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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Gear

 

An accessory mechanism or machine that performs a specific function in a complete machine, as an expansion gear or a steering gear.

 

(BARS-4: dp. 1,530;l. 213'6"; b. 39'; dr. 14'1"; s. 14.8 k.; cpl. 120; a. 4 40mm.;)

 

Gear (BARS-4), originally intended for the Royal Navy under terms of the Lend-Lease Program, was launched as HMS Pacific Salvor (BARS-4) on 24 October 1942 by the Basalt Rock Co.. Napa, Calif.; acquired by the U.S. Navy and designated Gear (ARS-34) on 21 September 1942; and commissioned 24 September 1943, Lt. J. F. Simmons in command.

 

Gear departed San Diego on 6 December 1943 en route via Pearl Harbor and the Gilbert Islands to Eniwetok atoll in, the Marshall Islands. Here she performed salvage, towing, and repair for ships of the fleet as a unit of Service Squadron 10 until 17 July 1944. She provided similar services at Saipan (25 July-7 August), shifting to Apra Harbor, Guam, on 8 August 1944 for various operations that included the towing and sinking of concrete barges on Calalan Bank to serve as a breakwater; pulling amphibious landing ships off various beaches: and towing a ship to Tinian and Saipan before return. She returned to Pearl Harbor from the Marianas on 6 December 1944 for overhaul, and departed on 29 January 1945 with an amphibious assault force bound for Iwo Jima.

 

Gear arrived in the outer transport area of Iwo Jima on 19 February 1945 to witness the landing of Marines under cover of intensive Naval gunfire and air attack. She proved invaluable in assisting the ships of the fleet, pumping out flooded spaces, repairing mortars, making ship repairs and performing various towing assignments. She returned to Saipan on 5 March with an LSM and two LCI's intow. Four days later she was en route with a transport assault force that arrived off Okinawa on 1 April, D-day of invasion. Here she braved the day and night aerial onslaughts in a busy schedule of battle damage repairs to such gallant fighting ships as Wichita (CA-45), England (DE-635), Aaron Ward (DD-483), Ingraham (DD-694). She departed Okinawa on 15 May for repair service at Ulithi (21 May-12 June), then proceeded via Eniwetok with two tank landing ships in tow for Pearl Harbor, arriving 6 July 1945.

 

Gear departed Pearl Harbor on 11 July and arrived at Portland, Oregon on the 20th. After voyage repairs, she performed towing and salvage for the Alaskan Sea Frontier at Adak until 6 May 1946, returning to San Pedro on the 23d for services there until decommissioned on 13 December 1946.

 

Gear was assigned to the San Diego Group, U.S. Pacific Reserve Fleet until 24 February 1953. A civilian crew of the Merritt Chapman Scott Corp. then operated her for Navy towing and salvage service at San Pedro, Calif. Under contract to the Merritt Chapman Scott Corp., she continues Navy salvage and repair duties at San Pedro with occasional coast towing.