Uss Grasp (ars-24)

Discussion in 'US Units' started by Salvage Sailor, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. Salvage Sailor

    Salvage Sailor Junior Member

    Aloha Everyone,

    To initiate this new board, I'll cite the WWII record of my first ship, the auxiliary rescue & salvage ship USS GRASP (ARS-24), veteran of the Philippine battles of Lingayen Gulf, Zambales & beyond. When I served aboard her, she still had a 'meatball' painted on the 40MM Bofors mount on the signal bridge for her 'kill' at Lingayen Gulf.

    Excerpt from Dictionary of US Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)


    Displacement 1,360
    Length 213'6"
    Beam 39'
    Draw 14'4"
    Speed 15 k
    Complement 120
    Armament 4 40mm, 4 .50 cal mg
    Class Diver

    Grasp (ARS-24) was launched 31 July 1943 by the Basalt Rock Co., Napa, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. J. B. McDonough; and commissioned 22 August 1944, Lt. Comdr. Jacob F. Lawson, in command.

    After fitting out at San Francisco and shakedown along the California coast out of San Diego, Grasp sailed for the Pacific, reaching Hawaii 27 October 1944. From Pearl Harbor she headed for combat, reaching Manus, Admiralty Islands, 24 December to prepare for her role in the upcoming Lingayen Gulf operations. Joining the battle group, under the overall command of Admiral T. C. Kincaid, Grasp sailed for the Philippines 1 January 1945. Enroute the ships were attacked by heavy concentrations of Japanese aircraft, including the suicidal kamikazes. Overcoming all attacks, in which Grasp shot down one plane and assisted against others, the fleet forced its way deep into enemy waters and landed General MacArthur's troops at Lingayen Gulf 9 January. Grasp was there to assist battle damaged ships, and clear the harbor of sunken craft. In addition to aiding Warhawk and Otis Skinner, damaged by the Japanese, Grasp pulled two landing craft off the beaches and salvaged an enemy cargo submarine hazardous to shipping.

    From Lingayen Gulf, Grasp sailed to Tacloban Harbor, Philippines, with an injured APD, Brooks, in tow. There she joined TG 78 and on 29 January 1945 participated in the initial landings at Zambales Luzon. After helping to make this another of the Fleet's long role of successful amphibious assaults, Grasp sailed to Manila Harbor 2 March. As part of the harbor clearance force under Commodore W. A. Sullivan, she remained in the Manila area for over a year. Grasp salvaged sunken ships in the harbor and also made emergency repairs to various naval and merchant ships. Departing the Philippines 27 April 1946, she reached San Pedro, Calif., via Pearl Harbor and Astoria, Oreg., 5 June. Grasp decommissioned there 12 December 1946 and was placed in reserve.

    Grasp was awarded two battle stars for World War II service.

    She was later recommissioned for Korean War & Vietnam service until her final USN decommissioning on 31 March 1978. She was then transferred to the Republic of Korea Navy, serving as the Chang Won at Chinhae, South Korea.

    Anchor's Aweigh

    For more information on this or any other ships of the USN Salvage forces, go to the National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors website.

    USS GRASP Photo Gallery

    For information on British Salvage forces, go to our sister organizations website Britain's Finest - Deep Sea Rescue Tugs

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