Despite their title, destroyer tenders serviced a variety of ships besides destroyers. The Yellowstone, Gompers and Dixie class destroyer tenders could provide battle damage repair, maintenance and logistics support to ships at anchor or moored to a pier, in a wartime environment. The Gompers class could accommodate ships up to and including the highly complex nuclear-powered missile cruisers. The crews were 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.
These ships, so vital to fleet operations, ranged in age from the Dixie class ship Prairie (AD 15), commissioned in 1940, to the Shenandoah (AD 44), commissioned in late 1983. Because of the advent of nuclear power and the phenomenal advancement in electronics and weaponry, AD capabilities have had to be vastly increased. The Gompers and Yellowstone classes were the first of post-World War II design; however, more than 15 years elapsed between the launching of the second of the Gompers class, Puget Sound (AD 38), and Yellowstone (AD 41).
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