USS Aeolus (ARC-3)

USS Aeolus (ARC-3) began service as USS Turandot (AKA-47), an Artemis-class attack cargo ship built by the Walsh-Kaiser Co., Inc. of Providence, Rhode Island. In the mid-1950s, she was converted into a cable repair ship to support the SOSUS program,[1] as the lead ship of the Aeolus-class cable repair ship, and she performed cable duties for nearly thirty years.

USS Aeolus
Name: USS Aeolus
Builder: Walsh-Kaiser Company, Providence, Rhode Island
Laid down: 29 March 1945
Launched: 20 May 1945
Recommissioned: 14 March 1955
Decommissioned: 1985
Reclassified: T-ARC-3, 1973
Struck: 28 March 1985
Motto: Ubique (Latin: "Everywhere")
Fate: Sunk as artificial reef 29 July 1988
General characteristics
Class and type: Artemis-class attack cargo ship
Type: S4–SE2–BE1
  • 4,087 long tons (4,153 t) light
  • 7,080 long tons (7,194 t) full
Length: 438 ft (134 m)
Beam: 58 ft (18 m)
Draft: 19 ft (5.8 m)
Propulsion: Turbo-electric, two shafts
Speed: 16.9 knots (31.3 km/h; 19.4 mph)
Complement: 80 civilians, 2 navy


The Aeolus has principally been used to transport, deploy, retrieve and repair submarine cables, and to conduct acoustic, hydrographic, and bathymetric surveys.


USS Turandot was decommissioned on 21 March 1946, struck from the Navy list on 17 April 1947, and placed in the reserve fleet.

In 1954, the former attack cargo ship was converted to be a cable repair ship, redesignated ARC-3, and renamed Aeolus. The conversion was performed at the Key Highway yard of the Bethlehem Steel Co. in Baltimore, Maryland. The ship was re-commissioned as ARC-3 on 14 May 1955.

Aeolus worked in the Atlantic and Caribbean during 1955–56; in the Pacific during 1956–59; and returned to the Atlantic and Caribbean during 1959–62. During 1962–73 she worked principally in the Atlantic, with occasional temporary assignments to the Pacific.

In 1973, Aeolus was transferred to the Military Sealift Command (MSC), designated T-ARC-3, and operated thereafter by a mostly civilian crew.

During her career, Aeolus received three Meritorious Unit Commendations (in 1970, 1971, and 1973). Aeolus continued performing cable installations and repairs until 1985, when she was decommissioned and placed in the James River reserve fleet near Ft. Eustis, VA. In 1987 she was transferred to the State of North Carolina, and on 29 July 1988 was sunk to form an artificial reef. The ex-Aeolus, located about 22 miles from Beaufort Inlet in 110 feet (30 m) of water, is often visited by divers.


  1. "Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) History 1950 - 2010". IUSS * CAESAR Alumni Association. Retrieved 7 December 2018.

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

  • The Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet, Norman Polmar, Naval Institute Press, 13th edition, 1984.
  • OPNAV NOTICE 1650, Master List of Unit Awards and Campaign Medals, 9 Mar 2001.

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