Quick Links Menu.

USS Otus (AS-20) on 24 August 1942
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        OTUS (AS-20)
Design:        MC C1-B
Displacement (tons):        5,775 light, 9,225 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        417.75' oa x 60.0' e x 20.5' lim.
Original Armament:        1-5"/51 2-3"/50 (1941)
Later armaments:        1-5"/51 2-3"/50 4-20mm (1942);
1-5"/38 4-3"/50 12-20mm (1943); 1-5"/38 4-3"/50 3-40mm 12<14-20mm (1944-45); 1-5"/38 4-3"/50 4-40mm 12-20mm (1945)
Complement:        510 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        14.7
Propulsion (HP):        4,000
Machinery:        De Laval turbine, 1 screw

AS Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
20 OTUS 1 Mar 41 Federal SB & DD, Kearny 3 Jun 40 2 Nov 40 19 Mar 41

AS Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
20 OTUS 20 Aug 46 25 Sep 46 21 Aug 46 MC 2 Nov 70

Class Notes:
FY 1941. Acquisition of a ship to serve as a submarine tender for the Asiatic Fleet was directed in November 1940. The Navy informed the Maritime Commission on 7 Jan 41 that it required as promptly as possible a diesel-propelled vessel, preferably of the C2 type, but as a last resort a C1 type. It wanted to take delivery of the ship on the West Coast or in the Philippines and planned to use her without material alteration because of the urgency of obtaining her as quickly as possible. The Navy had been trying for some time to obtain a vessel and had considered the Danish GRETE MAERSK (1937) and a Dutch vessel, both then in the Far East, but had found them unsuitable. By 11 Jan 41 the Navy had selected FRED MORRIS, a modern C1-B freighter that had sailed on 8 Jan 41 from a port in the Gulf of Mexico and could be unloaded and ready for delivery to the Navy at the Cavite Navy Yard in Manila Bay about 12 Feb 41. In mid-January 1941 BuShips forwarded to the Commandant, 16th Naval District, plans for the conversion of C3-type cargo vessels to submarine tenders and stated that C1-type conversion plans would follow in February. This ship was acquired from the Lykes Lines and partially converted at Cavite between 1 Mar 41 and 1 Sep 41. The conversion included installation of two 30-ton booms taken from other Lykes freighters then at Manila, HOWELL LYKES and DOCTOR LYKES (later AD-20). AS-20 narrowly avoided destruction in the Japanese bombing of Cavite on 10 Dec 41, was ordered to Australia as soon as the attack ended, and then tended submarines there and in the Indian Ocean before departing for the United States on 25 Jul 42. She then received a more thorough conversion at the Mare Island Navy Yard between 24 Aug 42 and 23 Jan 43. Returning to the Southwest Pacific, OTUS furnished tender services for small surface vessels as well as submarines in New Guinea between September 1943 and December 1944 and in the Philippines after moving there in January 1945.

On 13 Apr 45 CINCPAC told CNO that OTUS had been employed as a MTB tender in the 7th Fleet for the past two years and was expected to continue in this duty. CINCPAC therefore recommended that she be reclassified as an AGP. CNO replied on 3 May 45 that she would be designated AGP-21. However on 13 May CINCPAC recommended that this reclassification be reconsidered, because OTUS had been used for the past two months as an ARG and was most satisfactory in this role. CNO replied on 18 May 45 that she would be designated ARG-20 and noted that no conversion would be required prior to the next regular Navy Yard overhaul. CNO promulgated the reclassification on 31 May 45, effective 25 Jun 45.

Ship Notes:
AS Name MC# Notes
20 OTUS 70 Ex merc. FRED MORRIS (ID-5012C, completed 27 Dec 40). To ARG-20 25 Jun 45. To NDRF Olympia 21 Aug 46 as OTUS. To buyer 10 Nov 70.

Page Notes:
AS        1941
Compiled:        12 Jul 2008
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2008