Re: US Navy Floating Dry Docks
Auxilliary Repair Dock ARD-5
Carrying on with the ARD-1 Class of docks, ARD-5 was laid down at the Pacific Bridge Company, Almeda in California on the 22nd of September 1941, and launched on the 12th of March 1942.
She measured 482 feet 7 inches overall length with the stern gate closed, and an internal basin length of 412 feet 8 inches. Her maximum beam was 76 feet, with a clearance of 48 feet 7 inches bewteen the wing walls. She had a lifting capacity of 4200 tons, later increased to 4500 tons. She carried to 10 ton cranes, and accommodated 125 officers and crew.
She was commissioned as USS ARD-5 on the 3rd of July 1942 and assigned to the Western Pacific for tending submarines and destroyers. It appears that she spent brief service in San Francisco and then to Pearl Harbor around December 1942. Here she remained briefly before being towed to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, by the tug Pawnee ATF74, arriving on the 7th of February 1943. She returned to Pearl Harbor on the 24th of November 1944, where it appears she remained until late 1945, when she was moved to the Submarine Based New London, Groton, Conneticut. She arrived here on the 26th of February 1946, and was assigned to New London Group Sixteenth Fleet which comprised of submarines in reserve commission.
On the 30th of August 1946 ADR-5 was placed ‘out of commission/ in service’, and she remained at Groton.
The name "WATERFORD" was adopted in 1976 to conform with the newly established practice of naming all Navy floating drydocks after cities having nuclear powered generators or research facilities. Waterford, a neighboring city to the Naval Submarine Base New London, is the site of the Millstone Nuclear Power Generating Facility. As a result of the close proximity, ARD-5 was officially named Waterford (ARD-5).
In 1990 she was modernised and in July 1997 she was strengthened to increaes her lifting capacity to 4500 tons. However, ARD-5 was de-commissioned on the 9th of September 1997, and struck from the Naval Register on the 1st of October. When operational, she was the Navy's oldest and narrowest drydock in service.
The 105th Congress Senate Report 105-333 authorised the sale of Waterford (ARD-5). It stes the “This 53 year-old vessel has exceeded its original design service by 26 years, and will be sold for $1,2220,000. The Chilean Navy has a need for a medium floating dry dock in order to perform repairs on its Newport Class LST as well as other medium sized and smaller ships.” The dock was sold on the 10th of March 1999 under the Security Assistance Program.
It appears that the dock was moved to NorfolkVirginia at some stage after de-commissioning, as on the 12th of May 1999, under the tow of the tug Ocean Wrestler, it left for Talcahuano, Chile, arriving there on the 18th of June.
On the 30th of August 1999, the dock, now designated Y-133 was re-comissioned as Talcahuano.
As far as I know, the dock is still in service.
ARD5_1: Aerial view of the Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, Conneticut, showing ARD-5 on the right, and ARD_7 on the left. Taken late 1950’s. Navsource photograpah contributed by CW04 Stanley J. Brice USN. No copyright restrictons evident.
ARD5_2: Probably taken in the 1960’s, again at Groton, showing ARD-5 in the foreground, and ARD-7 behind. Photograph in the public domain.
ARD5_3: 9th of September 1997 at the de-commissioning ceremony. Navsource photograpah contributed byTom Kilkenny
ARD5_4: Suspect an unofficial badge. Original source of image not determined. No copyright restrictons evident.
ARD5_5: As above
ARD5_6: As above
ARD5_7: Commemorative envelope April 15th. Original source of image not determined. No copyright restrictons evident.
ARD5_8: Inside of dock, probably at Groton in the 1960s or 1970s. Original source of image not determined. No copyright restrictons evident.
ARD5_9: In the same sequence as above showing submarine docking. Original source of image not determined. No copyright restrictons evident.
ARD5_10: And the dock pumped out. Original source of image not determined. No copyright restrictons evident.
ARD5_11: Taken at the ASMAR Shipyard, Talchuano, Chile. The “Shed” has a sliding roof apparently – how odd. Original source of image not determined. No copyright restrictons evident.
ARD5_12: Aerial view of ‘Talchuano’ at the ASMAR yard. Distinctive bow visible. Original source of image not determined. No copyright restrictons evident.
ARD5_13: Image from Google Maps showing the same.
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