point, Naval Station Point Loma, San Diego, CA., circa 1980s. From right to left USS Sperry (AS-12), USS Proteus (AS-19) and USS Dixon (AS-37).
    Defense Imagery Photo # VIRIN: DN-SC-85-09594
    Robert Hurst
    Arco 289k The Aircraft Carrier USS Constellation (CV-64) outbound to sea, 18 September 1989, to participate in PACEX89 turns in the harbor at San Diego passing Naval Submarine Base Point Loma where the Submarine Tender USS Dixon (AS-37), Auxiliary Repair Dock San Onofre (ARD-30), Medium Auxiliary Repair Dry Dock Arco (ARDM-5) and Floating Dry Dock Workshop (Machinery) YRDM-7 are moored.
    Department of Defense photo # DNST 9008875.
    Dixon 518k A starboard bow view of USS Dixon (AS-37) tending submarines at Sub Base San Diego, 14 June 1990.
    Department of Defense photo # DN-SC-93-00927.
    Scott Koen
    Gurnard 124kUSS Dixon (AS-37) departs San Diego 17 September 1990, with the nuclear-powered attack submarines USS Guitarro (SSN-665), left, and USS Gurnard (SSN-662), The ships took part in Exercise FallEx '90.
    US Navy photo # DN-SC-91-04869, by PH 2 Patrick W. Muscatt, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection.
    Bill Gonyo and Robert Hurst
    Dixon 75k USS Dixon (AS-37) moored at Sub Base San Diego, date unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.

    There is no DANFS history available for USS Dixon (AS-37) at Navsource
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Boyd, David Stuart7 August 1971 - 17 August 1973
    02CAPT. Kauderer, Bernard Marvin :VADM17 August 1973 - 23 May 1975
    03CAPT. Keane, James Philip23 May 1975 - 10 November 1977
    04CAPT. Harscheid, David George10 November 1977 - 2 August 1979
    05CAPT. Wolfe, Roderic Leighson2 August 1979 - 3 April 1982
    06CAPT. Heuberger, Nathan Albert3 April 1982 - 26 January 1985
    07CAPT. Bond, Thomas Henry26 January 1985 - 28 February 1987
    08CAPT. Lee, Richard Neyman, USN (USNA 1962)28 February 1987 - 29 April 1989
    09CAPT. Beers Jr., Charles Joseph, USN (USNA 1967) :RADM29 April 1989 - 15 June 1991
    10CAPT. McCurry, Robert A.15 June 1991 - 25 November 1992
    11CAPT. Crisp, Dale William, USN (USNA 1969)25 November 1992 - 10 August 1994
    12CAPT. Hearding, David Warren, USN (USNA 1972)10 August 1994 - 15 December 1995
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    For more photos and information about USS Dixon, see;
  • Submarine Tenders of the United States Navy
  • Launching Program contributed by S. Dale Hargrave
  • Miscellaneous and Memorabilia
  • Postal Covers related to the ship

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

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    Last Updated 1 July 2022