Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Conserver (ARS-39)

1945-1994 

A general word classification. 

One who preserves or keeps in a safe and sound state.

(ARS-39: displacement 1,441; length 213'6"; beam 39'; draft 14'8"; speed 15 knots; complement 120; armament 2 40 millimeter; class Diver)

Conserver (ARS-39) was laid down on 10 August 1944 at Napa, Calif., by the Basalt Rock Corp.; launched on 27 January 1945; sponsored by Mrs. H. Price; and commissioned on 9 June 1945 at South Vallejo, Calif., Lt. C. H. Rocklidge, USNR, in command.

Conserver arrived at Sasebo, Japan, on 21 September 1945, and until 3 March 1946, she carried out salvage operations at Sasebo, Okinawa, Yokosuka, Aomori, and Hakodate in support of the occupation, and after preparations at Pearl Harbor, arrived at Bikini on 29 March. She served in the Marshall Islands, aiding in Operation Crossroads, the atomic weapons tests of 1946, until 2 September 1947, when she arrived at Manila for duty in the Philippines. From 9 April 1948 to 26 September, she served in Hawaiian waters, and then in Alaskan waters, returning to Pearl Harbor on 13 January 1949.

From Pearl Harbor, Conserver returned to operate off Alaska between 14 April 1949 and 7 June, and from 10 December to 25 March 1950. With the outbreak of the Korean war, she arrived at Yokosuka on 15 July, and between 15 July and 1 August carried out salvage and diving assignments in Korean waters. After a brief overhaul at Yokosuka, she salvaged a fuel pipeline at Iwo Jima, and from 10 September until 24 December returned to Korean waters. After a final towing voyage from Japan to Korea in January 1951, Conserver returned to local operations at Pearl Harbor from 16 February to 28 May. After salvage duty at Kwajalein and Majuro, she returned to Pearl Harbor to prepare for her second tour of duty in the Korean War. She arrived at Sasebo on 27 September, and operated primarily in Korean waters until 7 May 1952, when she cleared for San Diego.

After operating on the west coast until 4 August 1952, Conserver sailed for brief duty at Pearl Harbor, Kwajalein, Guam, Subic Bay, Bangkok, Singapore, and Sangley Point, returning to Pearl Harbor on 22 October. On 6 April 1953, she returned to Sasebo for duty in Korean waters until 9 November, when she cleared for Pearl Harbor.

From the close of the Korean war through 1960, Conserver alternated operations in the Hawaiian Islands with occasional towing and salvage duty in Pacific islands and tours of duty in the Far East in 1954, 1955, 1955-56, 1957, 1958-59, 1959, and 1960. Between 20 September 1958 and 20 October, she gave salvage and towing service off Taiwan as U.S. ships stood by during the Quemoy Crisis.

Ultimately decommissioned on 1 April 1994, Conserver was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same day [1 April 1994]. The veteran of occupation duty and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts was ultimately disposed-of in support of a fleet training exercise on 13 November 2004. 

Conserver received nine battle stars for her Korean war service.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

21 August 2017 

Published:Sun Aug 20 20:28:31 EDT 2017