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AD-37 Samuel Gompers

USS Samuel Gompers, lead ship of a class of 20,500-ton destroyer tenders, was built at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington. Because of the advent of nuclear power and the phenomenal advancement in electronics and weaponry, AD capabilities had to be vastly increased. The Gompers class was the first of post-World War II design. More than 15 years elapsed between the launching of the second of the Gompers class, Puget Sound (AD 38), and first of the subsequent class, the USS Yellowstone (AD 41).

Despite their title, destroyer tenders service a variety of ships besides destroyers. The Gompers class destroyer tenders can provide battle damage repair, maintenance and logistics support to ships at anchor or moored to a pier, in a wartime environment. The Gompers class can accommodate ships up to and including the highly complex nuclear-powered missile cruisers. The crews are formed mainly of technicians and repair crews. These Destroyer Tenders have a helicopter platform and hangar, and are equipped with two 30 ton and two 6 ton cranes. They can provide simultaneous services to as many as five ships moored along side.

Commissioned in July 1967, USS Samuel Gompers was assigned to the Pacific Fleet to provide tender support to cruisers, destroyers, frigates and other types of Navy warships. Between 1967 and 1995, she made seventeen deployments to the Western Pacific, with some of those extending to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf. The destroyer tender USS Samuel Gompers (AD 37) was decommissioned 27 October 1995 in ceremonies at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. The ship arrived in Norfolk Oct. 2 from Alameda, Calif., after completing 28 years of active service.

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