USS Medusa was the first United States Navy ship built as a repair ship.

A repair ship is a naval auxiliary ship designed to provide maintenance support to warships. Repair ships provide similar services to destroyer, submarine and seaplane tenders or depot ships, but may offer a broader range of repair capability including equipment and personnel for repair of more significant machinery failures or battle damage.[1]

United States Navy

With a capable crew of qualified repairmen, USS Vulcan was kept in good repair for a long service life.

The United States Navy became aware of the need for repair ships to maintain Asiatic Fleet ships stationed in the Philippines. Two colliers were converted to USS Prometheus and Vestal in 1913 before the purpose-built USS Medusa was completed at the Puget Sound Navy Yard in 1923.

Repair Ships (AR)

Internal Combustion Engine Repair Ships (ARG)

Internal combustion engine repair ships specialized in the maintenance and repair of gasoline engines and diesel engines. Commonly work was performed on PT boats, submarines, and many types of landing craft and boats at US Naval Advance Bases. Most were named after islands of the Philippines.[6]


Basilan class

Heavy-hull Repair Ships (ARH)

Landing Craft Repair Ships (ARL)

Landing Craft Repair Ships were used to repair the thousands of Landing craft built for World War II.

Achelous-class repair ship

United Kingdom

HMS Artifex
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (February 2020)

HMS Resource was built in 1928 and remained the sole Royal Navy repair ship at the outbreak of World War II.[1] The following ships were converted to meet wartime needs:


HMS Diligence

These Xanthus-class repair ships were built to Royal Navy specifications by Bethlehem Fairfield Shipyard in 1944, but only the first two were temporarily loaned to the United Kingdom while the others were retained for use by the United States Navy:[11]


Japan found repair ships valuable for Pacific island bases. The pre-dreadnought battleship Asahi was modified and recommissioned as a repair ship in 1938. The 9,000-ton purpose-designed repair ship Akashi was launched in 1938 as the intended prototype for a class of five ships, but the remaining four ships were cancelled as other wartime shipbuilding projects assumed higher priority.[12]

See also



  1. ^ a b Lenton & Colledge, p.333
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Silverstone, p.292
  3. ^ a b c d e f Silverstone, p.293
  4. ^ a b c Silverstone, p.296
  5. ^ a b c Silverstone, p.285
  6. ^ Internal combustion engine repair
  7. ^ a b c Lenton & Colledge, p.341
  8. ^ a b c d Lenton & Colledge, p.342
  9. ^ a b Lenton & Colledge, p.348
  10. ^ a b Lenton & Colledge, p.346
  11. ^ Lenton & Colledge, p.352
  12. ^ Watts, pp.324&325