USS Satyr (ARL-23)

USS Satyr (ARL-23)

The USS "Satyr" (ARL-23) was one of 39 "Achelous"-class landing craft repair ships built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for the Satyr (a sylvan deity in Greek mythology), she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

Originally laid down as "LST-852" on 16 August 1944 by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company of Seneca, Illinois; launched on 13 November 1944; and commissioned on 27 November 1944 with Lieutenant Wm. J. Gavigan, USNR, in command. Following her initial commissioning, LST-852 proceeded to Jacksonville, Florida where she was decommissioned on 28 December 1944; was converted to a landing craft repair ship; and recommissioned as USS "Satyr" (ARL-23) on 28 April 1945. During the next month, she underwent training exercises in Chesapeake Bay; and, on 3 June, she departed the east coast for the Panama Canal, California, and duty in the Pacific Fleet. By the end of July, the ARL had crossed the International Date Line; and, on 10 August, she joined the Pacific Fleet's Amphibious Force at Guam. Ten days later, she continued west in a convoy of LSTs and APDs, but a collision the next day sent her to Saipan for repairs to her bow doors. Repairs were completed on the 28th. Temporary duty with Service Division 103 (ServDiv 103) occupied the first week of September. On the 10th, she sailed for Okinawa, whence she continued on to Japan for occupation duty. "Satyr" anchored in Tokyo Bay off Yokosuka on 25 September. On 1 October she cleared the bay, moved north to Hokkaidō, and operated out of Otaru for two months. She then returned to Yokosuka where she joined ServDiv 102. In April, 1946 she shifted to the China Coast. In July, she returned to Japan; and, at mid-month, sailed for the United States. Steaming via Pearl Harbor, "Satyr" arrived in California in September and, for the next ten months, operated out of San Pedro in support of various amphibious commands. On 1 August 1947 she was decommissioned and berthed with the San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet. Three years later, in June, 1950 the North Korean People's Army crossed the 38th parallel and invaded the Republic of Korea. In early August, "Satyr" was ordered activated. On 8 September, she was recommissioned; and, on 23 October, she assumed duties as landing craft tender at San Diego. For the next four months, she supported units training off southern California; then, on 2 March 1951 she headed west toward Japan and the Korean peninsula. She arrived in Yokosuka on 7 April and departed on the 24th. On the 28th, she took up duties as a landing craft tender at Pusan and continued that service until mid-July. She then returned to Japan where she provided similar services at Sasebo and Yokosuka and participated in amphibious training exercises in northern Honshū and Hokkaidō. On 14 December she headed back to California and tender duties at San Diego. After the cessation of open hostilities in Korea, "Satyr" returned to the Far East. Arriving in Yokosuka on 21 September 1953 she participated in amphibious assault exercises in northern Japan during October; provided tender services in ServDiv 31 into January 1954; participated in further exercises in the Ryukyu, Benin, and Volcano Islands and supported SeaBee operations at Buckner Bay into March. She then sailed for Yokosuka to prepare for recrossing the Pacific to California. Returning to San Diego in early May, "Satyr" performed tender services there until 1 October when she was transferred to Long Beach and assigned to Amphibious Squadron 7 for operational control. On the llth, she sailed for her new homeport, whence she operated until again ordered inactivated in January 1956. She returned to San Diego; and, on 17 April 1956 she was again decommissioned and berthed with the Pacific Reserve Fleet. In December, 1966 the ARL was ordered reactivated a second time. 1967 was spent in New Orleans for modernization. On 15 February 1968 she was recommissioned at the Naval Support Activity, Algiers, Louisiana; and, a month later, she headed for San Diego, her homeport. Refresher training was completed at the end of May. On 5 June she sailed for the western Pacific. On 5 July she arrived at Subic Bay; and, on the 10th, she anchored at Vung Tau, Republic of Vietnam. The next day, "Satyr" moved into the Mekong Delta; and, on the 12th, joined TF 117, the Mobile Riverine Force. Based primarily on Dong Tarn, she operated throughout the delta area. On the 25th, she proceeded to the junction of the Soirap and Vanco Rivers, near Nha Be, where she operated for nearly two months. On 16 September she returned to Dong Tarn. In early October, she supported operations in the Vinh Long area; and, toward the end of the month, she entered the Bassac River and proceeded to the Can Tho area. During November, she supported units at Long Xuyen, Dai Ngai, and Can Tho. In mid-December, she moved into the Gulf of Thailand to support units participating in "Operation Sea Lord". On the 23rd, she escorted boats to Rach Gia, whence she returned to Can Tho, arriving on the 26th to resume support operations for TG 117.2. "Satyr" remained in the delta area for another three months, then proceeded to Sasebo, Japan. On 15 June 1969 she returned to Dong Tarn and rejoined TP 117. A month later, that task force was dissolved and operational control of "Satyr" shifted to Commander, Naval Support Activity, Saigon. In October, "Satyr" again moved into the Gulf of Thailand; and, from then into January, 1970 she operated in the vicinity of the Song Ong Doc. Ten days into the new year, she entered the Bassac River en route to An Long, where she arrived two days later and commenced support of "Operation Barrier Reef". In May, she moved up the Mekong River to the vicinity of the Cambodian border and, into August, supported American and Vietnamese naval and marine units involved in "Tran Hung Dao" I, VII, XI, XVII, and XVIII. In September she returned to Vung Tau, whence she again proceeded to Japan for overhaul and repairs. By mid-December, she was back in the Mekong Delta area; and, on the 19th, she arrived at Tan Chau to resume support operations along the Cambodian border. With one run to Long Xuyen, she remained in the Tan Chau area until 15 February 1971, then returned to Long Xuyen, whence she operated until decommissioned and transferred to the Republic of Vietnam Navy on 30 September. She was recommissioned the same day as RVNS "Vinh Long" (HQ-802). The ship was placed in the custody of the Philippines government in 1975 and renamed BRF "Yakal" (AR-617). Her final fate is unknown. "Satyr" earned 2 campaign stars for her service during the Korean Conflict and 3 for her service in the Vietnam War.



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