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USS Wassuc (CMc-3) on 24 March 1944
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Class: WASSUC (CMc-3)
Design: Ferry, 1924
Displacement (tons): 1,216 light, 1,830 full
Dimensions (feet): 230.5' oa, 222.0' wl x 42.0' e x 12.7' mn
Original Armament: 1-3"/50 4-20mm
Later armaments: --
Complement: 88 (1944)
Speed (kts.): 13
Propulsion (HP): 2,000
Machinery: Vert 3-exp., 2 screws
||20 Dec 40
||New Jersey DD & Towing
||15 May 41
||8 Nov 45
||28 Nov 45
||25 Jul 46
||28 Jul 48
FY 1941. In 1923 the small coastal freighter YALE was built at Elizabethport, N.J. for the Starin New Haven Line, which operated a service between Pier 13 in New York and New Haven. The larger ships of the Fall River Line operated from the adjacent Pier 14. The configuration of YALE, which would have handled cargo through four side ports, matches her later description by the Navy as a coastal passenger and vehicle ferry. Her builder is usually listed as the New Jersey Dry Dock and Transportation Co., but she may have been built by J. W. Sullivan Co., which like New Jersey Dry Dock had also leased part of the former Crescent Shipyard from its owner, Bethlehem Steel. At 1,670 tons YALE is the largest ship listed as built between 1914 and 1930 at the Sullivan part of the yard, which is also credited with two Navy minesweepers including the future ARS-1. Between 1918 and 1921 Bethlehem Steel built cargo ships, tankers, and tugs here for the Shipping Board, probably at the New Jersey Dry Dock portion of the yard.
On 3 Jul 40 SecNav directed the purchase of over 70 civilian ships to augment local district defense forces. These included, under the option in the letter that was implemented on 9 Jul 40, 12 large minesweepers (AM), 40 medium-sized coastal minesweepers (AMc), 3 small coastal minelayers (CMc), and 20 sub chasers (PC). The vessels acquired as CMc 1-3 were two yachts and YALE, which was purchased from Ferries Management Corp. of New York, but the yachts were soon found unsuitable and were reclassified PY-13 and PG-52 (later AGP-1, q.v.) on 15 Nov 40. YALE was initially converted to a coastal minelayer (CMc-3) at the New York Navy Yard and, after serving at the Mine Warfare School at Yorktown, Va., during the summer, was further converted between September and December 1941 by Fletcher's Dry Dock Repair Co. (a division of the Bethlehem Steel Co.), Hoboken, N.J. She received her 3-inch gun in December 1941. Her subsequent wartime career was limited to the U.S. east coast between Cape Cod and Cape Hatteras. She was listed on 28 Apr 42 in a group of vessels that was to mine the Cape Hatteras area, but otherwise she was used primarily to support ordnance testing programs at the Naval Mine Warfare Proving Grounds and Solomon's Island, Maryland, and at the Mine Warfare School at Yorktown.
||Ex merc. YALE. Converted by the New York Navy Yard and by Bethlehem Steel Co., Fletcher Division, Hoboken, N.J. To buyer 23 Aug 48, scrapped by 18 Nov 48.
Compiled: 29 Dec 2008
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2008