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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Clamp (ARS-33)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive - 10 November 1943)
Bottom Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (4) - World War II Victory Medal

Diver Class Rescue and Salvage Ship:
  • Laid down, 3 February 1942, as HMS Atlantic Salvor (BARS-3), under a Maritime Commission contract at Basalt Rock Co., Napa, CA.
  • Reallocated to the US Navy prior to launch
  • Launched, 24 October 1942
  • Commissioned USS Clamp (ARS-33), 23 August 1943, LT. Lebbeus H. Curtis USNR in command.
  • During WWII USS Clamp was assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Gilbert Islands operation
    27 November to 8 December 1943
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 26 March to 16 May 1945
    Marianas operation
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 4 July 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 19 February to 2 March 1945

  • USS Clamp (ARS-33) was assigned to Joint Task Force 1, Task Unit 1.2.7 Target Vessel Group - Salvage Units for Operation Crossroads the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July 1946
  • Decommissioned, 6 May 1947, and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet at San Pedro, CA.
  • Custody transferred to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., 25 October 1962
  • Permanent custody assumed by MARAD,1 July 1963
  • Towed from Suisun Bay to Naval Shipyard Hunters Point, San Francisco, 7 March 1966, for removal of spare parts
  • Returned to Suisun Bay, 11 March 1966
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 July 1973
  • USS Clamp earned four battle stars for World War II service
  • Title transfer to MARAD, 1 February 1999
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping for $462,223.31 to Marine Metals, Inc Brownsville TX 12 April, 2011. Withdrawn from the National Defense Reserve Fleet Suisun Bay Group 23 May 2011
    Displacement 1,630 t.(lt) 1,897 t.(fl)
    Length 213' 6"
    Beam 39'
    Draft 14' 1"
    Speed 18.8 kts.
    Officers 7
    Enlisted 113
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    one single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount
    two twin 40mm AA gun mounts
    four single .50 cal machine guns
    Fuel Capacities
    Diesel 2,300 Bbls
    Gasoline 2,450 Gals
    Cooper Bessemer Diesel-electric engines
    single 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 Contributed
    Clamp 26k USS Clamp (ARS-33) under way, date and location unknown. Courtesy Eugene Rabom
    The National Association
    of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Clamp 67k USS Clamp (ARS-33) plainly showing signs of time at sea, date and location unknown. The twin kingpost aft is characteristic of ships that were originally BARS.
    US Navy photo from "Mud, Muscles, and Miracles" by Captain Charles A. Bartholomew, USN and Commander William I. Milwee, Jr., USN (Ret.)
    Robert Hurst
    Clamp 30k USS Clamp (ARS-33) towing the ex-Japanese Battleship IJNS Nagato towards Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, on 28 March 1946. Nagato had been steaming on her own from Japan to Eniwetok, manned by a skeleton U.S. Navy crew, when she became disabled. Clamp was dispatched to bring the battleship to Eniwetok for use as a target ship for Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll. Photo by Eugen Raborn. Text and photo courtesy The National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors Robert Hurst
    Clamp 34k USS Clamp (ARS-33) and the submarine USS Skate (SS-305) in San Francisco Bay after Clamp completed her tow of Skate from Bikini. Photo courtesy The National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors, contributed by Eugen Raborn. Robert Hurst
    Clamp 106k Ex-USS Clamp laid up in reserve at Suisun Bay, 8 July 1980, Photo by Larry R. Cote,
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 93728
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Clamp 78k Ex-USS Clamp (ARS-33) laid up in reserve in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., in October 1999 . Photo from "Warship Boneyards" by Kit and Carolyn Bonner, authors collection. Robert Hurst
    43k Ex-USS Clamp (ARS-33) laid up in reserve in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.. Ron Reeves

    USS Clamp (ARS-33)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Curtis, Lebbeus Harold, USNR23 August 1943 - 1 October 1945
    02LT. Frey, Saleem DeWitt, USN1 October 1945 - 6 May 1947
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
    National Register Eligibility Assessment

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 19 March 2021