Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Beaver (AS-5)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photoraphs of USS Beaver (AS-5)

USS Beaver, a steel-hulled, single-screw, freight and passenger steamer built in 1910 at Newport News, Va., by the Newport News Shipbuilding Co. for the Union Pacific Railroad Co., was purchased from the San Francisco & Portland Steamship Co. on 1 July 1918; given the classification Id. No. 2302; converted to a submarine tender at the Mare Island Navy Yard; and commissioned there on 1 October 1918, Lt. Comdr. James A. Logan in command.

In order to expand operations and provide bases for the growing numbers of submarines being built during World War I, the Navy commissioned USS Beaver and four other tenders and began looking for new base locations. The following year, USS Beaver was ordered east to tend Atlantic Fleet submarines. Departing the Hawaiian Islands on 18 February 1920, she transited the Panama Canal and arrived at Cristobal on 25 March. From there, she proceeded to Kingston, Jamaica, and Havana, Cuba, before arriving at Hampton Roads, Va., on 10 April. She spent the next year operating on "detached service," presumably providing repair and support services to submarines up and down the east coast. On 17 July 1920, the Navy adopted the alphanumeric system of hull classification and identification, and USS Beaver was designated AS-5.

On 5 June 1922, USS Beaver (AS-5) sailed for the west coast via the "Great Circle Course" across the central Pacific. In between visits to Guam and Hawaii, she paid a brief call at Wake Island on the 19th to make a survey of the island. Transferred to SubDiv 11, USS Beaver (AS-5) then convoyed that division to the West Indies in January 1923 for the annual "fleet problem," the fleet maneuvers that served as the culmination of the training year. On 2 January 1924, USS Beaver (AS-5), in company with ten submarines of SubDiv 16 and SubDiv 17, steamed south from San Pedro for another fleet exercise in the West Indies.

Before steaming to China in 1930, USS Beaver (AS-5) led SubDiv 16 on a cruise through the southern Philippine Islands. For the next seven years, USS Beaver (AS-5) remained in Hawaiian waters, tending submarines during local operations and steaming occasionally to Wake, Midway, and French Frigate Shoals for deployment exercises. On 3 September 1942, USS Beaver (AS-5)  and six submarines formed SubRon 50 at New London, a special unit intended for Operation “Torch,” the planned November landings in French North Africa.

On 12 February 1944, the tender returned to San Diego, where her crew set up a submarine training school in conjunction with the Navy's West Coast Sound School. USS Beaver (AS-5) remained at San Diego, tending S-boats during training operations, until late June 1945. USS Beaver (AS-5) was decommissioned on 17 July 1946 and turned over to the War Shipping Administration for disposal on 5 August 1946. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 15 August 1946.

For a complete history of USS Beaver (AS-5) please see its DANFS page.