USS Arcadia (AD-23)

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USS Arcadia (AD-23) in 1958.
Career
Name:USS Arcadia
Builder:Todd Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down:6 March 1944
Launched:19 November 1944
Commissioned:13 September 1945
Decommissioned:28 June 1968
Struck:1 July 1973
Fate:Sold for scrapping, 1 August 1974
General characteristics
Class & type:Klondike-class destroyer tender
Displacement:8,165 long tons (8,296 t) light
11,755 long tons (11,944 t) full
Length:492 ft (150 m)
Beam:69 ft 8 in (21.23 m)
Draft:27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)
Propulsion:Geared turbines, 8,500 shp (6,338 kW)
Speed:18.4 knots (34.1 km/h; 21.2 mph)
Complement:826
Armament:• 1 × 5"/38 caliber gun
• 4 × 3"/50 caliber guns
• 4 × 40 mm AA guns
• 20 × 20 mm guns
 
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For other ships of the same name, see USS Arcadia.
USS Arcadia (AD-23) in 1958.
Career
Name:USS Arcadia
Builder:Todd Shipbuilding Corporation
Laid down:6 March 1944
Launched:19 November 1944
Commissioned:13 September 1945
Decommissioned:28 June 1968
Struck:1 July 1973
Fate:Sold for scrapping, 1 August 1974
General characteristics
Class & type:Klondike-class destroyer tender
Displacement:8,165 long tons (8,296 t) light
11,755 long tons (11,944 t) full
Length:492 ft (150 m)
Beam:69 ft 8 in (21.23 m)
Draft:27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)
Propulsion:Geared turbines, 8,500 shp (6,338 kW)
Speed:18.4 knots (34.1 km/h; 21.2 mph)
Complement:826
Armament:• 1 × 5"/38 caliber gun
• 4 × 3"/50 caliber guns
• 4 × 40 mm AA guns
• 20 × 20 mm guns

USS Arcadia was one of four Klondike-class destroyer tenders built at the tail end of World War II for the United States Navy, and the third U.S. Naval vessel to bear that name. Destroyer tenders were typically named after U.S. National Parks. However the destroyer tender AD-23 was apparently misnamed Arcadia in an effort to commemorate Acadia National Park in Maine.

Arcadia was laid down by Todd Shipyards Corporation on 6 March 1944 at Los Angeles, California, launched on 19 November, sponsored by Mrs. Edward L. Beach (the widow of Captain Edward L. Beach), fitted out at Terminal Island, San Pedro, California and commissioned on 13 September 1945 with Capt. James M. Connally in command.

Service history[edit]

Following shakedown training off San Diego, the destroyer tender departed the west coast to join the Atlantic Fleet at Charleston, S.C.. World War II had been over for several months when she arrived at her berth on the Wando River on 1 December. Arcadia served as tender to destroyers joining the inactive fleet at Charleston, and she also developed the official program for decommissioning and inactivation to be used by tenders of her own class. Arcadia was placed in commission, in reserve, on 7 February 1947 and served as accommodation vessel for Submarine Group 1 of the Charleston group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet. She was placed in full commission on 1 August 1951 and assigned a new home port, Newport, R.I., where she tended destroyers in the Narragansett Bay area.

Dr Lawrence Stone McGee Jr MD (Vanderbilt surgical training under William Scott MD), was ship surgeon from June, 1952 to June, 1954. Dr McGee grew up in Shreveport, LA. Finished 2nd in his class at Tulane university medical school and inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) while at Tulane. Interned at Johns Hopkins surgical program with Dr. Alfred Blalock MD and Vivian Thomas. Later went to Vanderbilt and while there joined the navy and completed a tour of duty on USS Arcadia. Afterwards Dr. McGee finished at Vanderbilt and opened up practice in Mobile, AL and became partner with Ernest DeBakey MD (brother of Michael DeBakey MD)) for a few years. He placed the first pacemaker in lower Alabama. Dr Larry McGee Jr. had three sons: Gregory S. McGee MD board certified Vascular surgeon in Mobile, and Lawrence S McGee III MD board certified Nephrologists in Spartanburg, SC and Thomas C. McGee MD board certified Rheumatologists in Mobile, AL.

Arcadia supported the Atlantic Fleet with repair services until 1968 when she was decommissioned. She served as 6th Fleet destroyer tender during many deployments to the Mediterranean where she made working visits to such ports as Naples, Italy; Cannes, France; Valencia, Spain, Palma, and Barcelona, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Piraeus, Greece; and Istanbul, Turkey. The tender visited the Caribbean while exercising in yearly "Springboard" operations in the 1950s and 1960s, calling at ports in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the Virgin Islands. In October 1964 Arcadia steamed to Orange, Texas to strip five mothballed high-speed transports for parts needed by active duty destroyers. The six-week trip netted nearly $800,000 worth of parts and equipment for use by the ships of the Atlantic Fleet.

Although she serviced destroyers primarily, Arcadia was called upon in November 1966 to repair the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. The tender departed Newport on 19 November for the cruise to Mayport, Florida where she remained until 13 December completing the repair work needed following a Mediterranean cruise. She returned to Newport and resumed her normal operations. In both 1966 and 1967, Arcadia made cruises to Key West and Naval Station Mayport to provide services to Destroyer Division 601, Destroyer Squadron 16, and reserve training destroyers from various ports in the Gulf of Mexico.

Arcadia was decommissioned on 28 June 1968, berthed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet contingent in the James River on 15 November, and formally transferred to the Maritime Administration on 30 June 1969. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 July 1973, and she was sold to Levin Metals of San Jose, California on 1 August 1974 and scrapped in San Pedro, California.

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