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USS Stratford (AP-41) on 22 October 1941
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Class: STRATFORD (AP-41)
Design: EFC 1044 or similar
Displacement (tons): 2,632 light, 3,640 lim.
Dimensions (feet): 261.0' oa, 251.0' wl x 43.5' e x 15.6' lim
Original Armament: 6 machine guns (1941)
Later armaments: 1-3"/50 6-20mm (1942)
Complement: 132 (1944)
Speed (kts.): 9.6
Propulsion (HP): 1,550
Machinery: Manitowoc vertical triple expansion, 1 screw
||31 Jul 41
||27 Feb 18
||28 May 18
||25 Aug 41
||17 Apr 46
||1 May 46
||17 Apr 46
FY 1942. This ship was built as a small freighter by Manitowoc SB Co, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to its variant of the World War I Laker type. She was ordered by the British as WAR MIST and was later requisitioned by the Shipping Board and renamed LAKE GREENWOOD. The Shipping Board's Emergency Fleet Corporation then designated the Manitowoc Laker design, or one very much like it, as its Standard Design 1044. CATHERINE was one of a half-dozen Lakers later radically transformed into small passenger vessels, and under the name CATHERINE she was a well-known West Indies cruise ship between the wars. She had accommodations for 96 passengers.
On 15 Jul 41 the Auxiliary Vessels Board took under consideration a request from the CNO's War Plans Division to acquire vessels for the purpose of servicing outlying bases (in this case, Iceland). Of the eight candidate ships identified by the Board, the first was the Bull Steamship Line's SS CATHERINE with the notation "no other vessel is considered suitable." She was required for service not later than 1 Sep 41 and, unlike the other seven, it was felt essential to man CATHERINE immediately with a Navy crew. The Board recommended that she be acquired. When the Maritime Commission objected on 22 Jul 41 to the request for the eight ships the Navy replied that it wished to acquire one of them, CATHERINE, "for special purposes in connection with naval operations." She was given a minimal conversion for naval use by Maryland DD from 31 Jul 41 to 7 Aug 41 and her armament was upgraded in April 1942.
On 18 Apr 42 the Auxiliary Vessels Board rejected a request from Commander Service Force, Atlantic Fleet, that a ship (CHEROKEE, built at Newport News in 1925) be acquired for use in transporting personnel and material to Caribbean bases. The Board noted instead that the STRATFORD, which had proven to be unsuitable for the Iceland duty for which she was procured, would meet most of COMSERVLANT's stated needs. The ship was reassigned to the Pacific later in 1942. Her troop capacity in 1945 was 306 men.
||Ex AK-45 1 Aug 41. Ex merc. CATHERINE, ex LAKE GREENWOOD, ex WAR MIST (ID-4368, completed 24 Jul 18). Converted by Maryland DD, Baltimore. Merc. CATHERINE 1946, GRANTON GLEN 1947. Scrapped 1956 as ANNE DE BRETAGNE.
Compiled: 31 May 2009
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2009