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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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(ARS-6: dp. 1,441; l. 213'6"; b. 39'; dr. 14'8"; s. 15 k.; cpl. 120; a. 2 40 mm.; cl. Diver)

To get away; evade pain or trouble.

Escape (ARS-6) was launched 22 November 1942 by Basalt Rock Co., Napa, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. J. E. Brenner; and commissioned 20 November 1943, Lieutenant W. T. Williams in command.

Escape sailed from San Diego 31 December 1943 for Norfolk, where from 4 February she was based for general salvage and towing duties. Between 10 July and 9 September, she performed similar duties out of Bermuda, and on 12 September, put to sea from Norfolk to rescue hurricane-disabled SS George Ade. She reached the stricken ship on the 15th, and brought her safely to port through another violent storm, in which she herself was damaged.

From 31 December 1944 to 4 June 1945, Escape again operated out of Bermuda, during this time aiding three large ships damaged by heavy seas. On 11 August, she departed Norfolk for the Pacific, but with the end of hostilities, her orders were changed, and after towing scows from Coco Solo, C.Z., to Tampa, Fla., she sailed to Davisville, R.I., for mooring buoys. These she laid at Jacksonville, Fla., in October.

Escape sailed from Key West 8 November 1945 to escort and later tow the Italian submarine Mameli to Taranto. She returned to Norfolk 22 January 1946, and on 20 July 1946 was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Orange, Tex.

Recommissioned 12 July 1951, Escape was homeported at Norfolk for salvage and towing services to the Fleet along the east coast, and from 1954, spent alternate years in the Caribbean, based on San Juan, Puerto Rico.

On 26 January 1960 Escape got underway for Operation "Sky Hook." While on station she was diverted to Culebra Island, Puerto Rico, to assist USS Jones Ingram (DD-938) which had gone aground.

On 30 January 1960 Escape got underway to assist in Project Mercury, a United States space-flight program. She continued to give essential support to the fleet through the remainder of 1960.