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USS Isle Royale (AD-29) on 21 March 1946
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        SHENANDOAH (AD-26)
Design:        Navy C3 Mod
Displacement (tons):        7,664 light, 16,900 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        492.0' oa, 465.0' pp x 69.5' e x 27.5' lim.
Original Armament:        2-5"/38 4-40mmT 22-20mm (1945: AD-26)
Later armaments:        2-5"/38 4-40mmT 12-20mm (1946-47: AD-26); 2-5"/38 4-40mmT 6<12-20mmT (1946-57: all); 2-5"/38 4-40mmT (1955-61: AD-28, 29, 31);
2-5"/38 (1957-61: AD 26-28, 31, 36); 1-5"/38 (1959-65: all); none (1972-74: AD-26, 28); 4-20mmS (1975-76: AD-26, 28)

Complement:        741 (1944)
Speed (kts):        18.4
Propulsion (HP):        8,500
Machinery:        1 screw, Westinghouse turbine


AD Name Ord. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
26 SHENANDOAH 10 Aug 44 Todd DD & SB, Tacoma 16 Sep 44 29 Mar 45 13 Aug 45
27 YELLOWSTONE 10 Aug 44 Todd Pacific SYs, Seattle 16 Oct 44 12 Apr 45 16 Jan 46
28 GRAND CANYON 10 Aug 44 Todd DD & SB, Tacoma 15 Nov 44 27 Apr 45 5 Apr 46
29 ISLE ROYALE 10 Aug 44 Todd Pacific SYs, Seattle 16 Dec 44 19 Sep 45 9 Jun 62
30 GREAT LAKES 10 Aug 44 Todd Pacific SYs, Seattle 16 Apr 45 -- --
31 TIDEWATER 10 Aug 44 NYd Charleston 27 Nov 44 30 Jun 45 19 Feb 46
33 CANOPUS 16 Oct 44 NYd Mare Island 15 Mar 45 -- --
35 ARROWHEAD 8 Nov 44 NYd Puget Sound 1 Dec 44 -- --
36 BRYCE CANYON 8 Nov 44 NYd Charleston 5 Jul 45 7 Mar 46 15 Sep 50

AD Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
26 SHENANDOAH 1 Apr 80 1 Apr 80 5 Feb 82 MA/S 5 Feb 82
27 YELLOWSTONE 11 Sep 74 12 Sep 74 2 Sep 75 MA/S 2 Sep 75
28 GRAND CANYON 1 Sep 78 1 Sep 78 29 May 80 MA/S 29 May 80
29 ISLE ROYALE 30 Jun 71 15 Sep 76 21 Dec 77 MA/S 21 Dec 77
30 GREAT LAKES -- -- 7 Jan 46 Canc. --
31 TIDEWATER 20 Feb 71 15 Jun 78 20 Feb 71 Trf. --
33 CANOPUS -- -- 12 Aug 45 Canc. --
35 ARROWHEAD -- -- 12 Aug 45 Canc. --
36 BRYCE CANYON 30 Jun 81 30 Jun 81 6 Apr 82 MA/S 6 Apr 82

Class Notes:
FY 1944. 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 to support the new combatants, including four destroyer tenders (AD 26-29), four submarine tenders (AS 27-30), and four repair ships (AR 13-16). These were to be built on the C3 hull design, the AD's similar to HAMUL (AD-20), the AS's similar to GRIFFIN (AS-13), and the AR's similar to BRIAREUS (AR-12). The four AD's were to be completed in the first and second quarters of 1945 and first and third quarters of 1946, the four AS's were to be completed in the second and fourth quarters of 1945 and second and fourth quarters of 1946, and the four AR's were to be completed in the first and third quarters of 1945 and first and third quarters of 1946. The program also included three seaplane tenders (AV 18-20) to be built on the Navy's AV-7 design. The Board strongly recommended that the Navy build these tenders itself rather than trying to acquire and convert Maritime Commission hulls.

