(ARS-38: dp. 1441; l. 213'6"; b. 39'; dr. 14'8"; s. 15 k.; cpl. 120; a. 2 40-mm; cl. Diver)
Bolster means to support, hold up, or maintain.
Bolster (ARS-38) was launched 23 December 1944 by Basalt Rock Co., Napa, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. C. A. Mayo, Jr., wife of Lieutenant Mayo, USNR; commissioned 1 May 1945, Lieutenant W. F. Lewis in command; and joined the Pacific Fleet.
On 18 July 1945, after repair duty along the California coast, Bolster departed for Pearl Harbor. She remained there until 15 August when she sailed for Yokosuka, Japan. Bolster conducted repair and salvage operations in Japanese waters until leaving for Subic Bay, Luzon, 10 October 1946. She remained in the Philippines until April 1947 and then returned to Pearl Harbor via Okinawa, Guam, and Kwajalein.
Bolster operated alternately out of Pearl Harbor and Adak, Alaska, on salvage and towing duties until 22 August 1950. She then towed two barges to Sasebo, Japan, and remained in the Far East until 6 July 1951. During this tour she participated in the Inchon landing (15 September 1950) and the Hungnam Evacuation (9-25 December 1950).
Since 1952 Bolster has continued to operate out of Pearl Harbor and has made six tours of the Far East, visiting Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Okinawa, and the Philippine Islands.
Bolster was decommissioned on 24 September 1994 and struck from the Navy list on the same day. She was disposed of by transfer to the Maritime Administration on 1 February 1999.
Updates pending for 1952 to 1994.
Bolster received seven battle stars for her Korean service (9 September 1950-6 July 1951, 24 January-16 August 1952, and 16 February-15 April 1953).
31 January 2006