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  USS ABSD-2 Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock 2 (AFDB-2)
USN
AFDB-1 Class
Large Auxiliary
Floating Dry Dock

38,600 Tons
825' x 246' 5" x 8' 8"
Lifting: 90,000 Tons
Crew: 690
14 x 40mm AA guns
14 x 20mm AA guns

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USN 1944

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Ira Lefkowitz 1944

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Frank Morrill 1945
Ship History
Built by Mare Island Navy at Mare Island constructed in ten sections with letter designations A-J between late 1943 until early 1944 as AFDB-1 Class Large Auxiliary (10-section, non-self-propelled) Floating Dry Dock with an inside width of 133' 7" and draft of 8' 8" (78' when flooded) capable of lifting up to 90,000 tons to allow large warships to be dry docked. Commissioned August 14, 1943 into the U. S. Navy (USN) as Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock 2 (USS ABSD-2) under the command of Commander Joseph J. Rochefort and assigned to the Pacific Fleet. On June 25, 1944 assigned to Captain George Victor Richardson.

Wartime History

At Mare Island, disassembled into section and towed across the Pacific to Segond Channel off Espiritu Santo and reassembled then towed to Seeadler Harbor and moored off Lombrum on Manus Island. ABSD-2 began servicing warships and transports that required dry docking or repairs along with USS ABSD-4. On April 1, 1945 assigned to Commander William Raymond Lawrence.

Frank Morrill adds:
"The ABSD's had their own living Quarters and a large barge along side for workshops. I did not know anyone aboard them. I came very close to them while 'cruising' around the harbor in an LCVP."

On April 22, 1945 at 2:00pm A6M2 Zero modified two seater pilot Shimbo with Ensign Chuhei Okubo overflew Seeadler Harbor at 14,000' and observed two "aircraft carriers" that were actually floating dry dock USS ABSD-2 and USS ABSD-4. Back at Rabaul, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) planned a strike against the two "aircraft carriers" with repaired aircraft from the 105th Naval Base Unit dubbed the "Rabaul Air Force".

On April 27, 1945 targeted by B5N2 Kate pilot Takahashi that released an aerial torpedo that damaged a compartment in one of the pontoons and caused moderate damage to the dry dock. Afterwards, the damage was repaired.

Postwar
On December 24, 1945 assigned to Commander Joseph Epps Lee until decommissioned February 28, 1946. In August 1946 redesignated AFBD-2. Sometime afterwards towed across the Pacific to Pearl Harbor. Decommissioned on March 24, 1987 and remained intact until the middle of 1990.

Fates
In July 1990, AFBD-2 was disassembled into sections A-J with different fates for each piece.

On July 13, 1990 section A and section G were sold for scrap.

On July 13, 1990 section B and section C were disposed of in support of Fleet training exercises and presumably sunk at sea.

On July 13, 1990 section J was disposed of in support of Fleet training exercises and presumably sunk at sea.

On July 19, 1990 section F was reclassified as Unclassified Miscellaneous IX-524 and was towed to Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kekaha, Hawaii.

On July 13, 1990 section E and section I were sold to Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for reuse / conversion, their fate today is unknown.

On August 16, 1996 section D was reclassified as Unclassified Miscellaneous IX-522 and is located at NAVSEA Inactive Ships On-Site Maintenance Office at Pearl Harbor.

On October 10, 2002 section H was reclassified as Unclassified Miscellaneous IX-535 and is located at NAVSEA Inactive Ships On-Site Maintenance Office at Pearl Harbor.

The three surviving sections: IX-522, IX-524 and IX-535 each measure 280' length, 80' beam, 9' draft with a displacement of 3,500 tons.

References
NavSource - USS ABSD-2 (AFDB-2)
The Siege of Rabaul (1996) by Henry Sakaida pages 79-85

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Last Updated
April 28, 2020

 

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