(ARS-25: dp. 1,630- (f.); l. 213'6"; b. 39'; dr. 14'8"; s. 15 k.; cpl. 120; a. 4 40mm.; cl. Diver)
Any person or thing that protects or guards against loss or injury.
Safeguard (ARS-25) was laid down on 5 June 1943 by the Basalt Rock Co., Napa, Calif.; launched on 20 November 1943; and commissioned on 30 September 1944 at the Southern Pacific Docks, Vallejo, Calif., Lt. J. F. Simmons in command.
Following shakedown out of San Diego, Safeguard called at San Pedro and San Francisco before commencing the first of many deep water towing operations on 23 December. With YC-1165 and YC-1166 in tow, she arrived at Pearl Harbor on 3 January 1945. Escorted by PC-1254 and SC-1033, she departed Pearl for Eniwetok on the 15th, this time with ARD-25 in tow. Until 1 March, she operated in the area of Tanapag Harbor.
Safeguard later moved on to the Ryukyus. At Okinawa, she conducted at-random salvage operations in the wake of war and typhoons. Although towing operations in Buckner Bay took up much of her time in the months immediately following the end of the war, she also continued salvage work. On 20 November, after continued attempts, she refloated ARD-21, a typhoon victim, at Nago Wan, Okinawa.
Departing the Ryukyus on 28 March 1946 for Shanghai, China, Safeguard extended her salvage and towing capabilities to Taku, China, on 13 April and then to Pusan, Korea, and the Amami-O-Shima Islands. Following several months of operations in Chinese and Japanese waters, she towed YR-68 from Hong Kong to Samar, Philippine Islands, in mid-June. There she added section G of AFDM-5 to her tow and continued on to Pearl Harbor on 29 July in company with three YTBs. The 21st of August found her en route to San Francisco for a three-month overhaul at Mare Island.
After service in the Aleutians in the spring of 1947, Safeguard arrived at Pearl Harbor on 1 July. She then went on to Kwajalein Atoll, the Marshalls, for salvage operations after the nuclear tests held there. The mission involved considerable diving and the inspection of the underwater surfaces of many grounded vessels. Safeguard departed Kwajalein on 12 November and headed via Pearl Harbor for San Diego. She decommissioned on 12 December 1947 and entered the San Diego Group of the Pacific Reserve Fleet.
After the outbreak of war in Korea, Safeguard was ordered activated. Recommissioned on 13 February 1952, she proceeded to Pearl Harbor for a post-commissioning overhaul that took her into mid-August. She arrived at Sasebo, Japan, on 3 September 1952 and again commenced salvage and towing operations in Japanese and Korean waters. She delivered urgently needed cargo to Consolation (AH-15) at Inchon on 28 December; and, on 6 January 1953, she stood by Missouri (BB-63) during shore bombardment.
Between May and December, Safeguard underwent overhaul at Pearl Harbor. Following the end of Korean hostilities, she continued to engage in fleet salvage operations and regular WestPac deployments. In the summer of 1955 and 1956, she operated out of Seattle, Wash., provisioning DEW-line outposts.
Safeguard relieved Current (ARS-22) on station in the South China Sea off the coast of South Vietnam on 25 August 1964. Interruptions during this duty took her to Subic Bay and Hong Kong. Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 27 October, she conducted local operations through the following summer. She was again en route to WestPac on 17 August 1965 for operations that took her to Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese waters.
Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 9 March 1966, Safeguard commenced upkeep and mid-Pacific operations. For example, during September and October 1966, she salvaged a 10,000-ton commercial barge which had grounded at Wake Island during a storm. She then towed the barge 2,000 miles to Honolulu. Into 1974, Safeguard has continued to provide Fleet support services from her home port of Pearl Harbor and through her regular WestPac deployments.
Safeguard received one battle star for World War II service, the Presidential Unit Citation and five battle stars for Korean service, and nine battle stars for Vietnam service.