Arizona Marine Det flotsam

While at Gunsite earlier in the month, I spent some downtime wandering around (so I didn’t cramp up in the Arizona heat, to tell you the truth) and saw lots of plaques and trophies dotting the walls of the classrooms. As legendary Marine Col. Jeff Cooper originally founded the training facility as the American Pistol Institute (API) in 1976, wall decorations abounded. Besides the myriad of police and LE plaques and letters, there were tons of Army SF (mostly 10th Group) and, as expected with the pedigree, lots of “thank yous” from assorted Marine units.

One of these I thought you guys would find interesting:

Yup, the old school FBM Simon Lake-class submarine tender USS Canopus (AS-34), the first submarine tender in the United States Navy capable of refitting and maintaining a submarine with the UGM-73 Poseidon SLBM System– hence her Marine detachment.

Laid down in 1964 at Ingalls in Pascagoula, Canopus repeated the name of a WWII-era tender (AS-9) lost in the Philippines in 1942.

USS Canopus (AS-34) after its launch in Pascagoula, Mississippi on 12 February 1965. “The Polaris submarine tender Canopus (AS-34) made her slide into the Singing River following her launching at Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi today and came one step closer to becoming an indispensable part in support of the US Navy’s Polaris Weapons System. Upon her scheduled delivery this September, Canopus, from an overseas base, will be capable of fully supporting nine nuclear-powered submarines on patrol, keeping them in a high state of combat readiness.” NHHC Catalog #: L45-42.08.08

USS Canopus (AS-34) Underway at sea, circa 1968. This photograph, taken by Airman T.J. Sharpe, was received by All Hands magazine on 8 July 1968. NH 107767

On active duty for 29 years, Canopus shuffled between Rota, Spain; Bremerton; Holy Loch, Scotland; Charleston, and Kings Bay, being a mothership to her incredibly powerful brood.

Decommissioned on 7 October 1994 (after Trident I was phased in and Poseidon was retired), she was disposed of in 2010.

As the plaque refers to API and not Gunsite, it dates to pre-1992, which tracks.

Remember those front sight presses when using 1911s, guys.

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