USS Los Alamos (AFDB-7)


USS Los Alamos (AFDB-7)

ABSD-7, an advance base section dock, was constructed of seven advance base docks (ABD) as follows: ABD-37, ABD-38, ABD-39, and ABD-40 were built by Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., Morgan City, La., and completed in December 1944 and January and February 1945; ABD-51 and ABD-52 were built by Pollock Stockton Shipbuilding Co., Stockton, Calif., and completed in January and March 1945; and ABD-58 was built by Pittsburgh Des Moines Steel Co., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and completed in October 1944. The seven advance base docks were towed to Mare Island Navy Yard where they were erected and assembled into ABSD-7. Completed in March 1945, the advance base section dock began duty at Mare Island, and she served there until placed on the inactive list in March 1946. Subsequently, she reclassified to AFDB*7, an auxiliary floating drydock, in August 1946. She was disassembled and towed to the east coast where she entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs, Fla., in January 1947.

Early in 1961, sections “A”, “B”, “C”, and “D” of AFDB‑7 were towed across the Atlantic Ocean to Holy Loch, Scotland, where on 3 March 1961 the Navy established an important base for fleet ballistic submarines. A detachment of Seabees from MCB-4 erected and assembled the four sections. Completed 10 November, the auxiliary floating drydock was placed in service as "Los Alamos" (AFDB-7).

Assigned to SubRon 14, "Los Alamos" began drydock service for the FBM boats. Converted for use by submarines, she had the following characteristics: dp. 18,795 (lt.); l. 513'; b. 246'5"; dr. 9'3" (lt.), 67'4" (subm. max.); s. NSP; cpl. 143; a. none. Late in 1961 she carried out her first SSBN drydocking of USS|George Washington|SSBN-598. Since then, she has served submarines of the “Highland Squadron” at Holy Loch, and in doing so has strengthened the security and defense of the Nation and the free world. She has supported refit and repair operations by submarine tenders USS Proteus (AS-19), USS Hunley (AS-31), USS Holland (AS-32), USS Simon Lake (AS-33), and USS Canopus (AS-34). In February 1964 she completed successfully the first “off center” docking of a Polaris submarine. By providing keel blocks preset for two separate classes of SSBN boats, "Los Alamos" “added immeasurably to the site’s repair flexibility.” Into 1969 she continued to provide docking services for Polaris submarines, whenever needed in weather foul or fair.

In the early 1990's "Los Alamos" was disassembled into sections and returned to the United States. In 1996 six of the original ABSD-7 sections transferred to the Brownsville Navigation District, TX. Another had been turned over to the U.S. Army in 1968.

References


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