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USS Yale (IX-106, soon renamed Greyhound on 30 July 1943
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Class: GREYHOUND (IX-106)
Design Coastal Pass., 1907
Displacement (tons): 3,306 light, 3,731 gross, 5,200 displ. (full?)
Dimensions (feet): 407.3' oa, 386.5' wl x 61.25' x 20' max
Original Armament: Small or none
Later armaments: --
Speed (kts.): 22.4
Propulsion (HP): 10,000
Machinery: 3 screws, turbines (orig.), 2 screws (1943), non-self propelled (1944).
||30 Apr 43
||Delaware River Iron SB&E
||24 Dec 06
||8 Aug 43
||9 Mar 48
||18 Jul 48
||12 Nov 48
||19 May 49
FY 1943 (BuShips maintenance funds). In 1906 the tycoon Charles W. Morse ordered two fast triple-screw steamers, YALE and HARVARD, to compete with J. P. Morgan in carrying passengers between New York and Boston. Morgan transported passengers from New York to Fall River, Mass., on his Fall River Line and then to Boston on his New Haven railroad, the trip taking about 22 hours. Morse planned to carry passengers the entire distance by sea in about 14 hours. His ships got the high speed they needed (21.5 knot sustained) by using steam turbines, a new propulsion technology that they and two smaller Morse steamers, GOVERNOR COBB and CAMDEN, virtually introduced to American passenger service. Designed by William Denny & Bros. of Dumbarton, Scotland, YALE and HARVARD were built at the former John Roach shipyard at Chester, Pa. and towed after launching to the works of W. & A. Fletcher Co., Hoboken, N.J., where their Parsons turbines were installed. The ships began service on their intended route for Morse's Metropolitan Line in September 1907. They remained in operation after Morse's financial empire collapsed following the bank panic of October 1907, but Morgan's companies gradually gained enough control over the Metropolitan Line to have the two fast steamers leased to the Pacific Navigation Company and transferred at the end of 1910 to the Pacific where they operated between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Navy requisitioned them for service in World War I as USS YALE (ID-1672) and USS CHARLES (ID-1298) and they were used to carry troops across the English Channel. They returned to their California service after the war. HARVARD was wrecked on Honda Point, California, on 30 May 31, and YALE, now owned by the Matson Line, was laid up in San Francisco in July 1936. At some point YALE's center propeller shaft and its high pressure turbine were removed, leaving her with two shafts driven by two low pressure turbines.
On 12 Mar 41 Matson sold YALE to the Siems Drake Puget Sound Co. for use as a floating hotel for military construction projects the company was undertaking in Alaska under Bureau of Yards and Docks contract NOy 3570. After reconditioning at the Moore Dry Dock Co., Oakland, Cal., she steamed in late March to Sitka, Alaska, where the company was building a naval air station, and then moved to Kodiak where she served as a dormitory ship for 600 construction workers and as a mess hall for 1,200. On 30 Apr 43 the Bureau of Yards and Docks closed out contract NOy 3570 and the Navy took over direct control of the vessel as a receiving ship. On 25 Jul 43 the Commander, Alaskan Sector, expressed an urgent need for additional transportation facilities in his sector and recommended that S.S. YALE be placed in an operating status. Seabees at Kodiak had been reconditioning her, and on 26 Jul 43 she conducted a shakedown cruise, reaching 15 knots on eight boilers but also revealing many defects. On 2 Aug 43 CNO directed the Commandant, 13th Naval District to place S.S. YALE in full commission as IX-106. The ship was commissioned on 8 Aug 43 and renamed GREYHOUND on 19 Aug 43. On 7 Sep 43 the Auxiliary Vessels Board noted that the ship had been determined to be in good material and mechanical condition and suitable for the purpose requested and retroactively recommended that she be placed in commission. She visited several Aleutian ports in the vicinity of Dutch Harbor, but on 9 Nov 43 Com-13 reported that an Insurv board had inspected her and recommended that she be sold as a hulk because repairs to make her suitable for use as a transport would cost nearly one million dollars. CNO on 3 Dec 43 directed that she be converted to a floating barracks for military personnel at the Puget Sound Navy Yard. Upon completion of conversion (which included removing and scrapping her remaining two propeller shafts), GREYHOUND was decommissioned on 31 Mar 44 at the Puget Sound Navy Yard and placed in service as a floating barracks, first for the Ship Repair Training Activity and finally for the Inactive Fleet, where on 4 Sep 46 she was designated flagship for the Commander, Bremerton Group. She was placed out of service on 9 Mar 48 and transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal.
||Ex merc. YALE (ID-1672, completed Jun 07, USN 1918-20). Renamed 19 Aug 43. Decomm. and in service as barracks ship 31 Mar 44. To buyer 5 Jul 49, scrapped by 27 Sep 49.
Compiled: 21 Dec 2010
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2010