USMILITARYPATCH.COM

USS SUNBIRD ASR-15 CHALLENGER SALVAGE & RECOVERY STS-51L MILITARY PATCH - OPERATIONS 1986 MEMBER

USS Sunbird

SIZE:  4 1/2" Round

USS Sunbird (ASR-15) was a Chanticleer-class submarine rescue ship in the United States Navy. Sunbird was laid down on 2 April 1945 by the Savannah Machine and Foundry Co., Savannah, Georgia, and launched on 3 April 1946, sponsored by Mrs. John H. Lassiter. Sunbird was accepted by the Navy, inactivated, and towed to the Charleston Navy Yard on 15 January 1947. She was commissioned at New London, Connecticut, on 23 June 1950, Lt. Comdr. A. R. Clark, Jr., in command. During the period 12 February through 22 April 1986, Sunbird, in company with NR-1, participated in the search, location and recovery of debris and wreckage from the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-51L). During this operation, Sunbird conducted numerous dives, recovering several pieces of shuttle debris, and providing surface support to NR-1, who ultimately located a part of the solid rocket booster suspected as the cause of this tragic casualty.  Sunbird was decommissioned on 30 September 1993, laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 2 November 1993. She was transferred to MARAD custody on 1 May 1999, for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Virginia. The contract for scrapping was awarded to Bay Bridge Enterprises, Chesapeake, Virginia, on 18 July 2005, and the ex-Sunbird was removed on 17 August 2005 by Bay Bridge Enterprises, and scrapping was completed on 12 November 2005.