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USS Yosemite (AD 19)

- decommissioned -
- sunk as a target -

USS YOSEMITE was the fifth ship in the DIXIE - class of destroyer tenders and the fourth ship in the Navy named after the Yosemite National Park. Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on January 27, 1994, the YOSEMITE spent the following almost 9 years laid-up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Fort Eustis, Va. The YOSEMITE was finally sunk as a target off the US east coast on November 18, 2003.

General Characteristics:Awarded: 1941
Keel laid: January 19, 1942
Launched: May 16, 1943
Commissioned: May 25, 1944
Decommissioned: January 27, 1994
Builder: Tampa Shipbuilding Co. Inc., Tampa, Fla.
Propulsion system: four boilers, geared turbines
Propellers: two
Length: 530.5 feet (161.7 meters)
Beam: 73.2 feet (22.3 meters)
Draft: 25.6 feet (7.8 meters)
Displacement: approx. 17,176 tons full load
Speed: 19.5 knots
Aircraft: Flight Deck only, however, not suitable for helo landings
Armament: 4 20mm Mk-68 guns
Crew: approx. 1000

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS YOSEMITE. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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USS YOSEMITE Cruise Books:

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About the Ship's Coat of Arms:

USS YOSEMITE's official insignia depicts a scene viewed through a ship's portal of a mountain lion stretched in the foreground with the mountains of Yosemite National Park in the background. The YOSEMITE's nickname - "The Busy Lady" - is shown on the official insignia and indicates the ship's role as a repair facility ready and able to service units of the Atlantic Fleet at any time.

The YOSEMITE had been serving the fleet for more than 20 years when Warner Brothers introduced its Yosemite Sam character in 1966. As he became more popular, it became inevitable that the irascible, but lovable, character who shared the same name would become associated with the YOSEMITE. Before long, he became a mascot of sorts for the ship, and subsequently could be found on an unofficial version of the ship's insignia. Warner Brothers gave the YOSEMITE permission to reproduce Yosemite Sam's likeness for official command use in 1979. He could be found on everything from ship's patches to letterhead paper, though regulations prevented him from ever being used in the official insignia. Yosemite Sam will remain a colorful part of the YOSEMITE's tradition as long as there is a ship in the United States Navy that bears the name.

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History of USS YOSEMITE:

USS YOSEMITE was commissioned on 25 May 1944 during WWII. USS YOSEMITE's proud record of 43 outstanding years of service to the fleet began August 19, 1944 in Pearl Harbor when the USS CALDWELL pulled alongside, 216 ships followed during those first five months and set an impressive pattern that earned both respect and the nickname "Busy Lady". In the year and a half between 1944 and 1946, YOSEMITE earned her spot as a War Veteran tending U.S. Navy ships at Enewetok Atoll, the Caroline Islands and Okinawa, finally joining the Navy's task force in Sasebo, Japan, at the war's end in 1945. Receiving her first stateside assignment in 1946, YOSEMITE moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where she was homeported for 23 years prior to moving in 1969 to her new home at Mayport, Florida.

Though support ships like the YOSEMITE don't always get the attention their fighting counterparts do, the YOSEMITE has had her share of honor and recognition over the years. In 1946 she was named the Flagship of Commander Destroyer Force, U.S. Atlantic, a job held almost continously for the next 16 years. She served as Flagship for the famous Admiral Arleigh Burke before he reported to Washington as Chief of Naval Operations in 1955.

When the Atlantic Fleet Cruiser and Destroyer Forces merged into a single Cruiser Destroyer Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet in 1962, YOSEMITE was named the Flagship for the Commanders of Destroyer Flotillas Two and Twelve.

After completing a successful five month Mediterranean deployment in June 1980, YOSEMITE received a well deserved rest and face-lift during a one year overhaul period at the Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company, Mobile, Alabama. During this overhaul period, the YOSEMITE underwent renovations to enable her to provide the most up-to-date repair service for the Navy's modern and increasingly complex destroyers.

In April 1982, YOSEMITE welcomed aboard the first contingent of enlisted women as a part of the crew. Since then the number of female crewmembers grew to include nearly every rating present aboard YOSEMITE.

In 1983, YOSEMITE deployed to the Indian Ocean, travelling halfway around the world to provide repair services to other deployed ships. The "Busy Lady" returned to Mayport, Florida, on 21 March 1984 with her head held high after completing one of her most successful deployments in 40 years of service.

In 1984, for the second time in her history, YOSEMITE sailed south to participate in READEX 2-84 off the coast of Puerto Rico. 1984 ended with a milestone on board YOSEMITE when she successfully underwent an arduous OPPE in early December administered by the CINCLANTFLT Propulsion Examining Board (PEB). This was the first occasion for the YOSEMITE to be tested against the newly reorganized and more stringent standards developed by the Board.

Underway again in March 1985, this time enroute to Charleston, South Carolina, YOSEMITE stepped in for her sister ship, USS SIERRA (AD 18), to provide repair service for Navy ships based there.

During the latter part of 1985, YOSEMITE completed a ten week overhaul period at the Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company located in Mobile, Alabama. Work completed during this time in Engineering and Deck department spaces allowed YOSEMITE to meet 1986 deployment commitments, which included providing services to the Sixth Fleet, Military Sealift Command, and units of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force.

On 31 July 1987, a new era began for YOSEMITE when Capt. Floyston A. Weeks took command. Under Capt. Weeks' guidance, the ship began aggressive training and refurbishing to prepare for the 1988 deployment, and to meet new and expanded requirements set forth by the CNO for fleet tenders.

On 29 February 1988, YOSEMITE departed Mayport and joined the USS EISENHOWER (CVN 69) Carrier Battle Group on the transit to the Mediterranean. She established an early reputation for outstanding service by providing "FlyAway" repair teams that were dispatched to the other ships in the Carrier Group. This in-transit repair work helped maintain a high state of readiness for the U.S. Navy Atlantic Sixth Fleet, and brought weekly "Bravo Zulus" to YOSEMITE for the crew's excellent efforts. With high quality in repair and services as a hallmark throughout this deployment, the YOSEMITE became known as "The Battle Tender" of the Sixth Fleet.

USS YOSEMITE was decommissioned on 27 January 1994, at her homeport of Mayport, Fla.

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USS YOSEMITE Patch Gallery:

Mediterranean 1974Mediterranean 1983-84Mediterranean 1988

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