(YSD-31: displacement 200; length 104'0"; beam 31'2"; draft 3'3"; speed 10 knots)
The steel hull self-propelled seaplane wrecking derrick YSD-31 was laid down on 7 June 1941 at Vallejo, Calif., by the Mare Island Navy Yard; with her initial prospective assignment the Thirteenth Naval District, at Tongue Point (8 May 1941); and launched on 17 July 1941. Due to continual evaluation of wartime building priorities, YSD-31’s completion date changed as the pivotal year 1942 progressed, with the initially projected 1 May 1942 date being postponed to 15 June 1942, then suspended indefinitely due to “provisions for towing and providing of crew…” Ultimately, however, Mare Island completed YSD-31 on 1 August 1942.
Assigned to Naval Operating Base (NOB) Adak, Territory of Alaska, YSD-31 offloaded gear and equipment from the damaged destroyer Abner Read (DD-526) that had fouled a drifting Japanese mine off Kiska on 18 August 1943, during the preparations to lighten the warship for her move to Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash.
Later assigned to the Adak Sector of the Seventeenth Naval District on 14 April 1944, YSD-31 was allotted to that district on 10 October 1946 for post-war duty. Reassigned to the Thirteenth Naval District on 1 May 1947, YSD-31 was placed out of service in reserve on 9 May 1947. The office of the Chief of Naval Operations directed the Commandant of the Thirteenth Naval District (ComThirteen) on 13 August 1947, however, to retain the vessel in an out of service status and report it as surplus.
ComThirteen consequently reiterated that Commander Puget Sound Naval Shipyard place the vessel out of service and strip it and report it as surplus. Puget Sound Naval Shipyard complied with the orders, reporting YSD-31 as placed out of service on 10 September 1947. That same day, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard declared YSD-31 as surplus for disposal and requested that ComThirteen deliver the craft to a representative of the Maritime Commission upon request.
YSD-31 was stricken from the Naval Register on 29 September 1947, and was delivered to the War Shipping Administration on 18 December 1947.
Robert J. Cressman
28 August 2018