Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Griffin (AS-13)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Griffin (AS-13)

USS Griffin (AS-13), originally Mormacpenn, a Maritime Commission 0-3 type pre-war cargo ship, was launched by Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock., Chester, Pa., 11 October 1939. She served briefly with Moore-McConnack, Inc., was acquired by the Navy in 1940, renamed Griffin (AS-13) and converted to a submarine tender at Robbins Dry Dock & Repair Co., Brooklyn, N.Y. Griffin commissioned 31 July 1941, Comdr. S. D. Jupp in command.

Her conversion completed in September 1941, USS Griffin (AS-13) conducted shakedown off the East Coast and sailed with a sub squadron to Newfoundland 22 November 1941. Recalled to Newport, R.I., after Pearl Harbor, the ship was assigned to the Pacific Fleet, and departed 14 February for. Australia. USS Griffin (AS-13) arrived Brisbane 15 April 1942 to tend Submarine Squadron 5. Early in the war, the United States developed a major submarine base in Australia; and submarines tended by USS Griffin (AS-13) struck hard at Japanese shipping while surface forces strengthened themselves for the first Pacific offensives.

After repairs at San Diego, USS Griffin (AS-13) again departed for the Pacific, sailing 27 April 1943. She arrived Pearl Harbor 4 May to take up her vital support duties, and remained until 3 January 1944. The ship performed refits, battle repairs, and general upkeep on submarines before sailing to Mare Island to arrove 10 January. USS Griffin (AS-13) returned to Pearl Harbor 17 March, and departed 8 April for the great submarine base at Fremantle, Australia. She arrived 8 May and immediately set about servicing the growing submarine fleet. 

Arriving 10 February, USS Griffin (AS-13) set up one of the initial submarine repair facilities in the Philippines since 1942. She also helped to salvage damaged destroyer USS LaVallette. Shifting base, the tender sailed 22 March via Leyte, and arrived in the Hawaiian Islands 10 April. After a brief stay at Pearl she departed 10 May for Midway, arrived 4 days later, and set up another repair facility for submarines. By that time submarines supported by USS Griffin (AS-13) had practically annihilated Japanese merchant shipping and had played a decisive role in the great Pacific offensive. She remained at Midway until 10 September, then sailed to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco, entering the bay 24 September. Decommissioned at Mare Island 12 October 1945, the ship was placed in reserve. Later USS Griffin (AS-13) transferred to the Stockton group, Pacific Reserve Fleet, where she remains in reserve, in service, tending reserve submarines through 1967.

For a complete history of USS Griffin (AS-13) please see its DANFS page.