Naval History and Heritage Command

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Cable (ARS-19)

1944-1977 

A general word classification suggestive of salvage operations. 

(ARS-19: displacement 1,441; length 213'6"; beam 39'; draft 14'8"; speed 15 knots; complement 120; armament 4 40 millimeter, 6 20 millimeter; class Diver)

Cable (ARS-19) was laid down on 24 November 1942 at Napa, Calif,., by the Basalt Rock Co.; launched on 1 April 1943; sponsored by Mrs. B. Elliott; and commissioned on 6 March 1944, Lt. Cmdr. H. Pond, USNR, in command.

Cable began her salvage and rescue work while still in shakedown training, when she took in tow for San Diego the water barge YW-86, which had suffered a breakdown off Cape San Lucas, Mexico. Cable cleared San Pedro, Calif., 30 April 1944, towing small craft to Kwajalein on her way to Milne Bay, New Guinea. Here she provided salvage and rescue services until sailing on 10 August for Manus and Cairns, Australia, where she embarked firefighting and salvage teams. Continuing the lengthy process of invasion preparation, she sailed to Milne Bay to load firefighting equipment, and on 18 October put out from Hollandia, New Guinea, in a convoy of supply ships for the initial landings on Leyte.

Many ships were damaged in the furious naval and air actions which accompanied the Leyte, and later the Lingayen, operations. Cable's essential services aided many -- she made the destroyer Albert W. Grant (DD-649) seaworthy again in only two days after she destroyer had flooded from the 19 shell hits of various calibers received in the Battle of Surigao Strait. Such duty in San Pedro Bay and Lingayen Gulf was followed by assignment to harbor clearance at Manila through the spring of 1945. Cable's service in the Philippines was recognized with the award of the Navy Unit Commendation.

Cable stood out of Manila Bay on 30 May 1945, then helped ready ships for the Borneo invasion. She steamed to Balikpapan for frontline support in July, and in August returned to the Philippines for continued service through 6 March 1946. Homeward bound, she towed the barrack ship APL-18 from Pearl Harbor to San Diego, where she arrived 28 July 1946 for local operations until 28 January 1947. Proceeding to the east coast, Cable carried out salvage, rescue, and towing assignments in New England waters until 15 September 1947, when she was decommissioned at Boston. She was loaned, commercially the same day.

Stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 April 1977, the ship was expended in a fleet exercise on 1 September 1978. 

In addition to the Navy Unit Commendation, Cable received three battle stars for her World War II service.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

2 June 2016

Published: Thu Jun 02 20:23:17 EDT 2016