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  USS Salvor ARS-52 (USNS Salvor T-ARS-52)
Safeguard Class
Rescue and Salvage Ship

3,282 Tons
255' x 50' x 15' 6"
2 x 25mm chain guns
2 x 50 cal machine guns
Crew: 6 officers, 94 enlisted

Dave Flinn 2015

Ship History
Built by Peterson Builders at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Laid down September 16, 1983. Launched July 28, 1984. Commissioned June 14, 1986 as USS Salvor (ARS-52), the third vessel in the Safeguard class of rescue and salvage ships along with USNS Grasp (T-ARS-51), USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50) and USNS Grapple (T-ARS-53).

During June 2006, USS Salvor (ARS-52) entered the Gulf of Thailand and divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1 (MDSU-1) conducted six days of dives on the shipwreck found the previous year. For six days to survey and photographed the shipwreck to confirm the identity. More evidence was documented including the twin 5" gun mount plus "Manitowoc" on the propellers. The documentation was sent to underwater archaeologists for further review and the U. S. Navy confirmed to be USS Lagarto (SS-371).

Decommissioned on January 19, 2007 and that same day transfered to Military Sealift Command (MSC) and recommissioned as USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52).

During January 2015, Salvor operated in Simpson Harbor off Rabaul in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with a team of U. S. Navy divers led by JPAC underwater archaeologist Dr. Andrew Pietruszka. During a two month mission, anchored near TBF Avenger 24264 to conducted an underwater investigation then lifted the wreckage out of the water to recover remains aboard the vessel. Afterwards, the wreckage was placed back into Simpson Harbor at roughly the same location it crashed to the west of the Rabaul Yacht Club.

During January to February 2018, Salvor operated in Palau with a team from Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) with Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One (MDSU-1). During this mission, Salvor anchored on a fighter aircraft that crashed in 1944 found near Arakabesan Island (Ngerekebesang) in Palau. The team spent weeks excavating the area in search of remains, lifting sand to the surface.

During July 2018 Salvor operated from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands and conducted an operation to remove oil from the shipwreck of Prinz Eugen (USS IX 300). The effort was a joint project between the U. S. Army, U.S. Navy and the Republic of the Marshall Islands to protect the marine ecosystem.

In early December 2018 Salvor operated in Madang Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with a team from Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) with Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One (MDSU-1) conducting dives off Hansa Bay, likely on the wreckage of a B-24 Liberator located during October 2017 by Project Recover that is presumed to be the crash site of B-24D-145-CO 'Heaven Can Wait' 42-41216.

Navy Vessel Register - USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 52)
US Navy Military Sealift Command - Rescue and Salvage Ships
US Navy Military Sealift Command - USNS Salvor via Wayback Machine March 7, 2009
NavSource - USNS Safeguard T-ARS-52 (photos)
Facebook - Mobile Diving Salvage Unit One
Live Science "Remains of US Pilot from WWII Found at the Bottom of Pacific Ocean" March 5, 2018
Fox News "Remains of US pilot from WWII found at the bottom of Pacific Ocean" March 9, 2018
Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) Search: Salvor (photos)

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Last Updated
August 31, 2020


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