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USS White Sands (AGDS 1) in August 1972 after releasing the bathyscaph Trieste II for a dive.

USS White Sands (AGDS 1) in August 1972 after releasing the bathyscaph Trieste II for a dive.
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Design: Navy ARD
Displacement (tons): 5,200. Lifting capacity (tons): 3,500
Dimensions (feet): 491.7' oa x 81' oa x 33.25' when submerged, 5.7' light
Armament: none
Accommodations: unk.
Speed (kts.): n/a
Propulsion (HP): n/a
Machinery: none

1WHITE SANDS1 Aug 1973Pacific Bridge, Alameda CA20 Dec 1943ca Jan 194414 Sep 1966

AGDSNameTDecommStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale
1WHITE SANDSca Feb 19741 Apr 197414 Aug 1974Navy sale--

Class Notes:
The auxiliary repair dock ARD 20, designed to drydock destroyers, submarines, and LSTs at advanced bases, was placed in service on 31 March 1944. Like all non-self propelled floating drydocks she was rated as a service craft. She was placed out of service on 7 October 1947. In October 1965 she was moved to the Long Beach Naval Shipyard and began conversion as a support ship for the newly-rebuilt bathyscaphe TRIESTE II. On 14 September 1966 she was placed in service as ARD(BS) 20, a bathyscaphe support auxiliary repair dock, and assigned to the Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet to conduct CNO research projects related to deep submergence vehicles and their operation she was placed in service on 14 September 1966 as USS ARD(BS) 20. On 9 March 1968 she was named WHITE SANDS and her hull designation was shortened back to ARD 20. From 1966 WHITE SANDS, towed by the fleet ocean tug USS APACHE (ATF-67), operated with TRIESTE II near the Undersea Weapons Center off San Clemente Island, California. In February 1969, WHITE SANDS, carrying TRIESTE II and towed by APACHE and together called the "Integral Operating Unit" (IOU), departed the United States West Coast to participate in the search for the nuclear submarine SCORPION (SSN-589). The unit concluded its part in the SCORPION assignment early in August 1969 and arrived back at San Diego, California, on 7 October 1969. TRIESTE II was listed only as "equipment" in the Navy inventory until 1 September 1969, when she was placed in service, with the hull number X-1. She was reclassified as a deep submergence vehicle (DSV-1) on 1 June 1971. On 6 September 1973 SECNAV reclassified WHITE SANDS (ARD 20) to AGDS 1 effective (retroactively) on 1 August 1973. The classification AGDS was officially established on 3 January 1974 in the service craft category, the nomenclature being Auxiliary Deep Submergence Support Vehicle. In December 1973, TRIESTE II (DSV-1) entered Mare Island Naval Shipyard for overhaul. Shortly after, both USS APACHE (ATF67) and USS WHITE SANDS (AGDS-1) were decommissioned (APACHE on 27 February 1974). At the same time, the MSTS dock cargo ship POINT BARROW (AKD 1, q.v.) was designated to become the new support ship for TRIESTE and was renamed and reclassified USS POINT LOMA (AGDS 2) as of 28 February 1974.

Ship Notes:
1WHITE SANDS(ex ARD 20, compl. Mar 1944). Sold to D. G. Kelsey, Calif. Resold to Marine Power and Equipment of Seattle for use as a building dock for SWOBs (Ships Waste Offloading Barges) and moved into Seattle's Lake Washington, where she remains.

Page Notes:
Compiled: 18 Oct 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021