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USS MARS

(AFS-1)

The Number One Attack Food Ship
in the Universe

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The USS MARS (AFS-1), a Mars class combat stores ship, was commissioned on 1 DEC 1963. USS MARS was the first of her class was built at National Steel and Shipbuilding in San Diego, CA, and then homeported n San Diego after commissioning. Her career consisted of numerous Western Pacific deployments in support of the fleet from first, San Diego, then Alameda, CA, and while forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan. MARS ranged from the West Coast of the Untied States to the Gulf of Aden, with significant time "in theater" off of Vietnam. USS MARS served her country for 30 years, 2 months and 16 days, until decommissioned on 1 February 1993. MARS continued to deliver the goods with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) as USNS Mars (T-AFS-1) until her inactivation on 19 February 1998. The hulk of the MARS was disposed of during a multi-national fleet SINKEX in July 2006 off of Hawaii.

The USS MARS (AFS-1) deployment history and significant events of her service career follow:

AFS-1 Deployments - Major Events

Add a AFS-1 Shellback Initiation Add a AFS-1 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
MAY 1962 Keel Date: 5 MAY 1962
at National Steel and Shipbuilding Company San Diego CA
JUN 1963 Launch Date: 15 JUN 1963
DEC 1963 Commissioned: 1 DEC 1963
OCT 1966 - SEP 1968 West Pac-Viet Nam
NOV 1966 - Shellback Initiation - 1 NOV 1966 - Pacific Ocean
JAN 1968 - JAN 1968 Fleet support off Korea during USS. Pueblo crisis
OCT 1968 - FEB 1969 West Pac-Viet Nam
FEB 1970 - Shellback Initiation - 2 FEB 1970 - Pacific Ocean
SEP 1970 - APR 1971 West Pac
DEC 1972 - DEC 1972 Changed homeports from Oakland California to Sasebo Japan
JAN 1973 - JAN 1977 West Pac
DEC 1973 - Shellback Initiation - 26 DEC 1973 - Pacific Ocean
JUL 1974 - Shellback Initiation - 9 JUL 1974 - Indian Ocean
MAR 1975 - JUN 1975 West Pac-Viet Nam
MAR 1975 - Shellback Initiation - 25 MAR 1975 - Indian Ocean
FEB 1978 - OCT 1978 West Pac
MAY 1979 - MAY 1979 Collision with USS Cook FF-1083
JAN 1980 - OCT 1980 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
MAY 1980 - Shellback Initiation - 5 MAY 1980 - Indian Ocean
SEP 1981 - APR 1982 West Pac-Indian Ocean
JAN 1982 - NOV 1982 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
JUL 1985 - DEC 1985 West Pac-Indian Ocean
JUL 1985 - Shellback Initiation - 13 JUL 1985 - Pacific Ocean
SEP 1985 - Shellback Initiation - 16 SEP 1985 - Pacific Ocean
SEP 1988 - MAR 1989 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
NOV 1990 - MAY 1991 Operation Desert Shield/ Storm
FEB 1998 Decommissioned: 19 FEB 1998

AFS-1 General Specifications

Class: Mars-class combat stores ship

Named for: The borough of Mars in Butler County

Complement: 486 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 9200 tons

Length: 581 feet

Beam: 79 feet

Flank Speed: 20 kn

Final Disposition: Sunk as a target 15 July 2006



USS MARS (AFS-1)



The third Mars (AFS‑1) was laid down by the National Steel & Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, Calif., 5 May 1962; launched 15 June 1963: sponsored by Mrs. Clyde Doyle, widow of Representative Doyle of California; and commissioned at Long Beach Naval Shipyard 21 December 1963, Capt. Russel C. Medley in command.

Mars was the first of a new class that may eventually replace three types of supply ships: the AF, AKS, and AVS. Two innovations were Boeing UH‑46 helicopters and an automatic highline shuttle transfer system to make a rapid transfer of supplies possible. To speed replenishment processing, Mars became the first ship in the Pacific Fleet to be equipped with a 1004 Univac computer system.

Assigned to Service Squadron 1, Mars left San Diego 16 March 1964 for Acapulco, Mexico, for shakedown, returning to San Diego Faster Sunday. On 1 September she departed for the western Pacific, arriving Yokosuka, Japan, the 23d. With Yokosuka as home port, the combat storeship operated from the Philippines to the South China Sea through the rest of the year.

Mars continued through the next 3 years to provide logistic support to the far ranging 7th Fleet at sea, especially off Vietnam, while revisiting the South Pacific ports of Hong Kong; Sasebo, Japan; and Subic Bay, Philippines. Typical of the combat storeship's supply activities was a night vertical replenishment of Canberra while the heavy cruiser was fighting off Vietnam, her 8 inch guns on the engaged side blasting away in support of troops ashore. Mars has taken an especially active part in similar operations helping block Chinese communist inspired Vietcong aggression in South Vietnam. She set several replenishment records in 1967 and 1968, and into 1969 continues to play an important role in the fleet operations in the Southeast Asia area.

[Note: The above USS MARS (AFS-1) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS MARS (AFS-1), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]