Third Navy Destroyer Tender Launched At NASSCO Yard

A crowd of several thousand watched the recent christening of the USS Cape Cod (AD-43) at the San Diego yard of National Steel and Shipbuilding Company. She was the third Gompers Class destroyer tender to slide down the ways at NASSCO during the past 18 months. A fourth, (AD-44), is scheduled to be launched in December 1981.

Sponsor at the ceremonies was Mrs. Betty Evans Murray, wife of Under Secretary of the Navy Robert J. Murray, who was the key speaker of the day. Their younger daughter, Victoria Ann Murray, served as maid of honor.

Other participants in the program were John J. Glynn, USN, Chaplain, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; C. Larry French, president of NASSCO; Capt. W. Todd Hale, USN, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, San Diego; Capt. Stuart Piatt, USN, Deputy Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, Contracts Directorate; and John M. Murphv, vice president, corporate relations, NASSCO.

Following the launching ceremony, Vice Adm. Lee Baggett Jr., USN, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, laid the keel for the AD-44.

The Cape Cod — like her sister ships Yellowstone and Acadia launched last year — is named for a U.S. geographic area; in this case, the historic cape off Massachusetts where the Pilgrims first landed.

The 642-foot-long ADs are the first destroyer tenders of their type designed since World War II, and will replace aging fleet tenders that have been in continuous service for more than 30 years. The 22,000-ton (displacement) Gompers Class tenders will provide repair and supply services to new destroyer type ships that have advanced missile, antisubmarine, and electronics systems.

They have more than 50 shops, including facilities to service nuclear power plants. They will provide repairs and modifications that do not require drydocking, and will carry spare parts, weapons, munitions, and medical and dental personnel.

NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morrison-Knudsen Company, currently has under contract four Navy ships, four 37,500- dwt product carriers, and three 44,000-dwt product carriers.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 6,  Sep 1980

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