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USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13) on 8 July 1953
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        CURRITUCK (AV-7)
Design:        Navy AV-7
Displacement (tons):        9,106 light, 15,092 max.
Dimensions (feet):        540.4' oa x 69.25' e x 22.25' max.
Original Armament:        4-5"/38 3-40mmQ 4-40mmT 20-20mm (1944-45)
Later armaments:        4-5"/38 3-40mmQ 4-40mmT 10-20mm (1946-47: AV-7, 11, 13); 4-5"/38 3-40mmQ 4-40mmT 6-20mmT (1951-55: AV-7);
4-5"/38 4-40mmQ 3-40mmT 4<8-20mmT (1947-51: AV 12-13);
4-5"/38 3-40mmQ 3-40mmT 4<8-20mmT (1952-57: AV 12-13); 4-5"/38 3-40mmQ 3-40mmT (1958-59: AV-12)
4-5"/38 2-40mmQ 4-40mmT 6-20mmT (1955-56: AV-7); 4-5"/38 2-40mmQ 4-40mmT (1957: AV-7);
4-5"/38 (1959-61: AV-7, 12-13);
2-5"/38 1-40mmQ 2-40mmT 2-20mmT (1947-48: AV-11); 1-5"/38 1-40mmQ 2-40mmT 2-20mmT (1949-51: AV-11/AVM-1); 1-40mmQ 2-40mmT 2-20T (1952-55: AVM-1); none except experimental (1958-59: AVM-1)
Complement:        565 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        19.2
Propulsion (HP):        12,000
Machinery:        NYSB Parsons turbines (Allis-Chalmers in AV 11-13), 2 screws

Construction:
AV Name Ord. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
7 CURRITUCK 6 Sep 41 NYd Philadelphia 14 Dec 42 11 Sep 43 6 Jun 44
11 NORTON SOUND 18 Apr 41 Los Angeles SB & DD 7 Sep 42 28 Nov 43 8 Jan 45
12 PINE ISLAND 18 Apr 41 Los Angeles SB & DD 16 Nov 42 26 Feb 44 26 Apr 45
13 SALISBURY SOUND 18 Apr 41 Los Angeles SB & DD 10 Apr 43 18 Jun 44 26 Nov 45
19 CALIBOGUE 13 Apr 44 Newport News SB & DD -- -- --
20 HOBE SOUND 13 Apr 44 Newport News SB & DD -- -- --

Disposition:
AV Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
7 CURRITUCK 31 Oct 67 1 Apr 71 3 Jul 68 MA 10 Jan 72
11 NORTON SOUND 11 Dec 86 26 Jan 87 -- MA/S 20 Oct 88
12 PINE ISLAND 16 Jun 67 1 Feb 71 3 Jul 68 MA 7 Feb 72
13 SALISBURY SOUND 31 Mar 67 1 Feb 71 3 Jul 68 MA 7 Feb 72
19 CALIBOGUE -- -- 28 Oct 44 Canc. --
20 HOBE SOUND -- -- 28 Oct 44 Canc. --

Class Notes:
FY 1941 (AV-7, 11-13). Construction of AV-7 was directed by CNO on 6 May 1939 as part of the original FY 1941 building program. AV 11-13 were part of a large group of auxiliaries whose construction or acquisition was directed in the 70% Expansion Program on 5 Aug 40 along with many combatant ships. This program was the second increment of the Two Ocean Navy mobilization effort and was also funded in Fiscal Year 1941.

The design of this class as developed by the Bureau of Construction and Repair in January 1940 followed as closely as possible the arrangements and structure of the AV-4 class. However to provide deck space for 15 seaplanes of the proposed new VPJ patrol utility type the Bureau had to move the hangar forward 44 feet, increasing the open deck area by this amount and necessitating a single stack arrangement. (It was assessed that the original AV-4 type could carry 12 VPJ's.) The loss of space in the deckhouse forward of the hangar (whose size was unchanged) was partially recaptured by lengthening the hull by 12 feet. In its final specifications for the class, submitted on1 Feb 40 and approved by SecNav on 21 Feb 40, the General Board stated that the ship was designed and equipped to serve primarily as tender for 24 VPB type patrol bombers (the same as the AV-4 class) and secondarily as a transport for the maximum practicable number of Marine Corps scout bombers of the VSB type. (The Board rejected a proposal to build a separate type of seaplane transport to carry out this secondary mission and instead gave the mission to the tender.) The ship was to have weather deck space for parking at least 18 VSB seaplanes (including 5 in the hangar), with additional space for hoisting aircraft in and out, a requirement that was met by the lengthened January design. Alternatively, one large VPB type seaplane could be housed in the hangar with wings removed and three more stowed on deck. In August 1942 the secondary function of the ship became the operation of 12 VSB type seaplanes, and in April 1944 the Type HV catapult for launching these aircraft was ordered removed and the requirement to carry the 12 VSB float airplanes was cancelled. After this change the ships were to continue to tend 24 VPB type aircraft but in addition would embark only one VJ model utility aircraft.

