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AD-14 Dixie

The DIXIE-class tenders had long and very successful careers. Two ships of this class were supporting destroyers in 1940, more than a year before Pearl Harbor was attacked. Two ships of the DIXIE class were still active into the 1990s, several years after the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm.

The DIXIE class was the first class of destroyer tenders designed for the U.S. Navy specifically for that purpose, previous tenders having been conversions of other types of ships. These tenders had the shops, equipment, spare parts, and skilled sailors necessary to keep the fleet's destroyers operational.

Their cranes had a maximum boom capacity of twenty tons and they could lift a radar antenna to the height of any destroyer's mast. Workshops and materials were available to test and overhaul equipment and to accomplish most types of repairs. These tenders could also provide medical and dental services to destroyers and escort-type ships undergoing repairs or overhaul.

The DIXIE class ships were 531 feet in length, had a beam of 73 feet, and displaced about 18,000 tons fully loaded. Steam came from four three-drum A-type boilers with superheat and their 11,000 horsepower turbines could move these ships through the water at about 19 knots. They had 259,000 cubic feet of non-refrigerated cargo space and 58,000 cubic feet of refrigerated cargo space. A typical complement consisted of 38 officers, 70 chief petty officers, and 965 enlisted men.

As built they carried four 5"/38 guns in single mounts with fire control as well as smaller anti-aircraft armament. Later in their careers, most had their armament reduced. As destroyers and escorts acquired new capabilities, these tenders kept pace. The ships of the DIXIE class underwent Fleet Modernization and Rehabilitation (FRAM II) conversions in the 1960s, and were thereafter able to support such systems as DASH helicopters and ASROC anti-submarine rockets.

The first two ships of the class were built by New York Shipbuilding of Camden, New Jersey. The other three were built by Tampa Shipbuilding of Tampa, Florida.

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Page last modified: 22-07-2011 17:33:41 ZULU