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USS Alcor (AD-34) on 5 January 1945
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Class: ALCOR (AR-10)
Design: Pass. & Cargo, 1927
Displacement (tons): 8,091 light, 12,250 lim.
Dimensions (feet): 445.0' oa, 427.0' pp x 60.0' e x 25.7' lim.
Original Armament: 1-5"/51 4-3"/23 (1941)
Later armaments: 1-5"/51 4-3"/50 8-20mm (1942);
4-3"/50 1-40mmT 8-20mm (1944-5)
Complement: 758 (1944)
Speed (kts.): 16.5
Propulsion (HP): 7,100
Machinery: DeLaval turbine, 1 screw
||3 Mar 41
||Federal SB & DD, Kearny
||31 Jan 27
||29 Jul 27
||4 Sep 41
||5 Aug 46
||28 Aug 46
||6 Aug 46
||25 Jul 50
FY 1941. In 1927 the Morgan Line (also known as the Southern Pacific Steamship Lines and owned by the Southern Pacific Co.) built a new passenger and cargo ship, DIXIE, for its service between New York and New Orleans. New Orleans was the eastern terminus for the Southern Pacific Railroad's popular passenger trains to the West Coast, and the ship offered travellers a popular way to cross the continent, partly by sea and partly by rail. She joined two much older (1906-07) ships, CREOLE and MOMUS, on this route and continued to operate on it alone after these went to Japanese scrapyards in 1934-35.
On 23 Nov 40 CNO directed the acquisition of a ship for conversion to a miscellaneous auxiliary (AG) to act as flagship for Commander Train Patrol Force, U.S. Fleet (later ComServForLant). He expressed a preference for the New York and Cuba Mail Steamship Company's MEXICO or MONTEREY (MONTEREY was later selected for acquisition as AP-68, q.v.). These ships could not be acquired expeditiously, however, and after considering in early January a ship of the United Fruit Company's QUIRIGUA class (all later acquired as the AF-12 class, q.v.), the Navy on 10 January asked the Maritime Commission for the Morgan Line's DIXIE. The prototype for her conversion was ARGONNE (AG-31). The Navy agreed to delay delivery of the ship until around 3 Mar 41 to permit the ship to carry a large number of passengers and considerable freight (already booked) over the period of Mardi Gras. The ship commenced flagship duty at Norfolk on 19 December 1941. Three days later she was reclassified from AG to AR to highlight her other function there, to repair damage and make alterations to warships. By March 1943 ComServForLant was willing to move his flag ashore but stated that he could not do without the ship's repair services for escort vessels. However CominCh pointed out that the Naval Operations Base at Norfolk already had one YR (floating workshop) doing escort repair work and was scheduled to get another plus a building reconfigured with the capacity of two YRs. ALCOR finally moved to Casco Bay, Maine, in July 1944 and became the flagship for Commander, Destroyers, Atlantic Fleet. She was reclassified AD in November when it was decided to send her to the Pacific to support destroyers there. She joined the Pacific Fleet in January 1945 and provided repair services at Pearl Harbor and in the Western Pacific.
||Ex merc. DIXIE (ID-4794, completed Jan 28). Converted by Bethlehem Steel, Key Highway, Baltimore, Md. Ex AG-34 22 Dec 41. To AD-34 6 Nov 44. Merc. DIXIE 1946 (MC). Sold 1950 by MC as ALCOR, to buyer 10 Aug 50, scrapped by 5 Oct 51.
Compiled: 31 Jul 2007
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2007