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  AFDB-4 / ABSD-4 Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock 4
USN
AFDB-1 Class
Large Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock



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1944
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Frank Morrill 1945
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Jeff Hutchingson 2003

Ship History
Floating Dry Dock, designated ABSD-4. Built in pieces built in California at Mare Naval Yard at Mare Island. This dry dock was capable of lifting 70,000 tons.

Wartime History
Towed from California to the Admiralty Islands, arriving 48 days later. Docked at Seeadler Harbor off Lombrum Point on Manus in 1944. Later, it was reclassified AFDB-4.

This drydock serviced US Navy vessels, including USS New York BB-34 during February - March 1945, repairing her propellers.

Frank Morrill adds:
"The ABSD's had their own living Quarters and a large barge along side for workshops. I did not know anyone aboard them. I came very close to them while 'cruising' around the harbor in an LCVP."

Dr. Marshall Lowry adds:
"I was pharmacist mate second class aboard ABSD-4. The doctor on board was Dr Billy Marshall. I remember the attack I stayed on the ABSD and took it apart before I transferred to Manus. I was a hospital corpsman send class, went to medical school after I was discharged. I am now 80 years."

On April 22, 1945 at 1400 A6M2 Zero modified two seater piloted by Shimbo with Ensign Chuhei Okubo overflew Seeadler Harbor at 14,000 and observed two "aircraft carriers", actually floating dry docks. On April 27, 1945 attacked by B5N2 Kate piloted by Nagai which released its aerial torpedo that hit the rear pontoon under the side wall, rupturing the hull and moderately damaging the dry dock.

Postwar
Placed out of service and left in Seeadler Harbor off Lombrum Point. Officially decommissioned and struck from the US Navy register on April 15, 1989.

Shipwreck
Partially sunk, the outer walls of the dock remain.

References
The Siege of Rabaul page 79-85
Voices of the Pacific War page 186 interview with Bob Addobati, served aboard ABSD-4
NavySource - AFDB-4

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Last Updated
August 27, 2014

 

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