USS Fulton (AS-11) was a Fulton-class submarine tender, launched on 27 December 1940 by Mare Island Navy Yard and sponsored by Mrs. A. T. Sutcliffe, great-granddaughter of Robert Fulton. Fulton was commissioned on 12 September 1941, with Commander A. D. Douglas in command.
Underway on her shakedown cruise out of San Diego when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Fulton was ordered at once to Panama, arriving on 9 December. During the next month, she established advanced seaplane bases in the Gulf of Fonseca, Nicaragua, and in the Galapagos Islands, then returned to San Diego to prepare for Pacific duty. She tended Pacific Fleet submarines at Pearl Harbor from 15 March-8 July 1942, putting to sea during the Battle of Midway. She transported many of the survivors of the sunken aircraft carrier Yorktown back to Pearl Harbor, arriving on 8 June. She was at Midway until 17 October; and at Brisbane from 9 November. There she established a submarine base and rest camp, and in addition to refitting submarines between their war patrols, acted as tender to other types of ships. Milne Bay, New Guinea was her station from 29 October 1943-17 March 1944, when she sailed for a west coast overhaul.