Seven Fulton class submarine tenders were authorized in 1940 as part of the emergency buildup prior to World War Two. They joined the fleet between 1941-44. In the 1960's six were overhauled under the FRAM II program allowing them to service nuclear powered submarines. The Proteus (AS-19) was converted in 1959-60 at Charleston Navy Yard to allow her to service ballistic missile submarines, her hull lengthened by 44 feet. Storage tubes for the Polaris missiles were fitted.
Three ships of the class served into the early 1990s; all are either in National Defense Reserve Fleet or disposed of.
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