These ships underwent a complex series of reclassifications, design changes, and contract transfers, intended to simplify the building program and even out work load. AD 26-27 were originally ordered to the C3 design from the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp. (owned by Todd and later called Todd Pacific Shipyards, with yards at both Tacoma and Seattle), and AD 28-29 were originally ordered to the AD-14 design from Tampa SB. In April 1944 a new contract was signed with Tampa SB to build all four AD's as C3's, Seattle-Tacoma getting AR 15-16 in place of AD 26-27. In August 1944 all four AD's were reordered from Todd along with AD-30, the four AR's going from Todd to Tampa. After July 1944 the entire Navy tender building program was modified because of a surplus of submarine and seaplane tenders and a shortage of destroyer tenders. Four submarine tenders (AS 29, 30, 28, and 27) were reclassified AD 30-33 in August and September, and two seaplane tenders (AV 19-20, q.v.) were cancelled on 28 Oct 44 and replaced in the building program by two additional destroyer tenders, AD 35-36. The four submarine tenders had all been ordered in November 1943: AS-27 to the AS-11 design from the Mare Island Navy Yard, AS-28 to the AS-11 design from the Puget Sound Navy Yard, and AS 29-30 to the C3 design from Seattle-Tacoma. After their reclassification, the new AD's (except AD-32, which became a modified AD-14 class ship, q.v.) were all reordered as AD's of the C3 type, one (AD-30) from Todd and four from navy yards. Remarkably, with the exception of the two cancelled AV's, none of these changes led to renamings, the only AS that received a name before reclassification, CANOPUS (AS-27), retaining her AS name as an AD.

The design of the AD-26, AS-27, and AR-13 classes was an amalgamation of earlier AD, AS, and AR C3 designs with similar internal arrangements for all three types except for some variations in the sub tenders. They were thus to comprise a universal type of "tender-repair ships." Initially it was hoped that a single set of plans could be drawn to cover all three types, but later it was found necessary to produce a set for each type. Seattle-Tacoma, where the initial six C3 tenders (AD 26-27, AR 13-14, and AS 29-30) were ordered, was to use a Gibbs & Cox C3-S-A1 type hull because that yard had been constructing that type of hull in the past (mostly for the escort carrier program). Gibbs & Cox became the design agent for the ships. Externally, the design differed in a number of details from the earlier AD-22 class, including a reduced rig and (except in AD-36) a sloping funnel top. The C3-S-A1 type ships including the AD-26 class also had the smokestack at the after end of the amidships superstructure while C3-S-A2 type ships, including the AD-22 class, had it in the center of this deckhouse. Each ship was to have an APL (see the APL-2 class) assigned to it to take overflow personnel and stowage. Seattle-Tacoma acted as lead yard for all three tender classes built to this design, and remained such through all the subsequent contract transfers. In May 1944 the Navy decided to use two more powerful surplus DE (WGT) boilers in each of these ships instead of the planned two C3 type boilers.

Some shuffling of ships subsequently occurred between yards in the Seattle area. The contract of 10 Aug 44 with Todd for AD 26-30 assigned AD 26-28 to Tacoma and AD 29-30 to Seattle, but by December 1944 AD-27 had been reassigned to Seattle. To accelerate deliveries of the escort carriers under construction at Tacoma a contract was awarded on 19 Apr 45 to Lake Washington Shipyards, Houghton, Wash., which had just completed its last AVP, for the completion of AD-28, and the ship was towed there on 2 May 45. Delivery was initially expected around 1 Oct 45 but problems with the transfer of materials from Todd and then the end of the war delayed completion. Similarly BuShips informed authorities in Seattle on 31 Jul 45 that it planned to transfer AD-29 to Houghton after her launching, presumably to accelerate the destroyer program at Todd, Seattle, but no contract was signed and on 5 Sep 45 BuShips cancelled this arrangement and directed that the ship be completed by Todd, Tacoma. She was towed from Seattle to Tacoma on 24 Sep 45, on which date she was estimated to be 40% complete. On 17 Dec 45 BuShips advised the Prospective Commanding Officer of AD-29 that CNO had directed that the ship be placed in inactive status upon completion. CNO formally suspended work on the ship in a 7 Jan 46 directive. The completed tender was towed from Tacoma to San Pedro, Calif., by YUMA (ATF-94) and ATA-123 between 5 and 12 Aug 47 for layup. She was not commissioned until 1962, when she was activated to replace HAMUL (AD-20).

