Year Built
Official Number
Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company
General Type
Naval Auxiliary
Specific Type
ASR Submarine Rescue Ship
Ship Length
251.00 feet
86.00 feet
Mast Height
Net Tons
Gross Tons
Cargo Capacity
Draft, Summer
21.00 tons
Draft, Lightweight
21.00 tons
Displacement, Summer
3411.00 tons
Displacement, Lightweight
3356.00 tons
Immersion, Summer
Immersion, Lightweight
Sold - Scrap

Historical Narrative

USS Pigeon was the lead ship of its class of submarine rescue ships.  The ship was laid down on July 17, 1968 by the Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co., Mobile, Alabama.  It was launched on August 13, 1969, and commissioned on April 28, 1973.

This new class of submarine rescue ships was designed to operate with the Navy's new deep submergence rescue vehicles. The twin hull provided excellent stability for deep water operations and provided generous space for working on deck.   The ship could carry two deep submergence vehicles on its main deck and when necessary, could dock to a disabled submarine on the sea bottom, remove survivors, and transport them to the surface.

Pigeon also carried the McCann diving bell, or rescue chamber, which was used to rescue the survivors of the submarine Squalus (SS-192) in 1939.

Pigeon was decommissioned on August 31, 1992 and entered the Maritime Administration’s Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet on September 4, 1992. The ship was sold for dismantlement and departed the fleet on Januray 9, 2012.

The Maritime Administration completed a National Register of Historic Places eligibility assessment for Pigeon which includes a narrative history of the vessel.  It can be viewed in the Documents section.

Naval History and Heritage Command Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships entry for USS Pigeon.

Vessel Name History



No Mission for this vessel

Historical Documents
Name Download


Event Date Content
9/4/1992 Entered Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet
2/7/1996 Sold for scrap to Pegasus, Inc. Sale eventually failed.
5/12/1998 Returned to fleet after failed scrap sale
12/18/1998 Title transferred from US Navy to MARAD, for disposal
Interim Movement
3/23/2001 Depart due to loan as training platform
Interim Movement
3/26/2001 Long term MOA w. Chief Naval Ed & Trng
Interim Movement
8/8/2005 Return from Navy training platform use in San Diego, CA
1/9/2012 Departed under domestic sale contract with International Shipbreaking LTD. in Brownsville, TX.

Ship Imagery

Status Cards


Date Type Name Download
4/14/2011 National Register Eligibility Assessment Pigeon.pdf Default Generic Download Image


No documents for this vessel

Shipwreck Information

No ship wreck information for this vessel