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USS Tangier (AV-8) on 30 September 1941
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Class:        TANGIER (AV-8)
Design:        MC C3-Cargo (Moore)
Displacement (tons):        8,973 light, 14,200 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        492.1' oa x 69.5' e x 23.75' lim.
Original Armament:        1-5"/51 2-3"/50 2-3"/23 (1941)
Later armaments:        1-5"/51 4-3"/50 (1942);
1-5"/38 4-3"/50 2-1.1"Q 13>12-20mm (1942-43); 1-5"/38 4-3"/50 4-40mmT 15-20mm (1944)
Complement:        568 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        18.4
Propulsion (HP):        8,500
Machinery:        De Laval turbine, 1 screw

AV Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
8 TANGIER 8 Jul 40 Moore DD, Oakland 18 Mar 39 15 Sep 39 25 Aug 41

AV Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
8 TANGIER 5 Aug 46 1 Jun 61 10 Jan 62 MA 10 Jan 62

Class Notes:
FY 1941. The Navy's war plans called for wartime requirements for auxiliaries to be handled by conversions of merchant ships rather than by new construction, and in the mid-1930s the Navy began to prepare plans for the conversion of ships to various auxiliary types in the event of national emergency. On 8 Jul 36 the Bureau of Construction and Repair circulated draft plans to other Bureaus for converting the Hog Island A type (EFC Design 1022) freighter SOUTHLURE (ex CARPLAKA, ID-4253II) and four sisters to seaplane tenders (XAV). The Bureau distributed final plans on 17 Nov 36 to the Naval Districts and followed them on 19 Jun 39 with updated plans. On 21 Dec 36 BuC&R circulated to other Bureaus plans for a second XAV conversion, this time of three large but old (1917-18) freighters of the J. F. LUCKENBACH (ID-2160) class, and it distributed final plans to the Naval Districts on 13 May 37. None of these ships was converted.

In 1939-1941 the Moore DD Co. in Oakland, Calif., built two ships designated C3-Cargo by the Maritime Commission and two more designated C3-M, which was the C3-Cargo design modified for the Moore-McCormack line. The first pair became TANGIER (AV-8) and ELIZABETH C. STANTON (AP-69), and one of the second pair became FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE (AP-70). Moore used plans for the C3-Cargo type prepared by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., to which Federal built six ships of the SEA FOX class including the future HAMUL (AD-20) and ANNE ARUNDEL (AP-76). This design may have been prepared by Gibbs and Cox, who also designed the privately-built HAWAIIAN MERCHANT class for the Matson Line (see AS-22) and the C3-S-A1 type for Todd (see the AD-26 and AV-14 classes). The Moore ships were first large ocean-going cargo ships to be built on the West Coast since 1921.

On 4 Mar 40 BuC&R sent to the Bureau of Ordnance for comment plans for the conversion to a large seaplane tender (XAV) of the Federal C3 SEA FOX (ID-5001) and her five sisters. On 20 Jun 40 CNO, acting as Secretary of the Navy, wrote to the Maritime Commission stating that world conditions made it necessary for the Navy to acquire from the merchant marine 18 to 21 additional auxiliary vessels ranging in size and type from transports to tugs, including two aircraft tenders (AV) of the SEA FOX or any other steam propelled C3 class. On 28 Jun 40, at CNO's request, SecNav authorized the Bureau of Ships to acquire and convert seven of these auxiliaries, presumably those for which funds were then available, which became AP 8-11 (later APA 2-5), AS-13, AV-8, and AH-5. On 27 Jun 40 the Bureau of Ships sent revised SEA FOX conversion plans to BuOrd that reflected an armament change in the basic publication governing the conversion of merchant ships to naval auxiliaries, WPL-10, from 4-5" guns to 1-5" gun aft and four 3"/50 anti-aircraft guns. Although these plans were still preliminary, BuShips forwarded them to the Commandant, 12th Naval District on 29 Jun 40 as being applicable to the AV-8 conversion. CNO approved the use of these plans on 9 Jul 40 and few subsequent changes appear to have been made. For the engineering aspects of the conversion the Bureau referred Com-12 to the SOUTHLURE conversion plans that had been distributed to the Naval Districts in 1939. In September the Bureau asked Com-12 to send to Washington the conversion plans being drawn by the contractor so that they could be used in future AV conversions.

TANGIER was acquired while undergoing builder's trials and was completed as a merchant ship, commissioned in ordinary on 8 Jul 40, and converted by her builder. Her builder delivered her after conversion on 14 May 41 but she remained at the Moore yard until being placed in full commission on 25 Aug 41. The tender completed fitting out at the Mare Island Navy Yard on 29 Sep 41 and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 3 Nov 41 in time to be present at the Japanese attack there.

Ship Notes:
AV Name MC# Notes
8 TANGIER 51 Ex merc. SEA ARROW (ID-5006). In USN reserve 1946-61. To buyer 22 Jan 62, resold by buyer to Sea-Land Service, Inc. 15 May 62. Merc. DETROIT 1962 (car carrier). Scrapped 1974.

Page Notes:
AV        1940
Compiled:        12 Jul 2008
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2008