Ortolan in transit to Texas

by Hans | July 22nd, 2009

The Ortolan departed the James River Reserve Fleet at 9:50 a.m. on July 20 in transit to Esco Marine, Inc., in Brownsville, Texas for recycling.  The approximate travel time to Texas is 14 days.  The Ortolan is the 80th ship to leave the James River Reserve Fleet since January 1, 2001.

Ortolan, meaning a European bunting

The third Ortolan (ASR–22), a twin hulled submarine rescue vessel, was laid down 28 August 1968 by the Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co., Mobile, Ala; launched 10 September 1969; sponsored by Mrs. Nels C. Johnson; and is to commission early in 1971.

ASR- 22 – Ortolan

Pigeon Class Submarine Rescue Ship:

  • Laid down, 28 August 1968, at Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Co., Mobile, AL.
  • Launched, 10 September 1969
  • Commissioned USS Ortolan (ASR-22), 14 July 1973
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 30 March 1995
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, VA.
  • Title transfer to MARAD, 1 May 1999
  • On 20 July 2009 in transit to Esco Marine, Inc., in Brownsville, Texas for recycling.


  • Displacement 3,706 t.(lt) 4,545 t.(fl)
  • Length 251 Beam 93′ Draft 26′ (max)
  • Speed 15 kts
  • Complement 139
  • Armament two 3″/50 guns
  • Aircraft helicopter pad only
  • Propulsion four diesel engines, two propeller shafts

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