AV-7 was originally ordered from New York Ship but was transferred to the Philadelphia Navy Yard due to the effect that construction of the single tender would have on the ability of New York Ship to build quickly the large and light cruisers that it had under contract. AV 11-13 were originally awarded to Sun SB but were later cancelled in order to make that yard available to the Maritime Commission for mass production of merchant tankers. The three tenders were re-ordered from Los Angeles SB, and when this facility became the Todd San Pedro yard in 1944 (see the AD-22 class) a new contract was awarded under the new name on 10 Jul 44.

On 11 Jun 43 the Auxiliary Vessels Board surveyed the Navy's needs for auxiliaries following the approval of a large combatant ship building program in May. After studying the construction facilities available to the Navy for large auxiliaries, it concluded that the Navy could build 15 additional tenders (4 AD, 4 AR, 4 AS, and 3 AV) to support the new combatants and recommended that their construction be proceeded with. The three seaplane tenders (AV 18-20) were to be built to the AV-7 design and completed in the third and fourth quarters of 1945 and the fourth quarter of 1946. They were among many later tenders (including the AD-26 and AR-13 classes, q.v.) that underwent a complex series of contract transfers and design changes. The first of the three, AV-18, was later reordered as a C3 of the AV-14 class (q.v.). The other two, AV 19-20, were unusual in that they were cancelled when they were reprogrammed instead of being reclassified. They were originally ordered to the AV-7 design on 22 Feb 44 from Los Angeles SB (the builder of AV 11-13) for completion in May and August 1946, and were reordered from Newport News on 13 Apr 44, still as AV-7's, to replace AR 15-16 there. They were later cancelled because of a surplus of seaplane tenders under construction and were replaced in the building program by AD 35-36 (see the AD-26 class).

In postwar activity, AV-11 was reassigned by CNO on 3 Dec 47 for employment as an experimental rocket firing ship. She was converted at NSY Philadelphia between March and October 1948 and then moved to NSY Long Beach for the installation of launching equipment for the Aerobee scientific rocket system, which she launched twice in 1949. A prototype Terrier anti-aircraft missile system was installed in late 1950, and Terrier and later Tartar tests continued until 1962. The ship underwent a major rebuild at Maryland SB/DD between 21 Nov 62 and 13 Jun 64 for the Typhon missile system, but the Typhon program was cancelled in November 1965 and the system's radar was soon removed at NSY Long Beach. The ship then tested the Sea Sparrow point defense missile system, the lightweight 5"/54 gun, and the Mk 86 gun fire control system. Between 1972 and 1974 she underwent another major reconfiguration at NSY Long Beach and was fitted with the AEGIS weapon system and its Mk 26 missile launching system. A vertical launch missile system followed in 1979. This former seaplane tender thus tested most of the major combat systems that entered the Navy's surface fleet between the 1950s and 1980s.

AV-7 was decommissioned at NSY Philadelphia on 12 Feb 58 and on 1 Jul 58 began conversion under the Fiscal Year 1957 program to a second tender (following AV-5, q.v.) for the P6M Seamaster jet seaplane (SCB project 151). However the P6M program was cancelled on 21 August 1959 (the conversion under the Fiscal Year 1959 program of LSD-1 to a third tender for the P6M , to have been reclassified AV-21, was also cancelled in August 1959) and AV-7 recommissioned on 20 Aug 60 and completed her overhaul on 18 Oct 60 as a regular seaplane tender. During 1967 considerable planning was undertaken by the Army and Navy for the conversion at NSY Puget Sound of AV-7, then being deactivated, to a second ARVH following AV-5, but the project was never undertaken. AV-12 was to have followed as the third ARVH conversion.

Ship Notes:
AV Name Notes
7 CURRITUCK Earlier order: New York Ship (1 Jul 40). Moved 30 Aug 41 to make room for CB 1-6 (official contract date remained 1 Jul 40, letter to NYd Phila. was dated 6 Sep 41). In USN reserve 1947-51 (decommissioned 7 Aug 47, recommissioned 1 Aug 51). To NDRF 5 Dec 67, to buyer 23 Mar 72.
11 NORTON SOUND Earlier order: Sun (16 Dec 40). Builder's yard became Todd San Pedro (new contract 10 Jul 44). To AVM-1 8 Aug 51. Out of commission between 10 Aug 62 and 20 Jun 64 for Typhon conversion.
12 PINE ISLAND Earlier order: Sun (16 Dec 40). Builder's yard became Todd San Pedro (new contract 10 Jul 44). Decommissoned 1 May 50, recommissioned 7 Oct 50. To NDRF 26 Jun 67, to buyer 7 Mar 72.
13 SALISBURY SOUND Earlier order: Sun (16 Dec 40). Ex PUGET SOUND 5 Jun 44. Builder's yard became Todd San Pedro (new contract 10 Jul 44). To NDRF 4 Apr 67, to buyer 3 Mar 72.
19 CALIBOGUE Earlier order: Los Angeles SB (22 Feb 44). Reordered as AD-35 after cancelled.
20 HOBE SOUND Earlier order: Los Angeles SB (22 Feb 44). Reordered as AD-36 after cancelled.

Page Notes:
AV        1942
Compiled:        12 Jul 2008
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2008