Prometheus (AR-3) Class: Photographs

These photographs were selected to show the original configuration of this class and major subsequent modifications. For most classes many other photographs exist.
For more complete online collections of U. S. Navy ship photographs see in particular the NHHC Online Library of Selected Images and the NavSource Photo Archive.

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

USS Vestal (Collier No. 1)

Vestal and her sister Prometheus (Collier No. 2) were the first colliers built by the Navy. They were large and fast ships but were inefficient as colliers because their machinery and superstructure was located amidships. See the listing under Colliers for more photos of these ships as colliers.

Photo No. NH 43620
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

 
USS Prometheus

Shown soon after her conversion to a repair ship, possibly in the Norfolk area in 1917.
Externally the conversion included reducing the rig from four to two masts and extending the after end of the amidships island. The small deckhouse on this extension does not reach either side of the ship. The tug alongside may be Wando (Tug No. 17) or Chemung (No. 18).

Photo No. 8834
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-A-31

 
USS Vestal

Probably shown at New York between 17 and 20 December 1918 a week before the Victory Fleet Naval Review there.
The deckhouse on the after end of her amidships island extends to both sides of the ship with six round openings on the port side and a row of closely-spaced rectangular openings on the starboard side with four more on the level below. Prometheus also had a deckhouse here but it did not extend to the ship's sides. The two exhaust stacks on the stern are for the ship's foundry. The battleship Iowa (No. 4) is in the distance astern.

Photo No. NH 43622
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

 
USS Prometheus

With the fleet in January 1920, probably at Guantanamo Bay.
The photo identifies her as Vestal, but that ship was in the Pacific at this time. She is still essentially in her original configuration with a short forecastle.

Photo No. NH 50271
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

 
USS Prometheus (AR-3)

Probably shown circa 1920-1921.
The forward half of the ship's well deck has been filled in by extending the forecastle back to the foremast and a rangefinder has been fitted between the forward pair of 5" guns. The rest of the ship including the amidships superstructure appears to be largely unchanged.

Photo No. NH 68323
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

 
USS Prometheus (AR-3)

Shown during the early 1920s.
The deckhouse on the after end of the amidships superstructure has been extended to the sides of the ship as in Vestal and has also been extended further forward. The row of large round openings on the level below it on the starboard side was unique to Prometheus, which already had it while at Brest, France, in 1918.

Photo No. 80-G-1025106
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

 
USS Vestal (AR-4)

Shown circa the mid- or late 1920s with an Omaha (CL-4) class light cruiser in the background. Vestal supported cruisers of this class for many years.
The forward half of the ship's well deck has been filled in and a rangefinder fitted forward as in Prometheus. The rest of the ship appears to remain largely as it was in 1918.

Photo No. None
Source: Shipscribe

 
USS Vestal (AR-4)

Moored in a warm climate circa the late 1920s or early 1930s.
The four rectangular openings at the after end of her amidships superstructure on the starboard side (a feature not in Prometheus) are partly open and the row of rectangular openings in the deckhouse above them are shielded by awnings. The masts and smokestacks of an Omaha class light cruiser are barely visible behind her.


Photo No. None
Source: Shipscribe

 
USS Vestal (AR-4)

With USS Memphis (CL-13) alongside to port circa the late 1930s.
The deckhouse on Vestal's amidships superstructure has been extended forward almost to the smokestack and other smaller modifications have been made.

Photo No. None
Source: Shipscribe

 
USS Prometheus (AR-3)

Laid up at the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 3 June 1941 shortly before beginning reactivation.
The ship had been laid up since October 1924 and was in questionable condition in 1941, with some items including the smokestack removed. Her four 5"/50 guns were still on board.

Photo No. 19-N-24258
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

 
USS Prometheus (AR-3)

At the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 2 July 1942 after reconstruction and reactivation.
The ship was recommissioned on 15 May 1942. The reconstrution included filling in the well deck forward and enclosing the entire boat deck level above the former amidships superstructure.

Photo No. 19-N-30887
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

 
USS Prometheus (AR-3)

Providing battle damage repairs to USS South Dakota (BB-57) and two destroyers in November 1942, probably at Noumea, New Caledonia.
The inboard destroyer, with the distorted bow, is probably USS Mahan (DD-364), which was damaged in a collision with South Dakota at the close of the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands on 27 October 1942. South Dakota received damage in both that battle and in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on 15 November 1942. The other destroyer may be USS Lamson (DD-367).

Photo No. 80-G-36088
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

 
USS Vestal (AR-4)

At Tulagi in the Southwest Pacific about 20 July 1943 receiving USS Saint Louis (CL-49) alongside for initial repair of torpedo damage received in the Battle of Kolombangara on 13 July 1943.

Photo No. 80-G-258905
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

 
USS Vestal (AR-4)

A close-up of Vestal from the above image. This view indicates that Vestal's repairs following her battle damage at Pearl Harbor did not greatly change her configuration except for her armament.

Photo No. 80-G-258905 (detail)
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

 
USS Vestal (AR-4)

Departing the Mare Island Navy Yard on 8 September 1944 after receiving alterations there to prepare her for duty at Ulithi.
The main alteration was the filling in of her well deck forward, as had been done over two years earlier in her sister. The disruptive pattern camouflage may be the variant of Measure 31 that used green paints.

Photo No. 19-N-71579
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM