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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Opportune (ARS-41)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation
Second Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (5) - Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (2)
Third Row - American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - National Defense Service Medal (3)
Fourth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba) - Vietnam Service Medal (1) - Southwest Asia Service Medal

Bolster Class Rescue and Salvage Ship:
  • Laid down, 13 September 1944, at Basalt Rock Co., Napa, CA.
  • Launched, 31 March 1945
  • Commissioned USS Opportune (ARS-41), 5 October 1945
  • During the Vietnam War USS Opportune participated in the following campaign:

    Vietnam Campaign Medal Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    Vietnam Counteroffensive Campaign
    19 January to 26 February 1966

  • Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 30 April 1993
  • USS Opportune earned one campaign star for Vietnam War service
  • Title transfer to the Maritime Administration (MARAD), 1 February, 1999
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Lee Hall, VA.
  • Final Disposition, contract for scrapping awarded to Bay Bridge Enterprises, Chesapeake, VA., towed from the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River to Bay Bridge Enterprises, Chesapeake, VA., 5 December 2003
    Displacement 1,497t.(lt) 2,048 t.(fl)
    Length 213' 6"
    Beam 43'
    Draft 14' 8"
    Speed 16 kts.
    Officers 7
    Enlisted 113
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacities
    Diesel 2,150 Bbls
    Gasoline 2,560 Gals
    four Cooper Bessemer (GSB-8) Diesel-electric drive engines
    single Fairbanks Morse Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two Diesel-drive 200Kw 120V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 50Kw 120V D.C.
    twin propellers, 3,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Opportune 130k USS Opportune (ARS-41) moored pierside, location unknown, probably soon after completion in October 1945.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. Unknown, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Opportune 92k USS Opportune (ARS-41) assists in controlling the fires aboard MV Mallorca, an old passenger-mail ship under repair at Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 26 June 1969.
    Photo courtesy the Museu Marítim de Barcelona.
    Fabio Peña
    Opportune 40k USS Opportune (ARS-41) ready to lay beach gear, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Courtesy Craig Rothhammer
    via NAFTS
    National Association
    of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Opportune 77k USS Opportune (ARS-41) under way, August 1966, location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, January 1971.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Opportune 85k USS Opportune (ARS-41) under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "Sea Classics" magazine, September 1979.
    Jim Geldert
    Thor 68k USS Opportune (ARS-41) and USS Thor (ARC-4) working together, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine February 1954.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    Opportune 42k USS Opportune (ARS-41) under way, date and location unknown. Tom Langford
    Opportune 111k USS Opportune (ARS-41) under way circa the 1970s. The single 40 mm gun over the bridge appears to have been removed.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command (UA-164), Photo No. Unknown, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Opportune 1253k USS Opportune (ARS-41) departing La Spezia, Italy, 12 December 1981. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
    Opportune 366k Starboard bow view of USS Opportune (ARS-41) underway, 1 November 1983, location unknown.
    DVIC photo # DN-SC-88-09162, by PH2 P. Wiggins, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the Defense Visual Information Center.
    Bill Gonyo
    469k USS Opportune (ARS-41) underway off Hampton Roads, VA. in 1985. Nicholas Tiberio
    Opportune 32k USS Opportune (ARS-41) underway off NAB Little Creek, VA, November 1990 Courtesy Don Knock
    via NAFTS
    National Association
    of Fleet Tug Sailors

    Additional Ships Patches / Decals / Crests
    Ship's Patch
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski
    Ship's Patch
    Contributed by John E. Price
    Ship's Patch
    Contributed by John E. Price
    Ship's Crest
    Contributed by Craig Rothhammer via NAFTS
    2" Vinyl Ship's Patch decal
    Contributed by Jack Treutle
    Ship's plaque
    Contributed by John E. Price II
    for his father John Price Sr.
    USS Opportune

    For more information about USS Opportune, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • "Welcome Aboard"
  • National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
  • Postal Covers related to the ship

  • Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Knopp, Charles L.5 October 1945 - 29 November 1946
    02LTjg. Nowack, Edward, Edwin USN29 November 1946 - 20 December 1946
    03LT. Bohgren, Marion Lowell, USN20 December 1946 - 24 December 1948
    04LT. Hall, Theodore USNR24 December 1948 - 22 May 1950
    05LCDR. Reid, David Cameron 22 May 1950 - 1 May 1953
    06LT. Jones, James1 May 1953 - 19 May 1954
    07LCDR. Smith Jr., Walter Webster19 May 1954 - 14 March 1956
    08LCDR. Ford, Donald Glen14 March 1956 - 28 December 1957
    09LCDR. O'Kane, John Draney28 December 1957 - 7 November 1959
    10LCDR. Byrnes Jr., Thomas Frank7 November 1959 - 5 July 1962
    11LT. Goodson, Ray5 July 1962 - 28 October 1963
    12LCDR. Tinkler, David Rainey28 October 1963 - 6 August 1965
    13LCDR. Stouter, Leland Roy6 August 1965 - 18 March 1967
    14LCDR. Gagne, Wilfred Clifford, USN18 March 1967 - 3 December 1969
    15LCDR. Craft, Don Carleton3 December 1969 - 5 July 1972
    16LCDR. Camp, Norman Thomas5 July 1972 - 14 September 1973
    17LCDR. Fred, Robert Henry14 September 1973 - 30 April 1975
    18LCDR. Alexander Jr., Marion Romaine, USN (USNA 1964)30 April 1975 - April 1977
    19LCDR. Taylor, Billy GlenApril 1977 - 22 March 1979
    20LCDR. West, Richard David :RADM22 March 1979 - April 1981
    21LCDR. Gray, Robert James, USNApril 1981 - 18 March 1983
    22LCDR. McAfee, William T.18 March 1983 - December 1985
    23LCDR. Scott, Michael R.December 1985 - April 1989
    24CDR. Jones, Edgar J.April 1989 - 27 December 1990
    25LCDR. Iskra, Darlene M.27 December 1990 - March 1993
    26LCDR. Randall, David G.March 1993 - 30 April 1993
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    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 2 June 2023