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Hull Number: AD-14

Launch Date: 05/27/1939

Commissioned Date: 04/25/1940

Decommissioned Date: 06/15/1982

Call Sign: NEGS



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, July 2015

A collective designation for the southern states of the United States.


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A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, January 1988

On the 27th of May 1939, the USS DIXIE (AD-14) slid down the ways of the New York Shipbuilding Company’s Camden, Now Jersey shipyard. The DIXIE was placed in full commission on 25 April 1940 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

During World War II, DIXIE served throughout the Pacific as a flag ship and tending destroyers at such places as New Guinea, the Philippines and Okinawa. After almost four years of overseas duty DIXIE returned to the U.S. arriving in Seattle, Washington on 17 December 1945.

On 20 April 1946, DIXIE cut her stateside stay short to participate in the Bikini Atom Bomb Test. In the fall she returned to the San Diego Naval Base to tend destroyers and other ships of the fleet. In February 1949, DIXIE sailed to Tsingtao, China where she remained until the area fell to communist forces in May 1949.

With the outbreak of the Korean War, DIXIE sailed to Japan where she tended destroyers from the gun line. DIXIE, although not being built as a man-o-war, stepped out of her role as a repair ship to bombard the Korean coastline with 208 rounds from her five-inch guns in January 1951.

From the close of the Korean War through the Vietnam Conflict, DIXIE continued to alternate her flagship and tender duties at San Diego with tours of service in support of the Seventh Fleet in the Far East.

During DIXIE’s overseas deployment of May-Nov. 1976, in addition to normal ship repair functions, DIXIE provided disaster relief service to the people of Guam when typhoon Pamela ravaged that island territory.

DIXIE was modernized in 1978 at Todd Shipyard, San Pedro, California to update the crew’s living space and food service facilities, as well as to provide new shop facilities and make needed repairs. This rejuvenated “Lady of the Fleet” continued to effectively provide essential service to the combatants, which keep our sea lanes open to all the free countries of the world.

In December of 1979 she became the first tender to operate in the Indian Ocean since World War II when she commenced operations at Diego Garcia, BIOT, in support of the Indian Ocean Battle Groups.

Through war and peace, DIXIE has been true to her pledge of “Nothing too small or too large, easy jobs or hard, they are all part of the days work.” USS DIXIE AD-14 returned from her 25th deployment on 10 February 1982 and was decommissioned on 15 June 1982.

During her 42 years of service, the USS DIXIE earned five battle stars and the following awards: World War II Victory Medal, China Service Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, United Nations Service Medal (Korea), Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with five stars, Korean Service Medal with four stars, Vietnam Service Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal (Indian Ocean), Sea Service Medal with two stars, National Defense Ribbon, and Korean -Presidential unit citation.

DIXIE’s Decommissioning Ceremony

On 15 June 1982, USS DIXIE (AD-14) was decommissioned at Naval Station, San Diego after 42 years and 51 days of active continuous naval service. The ceremony, which was held on the Focs’le, was attended by military and civilian guests, and included many of the “Grand Old Lady’s” crew who were aboard for her commissioning on 25 April 1940. The guest speaker was VADM Lee Baggett, Jr., Commander Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, who recounted DIXIE’s proud history, and the accomplishments of the crewmen assigned throughout the year.

Following the somber occasion of final lowering of the national colors, the distinctive First Navy Jack (DON’T TREAD ON ME) was passed to DIXIE’s younger sister, USS PRAIRIE (AD-15), who then became the oldest Navy ship on active continuous service. The ship’s log was closed with a last simple entry noting the time of day, and a great ship passed into history.

USS DIXIE (AD-14) was commanded by Captain Roger L. Coffey, U.S. Navy on her final day of service to our great Navy.


On April 21, 1983, the KOBE MARU, a Japanese ocean-going tug, left San Francisco Embarcadero with the USS DIXIE AD-14 in tow. The crew prepared for a 50-day tow, which would have the DIXIE delivered to a Taiwanese ship breaking yard.

USS DIXIE AD-14 Ship History

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, July 2015

The second Dixie (AD-14) was launched 27 May 1939 by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. A. C. Pickens; and commissioned 25 April 1940, Lieutenant Commander G. H. Bahm in command.

Dixie sailed from Norfolk 20 June 1940 for Pearl Harbor to serve the destroyers of the Battle Force until October when she cleared for the west coast and similar operations at San Diego. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941, she was undergoing overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard, and quickly took up the task of readying ships for war service. In March 1942 she returned to Pearl Harbor to tend destroyers and other ships of the Fleet until November.

Dixie alternated between Noumea and Espiritu Santo in support of the operations in the Solomons from November 1942 to March 1944, then went to the Solomons where she was based at Hathorn Sound. In September she arrived at the huge fleet base at Ulithi, serving there until February 1945. Her essential services were next given at San Pedro Bay, Leyte, where Dixie remained until the end of the war. She served ships on occupation duty at Okinawa and Shanghai, then returned to the west coast in December 1945.

In the summer of 1946 Dixie sailed to Bikini Atoll for atomic weapons experiments, Operation “Crossroads.” In 1947 and in 1949 she cruised to the Far East and based on Tsingtao to serve destroyers on patrol off the Chinese coast. When the Communist advance forced the evacuation of Americans from China, she acted as headquarters for the American Consul and Charge d’affaires at Hong Kong. She continued her active service alternating flagship duty for Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet, at San Diego, with tours in the Far East, based on Sasebo, Japan or Subic Bay, Philippine Islands. During two of these western Pacific tours, she rendered valuable assistance to the ships of the United Nations operating off Korea. In 1959 and again in 1960, in addition to serving at San Diego, she sailed to the Far East to provide tender facilities for the 7th Fleet.

Dixie received five battle stars for Korean war service.