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USS <I>Dixon</I> (AS 37).

USS Dixon (AS 37). The two 5"/38 gun mounts were soon removed.
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Class: L Y SPEAR (AS 36)
Design: SCB Project Nos. 702.65, 702.66, and 702.69.
Displacement (tons): 14,362 light, 23,396 full (AS 36)
Dimensions (feet): 643' oa, 620' wl x 85' e/wl x 29' max nav
Armament: 2-5"/38; (37: 1976, 36: 1979) 4-20mmS
Accommodations: 87 officers, 1235 enlisted (AS 36)
Speed (kts.): 20 (18 sustained)
Propulsion (HP): 20,000
Machinery: Steam turbines, 2 boilers (650psi), 1 screw

36L Y SPEAR12 May 1965General Dynamics, Quincy5 May 19667 Sep 196728 Feb 1970
37DIXON20 Apr 1966General Dynamics, Quincy7 Sep 196720 Jun 19707 Aug 1971

ASNameTDecommStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale
36L Y SPEAR6 Sep 19963 May 19999 Jul 2010Navy sale--
37DIXON15 Dec 199518 Mar 199621 Jul 2003Target--
38unnamed----27 Mar 1969Canc--

Class Notes:
AS 36 (SCB Project no. 702.65) was the first postwar tender designed to support nuclear submarines other than POLARIS submarines. Coming so close on the heels of the AS 33 class (SCB Project no. 238) and the similar AD 37 class (SCB Project no. 244), it had the benefit of sharing in many of the developments of those designs. The AS 36 design process was initiated by a BUSHIPS Preliminary Design Branch (Code 420) memo of 23 January 1963 asking other codes in the Bureau for desired features in the new design. A week later a SCB memo of 30 January 1963 forwarded single sheet characteristics which formed the base for a feasibility study by the Preliminary Design Branch. This study indicated that the design was feasible based on the use of the hull and machinery of the AS 33 class. In February 1963 two other codes in BUSHIPS called for shop facilities essentially identical to those in AS 34. The first working level meeting of the Ship Characteristics Board followed on 4 April 1963. On 26 April 1963 COMSUBLANT recommended an armament of 2-3"/50 plus 4-50 cal machine guns. It was then decided to "farm in" the personnel to produce the preliminary design and "farm out" the subsequent contract design.

The preliminary design got underway in early September with the arrival of personnel from M. Rosenblatt and Son, Inc. In a SCB meeting in November BUWEPS presented a comparison of 5"/38 and 5"/54 guns and it was decided that the procurement costs for the latter ruled out its use on this ship. On 26 November 1963 the SCB forwarded proposed characteristics and scheduled a final working level meeting for 10 December 1963 and a full Board meeting for 9 January 1964. At the December meeting BUWEPS made a presentation on 5"/38 single mounts versus 3"/50 twin mounts, and the decision was made to provide the 5"/38 armament based on performance differences. The full Board meeting in January 1964 accepted the proposed characteristics. The use of AS 34 machinery arrangements for the ship was verified on 10 January 1964, although five days later it was reported that the AS 34 arrangement of uptakes would have to be changed to accommodate the placement of the armament. No structural or hull form plans were felt necessary due to the virtual duplication of AS 33-34 and AD 37-38 in these portions of the design. Two travelling cranes of 5-ton capacity, one on each side, were provided similar to the two on each side in AS 33-34 except that the boom length and telescopic lengthening were increased to be able to service two submarines on each side. In the absence of POLARIS missiles it was found that the heaviest lifts to be expected were the ships' boats of about 12 tons, and it was decided to provide two 15-ton capacity booms with kingpost per side for heavy lift facilities. It was noted however that rigging for these might prove a problem and, in the event, a single large crane like those in the AS 33 class but with a longer reach was fitted on the centerline.

Approved characteristics for a new construction Submarine Tender (AS), SCB Project No. 702.65, were promulgated on 12 March 1964, updated as SCB Project No. 702.66 on 8 March 1965, and again updated as SCB Project No. 702.69 on 28 Dec 1968, with final changes to SCB 707.65 and 707.66 on 21 December 1970. AS 36 was named L Y SPEAR on 29 March 1966 for Lawrence York Spear, a leading engineer at the Electric Boat Co. at Groton, Conn. Note that by this time the Navy official style for ship names did not include periods after initials, though AS 36 rendered her name on her stern and brow (gangplank) as "L.Y. SPEAR."

AS 36-37 were decommissioned in 1995-1996 after the Navy abandoned the use of forward deployable tenders to support operating forces.

Ship Notes:
36L Y SPEARFY 1965. Replaced AS 15. Dismantlement completed 14 Jul 2011 by ESCO Marine, Brownsville, TX.
37DIXONFY 1966. Replaced AS 17. Sunk with SAMUEL GOMPERS (AD 37) as part of a SINKEX off the coast of North Carolina.
38unnamedFY 1969 (authorized but not built)

Page Notes:
Compiled: 31 Jul 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Special sources: NARA: RG 19 Entry P 26 Boxes 23-24 (AS 702.65).