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The USS BRYCE CANYON, a SHENANDOAH class destroyer tender, was named after Bryce Canyon National Park, located in the towering plateau country of Southern Utah. The ship was launched on 7 March 1946, but with the end of the Second World War, construction was suspended. In late July 1950, after the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, plans to put the ship in the Reserve Fleet were dropped and Charleston Naval Shipyard was ordered to complete the ship. The BRYCE CANYON was placed in commission on the afternoon of 15 September 1950 by Rear Admiral R.W. Hayler, USN, Commandant of the Sixth Naval District.

The ship passed through the Panama Canal on 5 December 1950 and reported to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet for duty. She arrived in her first home port of San Diego, California in December 1950. In 1953 the ship's homeport was changed to Long Beach.

From March 1951 through 1961, the BRYCE CANYON made eight deployments to the Western Pacific. During third period BRYCE CANYON was the first ship to win five consecutive Battle Efficiency Awards, making her the only ship in the United States Navy to earn the Gold "E". Again in 1962 she won another Gold "E". The BRYCE CANYON was selected to carry Chinese art treasures valued at over 3 million dollars when she returned from her 1960-1961 Western Pacific deployment.

Between 1961 and 1965 the BRYCE CANYON did not operate West of Hawaii, but in 1966 as she was preparing for another MIDPAC deployment, her orders were changed at the last moment and she made her first WESPAC deployment in five years. It was during this deployment that BRYCE CANYON established what is believed to be a first when she went alongside an angled deck carrier. The carrier was the USS ORISKANY, which had just suffered a disastrous fire and put into Subic Bay, R.P for emergency repairs prior to her return to the United States.

Shortly before the BRYCE CANYON was scheduled to depart for her regular six month deployment to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, she received new orders from the Chief of Naval Operations and Pearl Harbor became the third and last home port for the BRYCE CANYON on 1 September 1969.

BRYCE CANYON characteristics:
Length...............................492 feet
Beam...................................70 feet
Draft....................................28 feet
Displacement.................16,000 tons

During the 2002 reunion on board the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship "Sovereign of the Seas" the attendees held and annual business meeting. The twenty seven former crewmen decided to form an association and the following crew members were elected.

                                                   President:                Charles Mullan
                                                   V. President:            Jack Bach
                                                   Treasurer:               Roy Snyder
                                                   Secretary:                Jarrard Collman
                                                   Asst. V.P:               Ken Sudweeks
                                                   Historian:                Gary Wiles

TO THIS PAGE.  In the subject line
put "Bryce Canyon E Mail"
of Bryce Canyon Crewman

Bryce Canyon Links

Links to other web pages online

News Letter


Pictures of the 
USS Bryce Canyon



7th Division  - Sometime in 1954

Ted Williams
George Pagenelli


I have a 8mm film of the USS Bryce Canyon made before the helicopter deck was added. There is also a 5 in aft and AA guns scattered around the ship. It's a home movie with some of the ships history and statistics. The total length is about 19 minutes. I had it made to a DVD, and if anyone is interested in purchasing a copy email me at the ships web page. The cost is $15 including shipping to any location in the United States.

I'm not sure what the locations shown in the film are, but the film shows the ship pulling into and out of a few ports. If I had to guess, I'd say that the ports are San Diego, Pearl Harbor, and one Asian port, the Philippines, South Korea, or Japan, perhaps.)
Also, there are scenes of crewmen sunbathing, taking sextant readings, attending a Sunday service, and playing catch with baseballs and a medicine ball. There are also a couple of scenes of some rough seas and some officers going on a small craft from AD36 to another what looks to be a tanker.


If you have any comments, suggestions for web pages, or would like to add some history on the ship, please submit your request to Gary Wiles and in the SUBJECT LINE put "BRYCE CANYON".  I would like to try and add different backgrounds. If you have any suggestions, Please submit them. Remember this web page is yours as well as mine. Due to  high volumes of SPAM, everything that doesn't have BRYCE CANYON in  the subject line will be deleted.

Here is a link
that is very interesting.

© 2003 - 2004
 by  Gary Wiles

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