The USS YOSEMITE (AD-19), a Dixie class destroyer tender, was commissioned on 26 MAR 1944. USS YOSEMITE served her country for 49 years, 10 months and 1 day, until decommissioned on 27 JAN 1994. Built by the Tampa ship Building Co., USS YOSEMITE transited the Panama Canal in August 1943 and joined the fight against the Japanese in the Pacific. First in Hawaii, then Eniwetok, Ulithi, the Philippines, and finally in Saesbo, Japan, YOSEMITE tended the fleet through the war effort and their return to the US. Returning to the East Coast after the war, she began a long career of Mediterranean deployments and participation in the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Gulf War. Decommissioned in 1994, YOSEMITE sat idle at Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Ft. Eustice, VA until 18 November 2003, when she was sunk as a target during fleet exercise.
The USS YOSEMITE (AD-19) deployment history and significant events of her service career follow:
USS YOSEMITE (AD-19)
The third Yosemite (AD-19)
was laid down on 19 January 1942 by the Tampa Shipbuilding Co., Inc., at Tampa, Fla.;
launched on 16 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs.
Melville W. Powers; and commissioned on 25 March 1944, Capt. George C. Towner in command.
Between late March and
mid-June, the destroyer tender was fitted out at Tampa. On 21 June, she got underway for the Virginia capes, steamed via Key West, and arrived at Hampton Roads on the 26th. For
the next 10 days, the destroyer tender
conducted shakedown training in
Chesapeake Bay and then put into Norfolk
for additional outfitting and some modifications to her below-deck spaces. Early in August, she made a voyage to Fort Pond Bay, N.Y., to load
torpedoes. On the 6th, she headed south
to Guantanamo Bay and thence
proceeded to the Canal Zone, transited the Panama Canal, and arrived at Balboa on the 13th. From there, the ship continued her voyage west to Hawaii and arrived in Pearl Harbor on 29 August.
As soon as she moored, Yosemite
went to work. For the next six months, the ship's company made
repairs on over 200 ships. She remained at Oahu until February of 1945.
On the 15th, she exited the harbor and set a course for Eniwetok Atoll
in the Caroline Islands. She arrived there on the 22d but remained for
only five days before moving farther westward to the forward base
at Ulithi Atoll. She entered the Ulithi anchorage on 3 March, and her crew set
again to work repairing the veteran ships of the war in the Pacific. On 25
May, Yosemite departed Ulithi in a convoy
bound for Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. She arrived in San Pedro Bay on the
28th and resumed her work supporting the Fleet in its march toward
Japan. She remained at Leyte through the end of the war but, soon thereafter,
got underway for Japan.
The destroyer tender
arrived in Sasebo on 22 September and began tending ships assigned to the occupation
forces in the Far East. That assignment lasted until March 1946. On the 15th,
she stood out of Yokosuka on her way home. Yosemite transited the Panama
Canal in mid-April and arrived in New York on the 22d.
Soon after her arrival
back in the United States, Yosemite became the flagship for the
Commander, Destroyers, Atlantic Fleet. Except for several brief interruptions
for shipyard overhauls, she served in that capacity from 17 June 1946
until the suring of 1962. During that 16-year period, she spent most
of her time in port at Newport, R.I., though on occasion she did
make voyages to the West Indies. In addition, near the end
of that stretch of time, the destroyer tender made two overseas
deployments. In June 1958, she voyaged to northern Europe for the purpose of
tending ships engaged in an exercise in the North Atlantic. Later,
on 17 March 1959, she again departed Newport for a brief tour of duty
tending the ships of the 6th Fleet. She concluded that assignment when she
returned to Newport on 24 July and resumed duty as tender to the
Atlantic Fleet destroyers and as flagship for their type commander.
On 1 April 1962, Yosemite's role changed
somewhat when the Atlantic Fleet cruisers
and destroyers were brought together
into a single type command. At that time,
she became flagship for the new command, Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet. Late that fall, during the Cuban missile crisis and the American quarantine of the island, Yosemite departed
Newport for a time and headed south via Norfolk to Kingston, Jamaica, where she tended the ships engaged in
that operation. In December, she returned to Newport and resumed her normal schedule. Over the next six
years, the destroyer tender remained at Newport except for occasional
overhauls and for short voyages to the West Indies
early each year to tend Atlantic Fleet ships participating in the annual "Springboard" exercise.
In 1969, the complexion
of her operations changed somewhat. In April, she resumed overseas
deployments after a hiatus of 10 years. She departed Newport on 7 April
and arrived in Naples on the 19th. During that tour of duty in the
Mediterranean, she served as flagship for the Commander, Service
Force, 6th Fleet. Grand Canyon (AR-28) relieved her of
tender duties on 14 August, the Service Force commander shifted his flag to Mississinewa (AO-144),
and Yosemite sailed for the United
States on the 15th. On the voyage home, she took on board a badly burned West German seaman from SS Sinclair Venezuela and transported
him to the naval hospital at Newport. On 24 October, Yosemite's home port was changed from Newport, R.I., to
Mayport, Fla.; and the destroyer
tender got underway for that city
three days later. The ship arrived at Mayport on the 30th and began tending ships.
Since that time, Yosemite has been
based at Mayport. She has served as flagship for various units of the Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet-notably Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 2 and Cruiser Destroyer Group 12. She has also made two additional
deployments to the Mediterranean, one from July to December 1974 and the second from September 1977 to March 1978. She resumed tender duties at Mayport on 12 March 1978 and, as of October 1978, was engaged in those
[Note: The above USS YOSEMITE (AD-19) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS YOSEMITE (AD-19), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]