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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Patch at left contributed by Mike Smolinski, patch at right courtesy Paul Knierim via NAFTS

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Bolster (ARS-38)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Hotel - Echo - Whiskey
NHEW
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 - Combat Action Ribbon (3)
Second Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Fourth Row - Korean Service Medal (7) - Vietnam Service Medal (11) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (2)
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)


Bolster Class Rescue and Salvage Ship:
  • Laid down, 20 July 1944, at Basalt Rock Co., Napa, CA.
  • Launched, 23 December 1944
  • Commissioned USS Bolster (ARS-38), 1 May 1945, LT. Willian F. Lewis in command
  • During and following World War II USS Bolster was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and performed Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods: 20 September to 27 October 1945 and 5 to 6 May 1947
  • During the Korean War USS Bolster participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    North Korean Aggression
    15 September to 2 November 1950
    Second Korean Winter
    8 to 23 February 1952
    13 March to 12 April 1952
    Communist China Aggression
    3 November 1950 to 19 January 1951
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    3 to 16 June 1952
    15 July 1952
    First UN Counter Offensive
    9 February to 10 March 1951
    11 to 16 April 1951
    Korea Summer-Fall 1953
    8 March to 11 April 1953
    Communist China Spring Offensive
    17 to 21 May 1951
     

  • During the Vietnam War USS Bolster participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    11 to 17 February 1966
    Sanctuary Counteroffensive
    1 to 14 May 1970
    7 to 24 June 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    21 October to 19 December 1967
    24 to 29 January 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII
    24 July to 12 August 1970
    30 August to 15 September 1970
    Tet Counteroffensive
    30 January to 27 February 1968
    Consolidation I
    26 October to 30 November 1971
    Tet 69/Counteroffensive
    3 to 7 March 1969
    7 April to 25 May 1969
    Consolidation II
    1 to 3 December 1971
    1 January to 29 March 1972
    Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
    7 July to 4 August 1969
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    30 March to 30 September 1972
    Vietnam Winter-Summer 1970
    26 to 30 April 1970
     

  • Decommissioned, 24 September 1994
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 24 September 1994
  • Transferred, 1 February 1999, to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
  • Final Disposition, Scrap Contract of $462,223.31 to Marine Metals, Inc Brownsville TX 12 Apr, 2011. Departed the National Defense Reserve Fleet Suisun Bay Group 23 May 2011. Scrapping completed 17 Nov 2011
  • USS Bolster received seven battle stars for her Korean War service and eleven campaign stars for Vietnam War service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 1,497 t.(lt) 2,048 t.(fl)
    Length 213' 6"
    Beam 43'
    Draft 13' 9"
    Speed 16 kts.
    Complement
    Officers 7
    Enlisted 113
    Largest Boom Capacity10 t.
    Armament
    one single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mount
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four .50 cal machine guns
    Fuel Capacities
    Diesel 2,150 Bbls
    Gasoline 2,500 Gals
    Propulsion
    four Cooper-Bessemer Diesel-electric, GSB-8 engines
    double Fairbanks-Morse Main Reduction Gears Ship's Service Generators
    two Diesel-drive 200Kw 120V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 60Kw 120V D.C.
    twin propellers, 3,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Bolster 37k Bolster (ARS-38) under construction in Drydock No.1. at Basalt Rock Co., Napa, CA., date unknown.
    Photo from USS Bolster Decommissioning program, courtesy National Association
    of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Robert Hurst
    Bolster 35k Bolster (ARS-38) leaving Drydock No. 1, at Basalt Rock Co., Napa, CA., 23 December 1944.
    Photo from USS Bolster Decommissioning program, courtesy National Association
    of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Robert Hurst
    Bolster 29k USS Bolster (ARS-38) underway during builders trials, San Francisco Bay, 20 May 1945 Courtesy John Ackerman
    via NAFTS
    National Association
    of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Bolster
    19-N-85859
    94k USS Bolster (ARS-38) underway during builders trials, San Francisco Bay, 20 May 1945.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo No.s 19-N-85859 and 19-N-85860 US Navy Bureau of Ships photos now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green
    Bolster
    19-N-85860
    87k
    Bolster 102k USS Bolster (ARS-38) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, September 1951.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Bolster 357k Bow view of the Mare Island model of USS Bolster (ARS-38) Photo is dated 11 February 1952.
    File name: ARS 38 11856-2-52, Navy Photo, 2/11/52
    Darryl Baker
    Bolster 334k Model of USS Bolster (ARS-38) at the Office of the Curator of Navy Ship Models, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock, Bethesda, MD., 2013 Photo by Dan Treadwell
    Bolster 50k USS Bolster (ARS-38) on her way to assist SS Meridian Victory after that ship ran aground on a reef while entering Sunyong Man, South Korea, circa 1952.
    Photo from National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors, contributed by Chuck Durand
    Robert Hurst
    Bolster 38k USS Bolster (ARS-38) towing an unidentified submarine, date and location unknown.
    Photo from USS Bolster Decommissioning program, courtesy National Association
    of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Robert Hurst
    Bolster 30k USS Bolster (ARS-38), at Yokosuka, Japan, 1952 Courtesy Lynn Miller
    via NAFTS
    National Association
    of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Bolster 49k USS Bolster (ARS-38) underway, date and location unknown. NAFTS
    National Association
    of Fleet Tug Sailors
    PC-485 49k The main deck of the ROK Han Ra San (PC 705) ex-USS PC-485 about to break the surface after being sunk at Guam by Typhoon Karen, November 1962. The salvage ships USS Bolster (ARS 38) and USS Reclaimer (ARS 42) are in the background.
    US Navy photo.
    Bob Daly USS PC-1181
    Bolster 347k USS Bolster (ARS-38) returning from sea to Naval Station Long Beach, Spring 1992. Photo by ©David Buell
    Bolster 108k Stern view of ex-USS Bolster (ARS-38) moored in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., November/December 2006. Christopher Edwards


    For more photos and information about USS Bolster, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
  • Commanding Officers

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

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 28 November 2014