Search the Site with 
General Characteristics Crew List Memorabilia Cruise Books Accidents aboard the Ship Ship's History Patch Gallery Image Gallery to end of page

USNS San Diego (T-AFS 6)

- formerly AFS 6 -
- Military Sealift Command -
- decommissioned -

USNS SAN DIEGO was the sixth MARS - class Combat Stores Ship and the third ship in her class to be transferred to Military Sealift Command. Finally decommissioned on December 10, 1997, SAN DIEGO spent the following years laid-up at the NAVSEA Inactive Ships On-site Maintenance Office, Philadelphia, PA. In 2006, the SAN DIEGO was scrapped at ESCO Marine Inc., Brownsville, Tx.

General Characteristics:Awarded: December 28, 1965
Keel laid: March 11, 1967
Launched: April 13, 1968
Commissioned: May 24, 1969
Decommissioned: August 11, 1993
MSC "in Service": August 11, 1993
MSC decommissioned: December 10, 1997
Builder: National Steel and Shipbuilding, San Diego, Ca.
Propulsion system: 3 Babcock & Wilcox boilers, 580 psi (40.8 kg/cm2); 8250F (4400C); 1 Westinghouse turbine
Propellers: one
Length: 581 feet (177 meters)
Beam: 79 feet (24.1 meters)
Draft: 25 feet (7.6 meters)
Displacement: approx. 17,300 tons full load
Speed: 20 knots
Aircraft: two CH-46 helicopters
Armament: none in peacetime
Capacity: 7,300 tons of cargo
Crew: 49 Navy personnel, 125 civilian crew

Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

Crew List:

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

back to top  go to the end of the page

Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

USS / USNS SAN DIEGO Cruise Books:

Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

Accidents aboard USNS / USS SAN DIEGO:

December 17, 1976Mediterranean
A CH-46D helicopter from HC-6 Detachment 2 suffers engine failure and crashes into the Mediterranian Sea during night VERTREP evolution with the USS NIMITZ task group. The 2 pilots and 1 aircrew are rescued by the USS MILWAUKEE (AOR 2), 1 aircrew is killed in the accident.
February 10, 1977Mediterranean
A CH-46D helicopter from embarked HC-6 Detachment 2 crashes into the Mediterranian Sea during night VERTREP evolution with USS SURIBACHI (AE 21). The 2 pilots and 1 aircrew are rescued. 2 aircrew are killed in the accident.
November 17, 1985
The CH-46 VERTREP helicopter of USS SAN DIEGO crashes into a parked USMC helicopter aboard the USS IWO JIMA (LPH 2) during a night replenishment killing one and injuring four personnel.
January 17, 1989near the Chesapeak Bay Bridge-Tunnel near Norfolk, Va.
USS NORFOLK (SSN 714) collides with USS SAN DIEGO on the surface as both ships are heading out to sea, causing minor damage and no injuries.

Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page


USS SAN DIEGO was laid down on 11 March 1967 by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company at San Diego, California; launched on 13 April 1968; sponsored by Mrs. Frank Curran; and commissioned on 24 May 1969, Capt. John W. Wells in command.

After shakedown and refresher training in late 1969, SAN DIEGO began a seven-month deployment to the Mediterranean in support of the US 6th Fleet. She returned to her home port, Norfolk, Virginia, and remained on the US East Coast until February of 1971 when she was selected to represent the US Atlantic Fleet at the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In April, she deployed again to the 6th Fleet and stayed in the Mediterranean until October. During this tour of duty, she earned the Supply Efficiency "E," rescued sailors from a burning Greek freighter, and represented the 6th Fleet at Admiral Farragut Day at Minorca, Balearic Islands.

On 27 July 1972, following more than nine months back in the United States operating and training along the Atlantic seaboard, SAN DIEGO got underway to return to the 6th Fleet. She arrived at Rota, Spain, on 4 August and relieved SYLVANIA (AFS 2) as the on-station combat store ship with the 6th Fleet. At the end of another six months of service in the Mediterranean, SAN DIEGO got underway to return to Norfolk, Virginia, in January 1973. She arrived on the 26th and resumed normal operations with the Atlantic Fleet.

SAN DIEGO operated out of Norfolk, along the eastern seaboard, and in the Caribbean until late October 1973. At that time, she departed Norfolk for her fourth tour of duty in the Mediterranean. She arrived at Rota, Spain, on 4 November. The combat store ship cruised the “middle sea” with the 6th Fleet for the next six months, getting underway from Rota on 19 April 1974 to return to Norfolk. SAN DIEGO reached Norfolk on the 27th and, as of 30 June 1974, was still in port there.

Between June 1974 and June 1976, SAN DIEGO made 2 more deployments to the 6th Fleet and an additional excursion to Guantanamo Bay for "refresher training".

During the 3 Med cruises from 1973 - 1976, USS SAN DIEGO stopped in ports from Lisbon, Portugal to the Greek Island of Corfu, just off the coast of Albania. The eastern most port was Athens, the only north African port was Tunis, Tunisia. Palma de Mallorca and Naples, Italy were the most frequented ports during those years.

For the following about 15 years, SAN DIEGO continued operations with the Atlantic and 6th Fleets until 11 August 1993, when the ship was decommissioned and placed in service as USNS SAN DIEGO (T-AFS 6). Now operating with a civilian crew and a military detachment on board, she remained in service as a US Naval Ship until 10 December 1997 when she was laid up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Struck from the Navy List on 10 December 1997, the SAN DIEGO she was sold for scrap at Philadelphia on 9 April 2006.

Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

USNS / USS SAN DIEGO Patch Gallery:

Operation Desert Shield 1990

Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

The photos below were taken by TJ Tropea in 1983. They show the USS SAN DIEGO (AFS 6) and the SIRIUS in the Mediterranean. The SIRIUS can be seen before the AFS conversion (no hangar and the large Helo deck).

The photo below was taken by Thomas Zera and shows the SAN DIEGO laid up at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility Philadelphia, Penn., on September 17, 2004.

The photo below was taken and contributed by Michael Martin. It shows the SAN DIEGO being scrapped at Brownsville, Tx., in 2006.

Back to topback to top

Back to Combat Stores Ships Site. Back to ships list. Back to selection page. Back to 1st page.