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USS Cascade (AD-16) on 13 May 1957
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Class: CASCADE (AD-16)
9,813 light, 16,600 lim.
492.0' oa, 465.0' pp x 69.5' e x 27.25' lim.
2-5"/38 3-1.1"Q 12-20mm (1943)
Later armaments: 2-5"/38 3-40mmT 12-20mm (1951); 2-5"/38 3-40mmT 10>6-20mmT (1952-55);
2-5"/38 (1958-59); 1-5"/38 (1968)
Machinery: G.E. turbine, 1 screw
||11 Sep 42
||Western Pipe, San Fran.
||17 Jul 41
||7 Jun 42
||12 Mar 43
||23 Nov 74
||2 Sep 75
||2 Sep 75
FY 1941. This ship and CHANDELEUR (AV-10) were ordered by the Maritime Commission (MC) as C3-S-A2 cargo vessels on 30 Sep 40. In December the Navy requested transfer of the two ships for conversion to tenders in place of two that it had initially planned to build along with AD 17-19 and AV 11-13. These tenders were among a large group of auxiliaries whose construction or acquisition had been directed in the 70% Expansion Program on 5 Aug 40 along with many combatant ships.
The Navy provided the MC a set of preliminary plans that it had developed for the conversion of a C3-type vessel to a destroyer tender and asked the MC to produce the design for the ship. On 18 Mar 41 the MC forwarded to the Navy 22 plans for its design, which it designated C3-S1-N2. Based on the Navy guidelines, the design featured extensive superstructures that made the ship resemble the DIXIE (AD-14) class more than her C3 sisters and provided for the then-standard armament for large new construction auxiliaries of 4-5"/38 guns. A comparison of this design with an AD (HAMUL, AD-20) converted from a C3 after completion as a cargo ship noted that, while the two ships had the same length and beam, the total internal volume of HAMUL was much less because the number of decks and the extent of the superstructure was less. The MC transferred CASCADE to its Military Program on 28 Jan 41 for construction for the Navy and her keel was laid on 17 Jul 41. Because of unsatisfactory progress by Western Pipe and its naval architect for the project, Joslyn & Ryan of San Francisco, the Maritime Commission contract for CASCADE was cancelled and she was delivered to the Navy 56 percent complete on 11 Sep 42. She was moved on that date to the Matson Navigation Company's yard at San Francisco for completion under a Navy repair and alteration contract. CASCADE carried 4-5"/38 8-20mm when commissioned but the reduction of this armament to that shown above was ordered on 25 Mar 43 following two unsatisfactory inclining experiments carried out at Mare Island in April, along with removal of the ship's two heavy cranes, its two 36" searchlights with their towers, and some boats. Although her stability was subsequently regarded as acceptable, she was later described as "about the poorest C3 conversion in the Navy so far as stability is concerned," and "with her 1,250 tons solid ballast plus heavy tender load, she is also one of our heaviest C3's."
||Delivered 56% complete. Completed by Matson Navigation Co., San Francisco. In USN reserve 1946-51 (in service in reserve at Philadelphia 1947-50).
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2000