The Roman god of the sea, identified with the Greek Poseidon.
(ARC–2: dp. 4,410; l. 362’; b. 47’; dr. 25’; s. 13 k.; cpl. 150; cl. Neptune; T. S3–S2–BP1)
Neptune (ARC–2) was built for the Maritime Commission by Pusey and Jones Corp., Wilmington, Del. Completed in February 1946, she was launched as SS William H. G. Bullard, M. C. hull 2557.
She was acquired by the Navy in 1953 and converted at the Bethlehem Steel Co. Shipyard, Key Highway Plant, Baltimore, Md. New installations included electric cable machinery in place of steam, precision navigational instrumentation, and a helicopter platform over the fantail. She commissioned 1 June 1953, Comdr. Robert A. Bogardus in command.
After shakedown in the Virginia Capes Operations Area, Neptune conducted her first cable laying evolution on 8 July.
She then became the initial focus of project “Caesar,” under the administrative and operational control of Commander Service Force, Atlantic. This project involved the establishment of permanent underwater surveillance stations where electronic equipment could monitor the movements of surface and subsurface vessels. Absent from her homeport of Norfolk for extended periods, Neptune steamed the Atlantic from the Caribbean to the St. Lawrence and beyond, living up to her motto of “Find it, Fix it, Hide it.” Since her commissioning she has been involved in more than fifty cable laying and repair projects. She installs and maintains underwater facilities used for research, development, evaluation, and training. Although her primary mission is to lay and repair underwater cable, her assignments also entail acoustic surveys and testing of underwater sound devices.
Neptune’s varied work took her to the Pacific in 1954, 1957, 1960, and 1964. In July 1965 her homeport was shif ted to Portsmouth, N. H., and she underwent overhaul in the Bethlehem Steel Co. Shipyard, Boston from December 1965 through March 1966. After refresher training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba 9–22 April, she spent much of the next six months in the North Atlantic.
Her homeport was officially shifted to San Francisco 1 January 1967. Neptune arrived there 20 March. She has since conducted acoustic survey operations in the Pacific.