Allied Warships

USS Vestal (AR 4)

Repair ship

NavyThe US Navy
TypeRepair ship
Class[No specific class] 
PennantAR 4 
Built byNew York Navy Yard (New York, New York, U.S.A.) 
Laid down25 Mar 1907 
Launched19 May 1908 
Commissioned4 Oct 1909 
End service14 Aug 1946 

Displacement: 12585 BRT
Length: 466 feet
Speed: 16 kts

Commissioned as USS Vestal (Collier No.1) on 4 October 1909
Decommissioned on 25 October 1912 and converted to a repair ship
Recommissioned as USS Vestal (Fleet Repair Ship No. 4) on 3 September 1913
Designated AR-4 on 17 July 1920
Decommissioned on 14 August 1946
Stricken on 25 September 1946
Sold to be broken up for scrap on 28 July 1950


Commands listed for USS Vestal (AR 4)

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1Cmdr Cassin Young, USN< Dec 41Feb 42 ?

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Notable events involving Vestal include:

7 Dec 1941
During the attack on Pearl Harbor, she was moored next to the battleship USS Arizona (BB-39) at Berth F-7 off Ford Island. At ca 0805 hours, shortly after the ship began it's anti aircraft fire, two bombs struck the vessel, possibly intended for the Arizona. One bomb struck the port side, penetrating three decks & exploded in a stores hold which necessitated flooding the forward magazines. The second bomb struck the starboard side, passing through several of the ship's workshop spaces, & left an irregular hole, about 5' in diameter, in the bottom of the ship. After three shots, the ship's 3" gun jammed, & while they endeavoured to clear the round, the USS Arizona was hit with a bomb, exploding her powder magazine. Arizona was also hit by a torpedo that had passed under Vestal's stern. The resulting explosion blew everyone on deck overboard, including the captain. The repair ship eventually steamed up & managed to pull away from the burning USS Arizona, thanks largely to the captain, who'd re-boarded, & the ship's engineering staff, which managed to get the ship underway. Eventually, the ship was grounded on Aiea Shoal due to the ship's unstable condition The CO, Cmdr Cassin Young, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions aboard the Vestal that day. Though damaged, she participated in the ensuing repair & rescue ops at Pearl Harbor, including sending crews to help pull men out of the USS Oklahoma (BB-37). (1)


  1. Personal communication

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