United States Navy

Submarine Tenders

USS Canopus AS 34

USS Canopus AS 34 underway
Canopus Patch
Another Jacket Patch
Canopus Crest
(tons Laden)
21,089Built / Launched3/2/1964 / 2/12/1965
Length643' 9"Built ByIngalls Shipbuilding,
Pascagoula, Miss.
Beam85' 0"ClassSimon Lake
Draft24' 6"Commisioned1965
Speed (rated)18.0ktsDecommisioned1995
Compliment1,400DispositionSold for scrap

   USS Canopus (AS-34) is a tender of the Simon Lake Class. Her keel was laid onMarch 2, 1964. Canopus was launched on February 12, 1965, at Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Canopus was completed and deliveredto the Navy in record breaking time on October 25, 1965.

  USS Canopus joined Submarine Squadron 18 at Charleston and was commissioned on November 4, 1965. After a short outfitting period, Canopus sailed for the Caribbean on January 7, 1966. Canopus visited Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for shakedown training. She returned to Charleston Naval Shipyard on February 24th for the usual post shakedown work.

   In mid April 1966, Canopus completed her acceptance trials and upon final loading and outfitting deployed to the Cooper River FBM Replenishment Site on June 24th. Canopus started refitting submarines of Squadron 18.

  On September 24, 1966, Canopus deployed from Charleston, South Carolina arriving in Rota Spain on October 10th. Canopus relieved USS Holland (AS-32) and reported to the Commander of Submarine Squadron 16 for duty. While at Rota, Canopus accomplished more Polaris refits than any other submarine tender in a comparable amount of time.

  On April 20, 1969, Canopus was relieved by the USS Holland and sailed for Bremerton, Washington via the Panama Canal. In Bremerton, the Canopus wasextensively overhauled and thereby gained the title of the first submarine tender in theUnited States Navy capable of refitting and maintaining a submarine with the Poseidon Missile System.

  After completion of this overhaul, Canopus sailed for Holy Loch Scotland via the Panama Canal. In May of 1970, she relieved the USS Simon Lake at Holy Loch. She reported to the Commander of Submarine Squadron 14. Canopus remained in Holy Loch until November of 1975. During this time, Canopus was instrumental in establishing several new maintenance concepts while completing, on schedule, every submarine refit during the 67 months at Holy Loch. During the last year at Holy Loch, Canopus received numerous awards including the Ney Award for the best large mess afloat, the second consecutive Battle Efficiency "E", the CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award for personnel retention, and the Navy Unit Commendation for her role in the first FBM Submarine Extended Refit Period.

  In 1976, the Canopus underwent an extensive refit at Charleston Naval Shipyard and returned to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for refresher training. The Canopus returned to Rota, Spain in December of 1976. As a result of the shipyard overhaul in Charleston, Canopus brought new and improved capabilities to Rota for the support of Submarine Squadron 16.

"A" division in 1976
  In June of 1979, the Canopus relieved the Simon Lake at the Naval Weapons Station at Charleston South Carolina. The Canopus now reported to the Commander of Squadron 18. In January of 1980, the Canopus got underway and went 200 miles off the coast to conduct drills. In March of 1980, Canopus got underway and made a liberty cruise to Cape Canaveral, Florida.

  In 1984 after being relieved byt he USS Holland (AS-32), the Canopus underwent a overhaul at Charleston Naval Shipyard - which lasted until 1985. Refresher training and shake-down was conducted out of GITMO (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba).

After a short stay at Charleston, the Canopus sailed in July 1985 to Kings Bay GA, where she relived the Simon Lake - assuming upkeep and refit duites for the SSBNs of Subron 16.

History from 1984 to 1985 courtesy Pat {no last name given}

{The period between 1986 and 1990 is missing - }

   The Canopus was located at Kingsbay Georgia during the early 1990s. During a ceremony held at Warrior Warf, Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay on Friday, the Seventh day of October, 1994 -- USS Canopus' 29 years of service was celebrated; and she was decommissioned from active service.

Thanks to: ET3 Milton Smith, X67H R-4 Division - Repair Department, USS Canopus
for the history summary covering 1965 - 1981; and 1990 - 1994

Another view of USS Canopus in 1966
USS Canopus in servicing boats at Holy Loch in 1970
The sailboats in the second picture are part of the 10th Annual Polaris Sailing regatta.

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