The sponsor for AD-30, the last tender under construction by Todd, was notified on 4 Aug 45 that the scheduled launch date for the ship was 22 Sep 45, soon delayed to 25 Oct 45. On 18 Oct 45 BuShips notified the Commandant, 13th Naval District, that AD-30 would be completed by Todd, Tacoma instead of Todd, Seattle. On 19 Nov 45 AD-30 was described as 9.3 percent complete. On 27 Nov 45 BuShips informed the Superintendent of Shipbuilding at Seattle that the need to make Tacoma available for reserve fleet berthing made it inadvisable to transfer AD-30 there, and that at Todd's Seattle yard incomplete destroyers were being given priority over AD-30. On 30 Nov 45 BuShips confirmed that AD-30 was to be completed at Todd, Seattle, as originally planned. On 17 Dec 45 BuShips informed the prospective commanding officer of AD-30 that CNO had directed that the ship be placed in inactive status, presumably upon completion. The ship was assessed on 31 Dec 45 to be 20.9 percent complete with the hull frame complete and much of the side, but not deck, plating in place, but she was cancelled by a 7 Jan 46 CNO directive along with seven other vessels in the early stages of construction that the Navy had hoped to complete, CA-141, DD-452 and 482, DE 541 and 542, SS-516, and LST-1155.

In other postwar developments, the Puget Sound Navy Yard was authorized on 18 Aug 45 to remove and dispose of all material for AD-35 to clear the drydock which was urgently needed for repair work. The material in the dock was limited to portions of the outer shell and inner bottom. On 31 Aug 45 BuShips declared AD-33 as surplus to its needs, clearing the way for the Mare Island Navy Yard to scrap the small amount of keel and bottom plating that was then on the ways. AD-36 at the Charleston Navy Yard was suspended on her launch date as a result of the 7 Jan 46 CNO directive but was resumed on 14 Aug 47. In 1971 AD-28 was reclassified AR-28 (retaining her AD number) to replace AR-14.

Ship Notes:
AD Name Notes
26 SHENANDOAH Earlier orders: Todd Tacoma (25 Nov 43, as C3), Tampa SB (15 Apr 44, as C3). To buyer 2 Mar 82.
27 YELLOWSTONE Earlier orders: Todd Tacoma (25 Nov 43, as C3), Tampa SB (15 Apr 44, as C3).
28 GRAND CANYON Earlier orders: Tampa SB (18 Feb 44, AD-14 type), Tampa SB (15 Apr 44, as C3). Completed by Lake Washington SY, Houghton, Wash. (order 19 Apr 45, transferred 2 May 45). To AR-28 12 Mar 71. To buyer 17 Jun 80, scrapped by 20 Apr 81.
29 ISLE ROYALE Earlier orders: Tampa SB (18 Feb 44, AD-14 type), Tampa SB (15 Apr 44, as C3). Was to have been transferred to Lake Washington SY, Houghton, Wash., for completion after launch but on 9 Sep 45 she was assigned to the reserve fleet and on 24 Sep 45 was towed to Todd Tacoma when 40% complete for completion and inactivation. Accepted without commissioning in inactive condition 2 Jul 46. In USN reserve 1946-62 (in service in reserve at Long Beach 1948-61 and at San Diego 1961-62). To NDRF 1 Sep 71, to buyer 18 Jan 78.
30 GREAT LAKES Ex AS-29 12 Aug 44. Earlier order: Todd Tacoma (25 Nov 43, as C3). As of 15 Sep 45 her launching was scheduled for 25 Oct 45. Cancelled.
31 TIDEWATER Ex AS-30 12 Aug 44. Earlier order: Todd Tacoma (25 Nov 43, as C3). In USN reserve 1946-51 (in service in reserve at Charleston, S.C.). Trf. Indonesia as DUMAI under loan (sale 14 Mar 80).
33 CANOPUS Ex AS-27 27 Sep 44. Earlier order: NYd Mare Is. (25 Nov 43, to AS-11 design). Cancelled.
35 ARROWHEAD Cancelled.
36 BRYCE CANYON Launched and construction suspended 7 Mar 46, resumed 4 or 14 Aug 47, in reserve status until commissioned. To buyer 18 May 82, scrapped by 15 May 84.

Page Notes:
AD        1944

Compiled:        11-Sep-2001
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2001