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USS Catskill (LSV-1) on 12 July 1944
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Class:        CATSKILL (LSV 1-2)
Design:        Navy CM-5
Displacement (tons):        5,177 light, 9,040 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        455.4' oa, 440.0' wl/pp x 60.2' e x 20.0 lim.
Original Armament:        4-5"/38 4-40mmT 20-20mm
Later armaments:        2-5"/38 (both, as MCS)
Complement:        267 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        20.3
Propulsion (HP):        11,000
Machinery:        2 G.E. turbines

LSV Name Ord. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
1 CATSKILL 7 Jan 41 Willamette Iron & Steel 12 Jul 41 19 May 42 30 Jun 44
2 OZARK 7 Jan 41 Willamette Iron & Steel 12 Jul 41 15 Jun 42 23 Sep 44

LSV Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
1 CATSKILL 1 Dec 70 20 Nov 70 9 Nov 73 MA/S 9 Nov 73
2 OZARK 6 Feb 70 1 Apr 74 1 Sep 71 MA --

Class Notes:
FY 1941. These two duplicates of TERROR (CM-5) were included in a large group of auxiliaries whose construction or acquisition was directed on 5 Aug 40 in the 70% Expansion Program (part of the Two Ocean Navy mobilization effort) along with many combatant ships. The Navy's need for large minelayers was subsequently found to be less than expected, and when in March 1943 the Bureau of Ships proposed converting the four large net layers of the MONITOR (AN-1) class to troop transports (AP) with a vehicle carrying capability the idea was quickly extended to the two minelayers. The conversion, which consisted primarily of removing the mine tracks and locating bunks in the mine storage space, was directed on 3 Apr 43. The AN and CM types were essentially identical below the second deck and both types were converted to transports using the same specifications.

In July 1943 the Bureau of Ships was ordered to investigate the possibility of giving the former net layers the ability to stern launch amphibious vehicles, notably DUKW and LVT types, but the change was not requested for the former minelayers, possibly because their deck height above the vehicle deck was lower than that of the former netlayers and they could carry only DUKWs and not LVTs. By the end of 1943 operations in the Pacific had demonstrated the need for large numbers of both LVTs and DUKWs in atoll operations, and on 5 Jan 44 the two former minelayers were directed to be fitted with stern gates and ramps similar to those already being fitted in the former net layers. Their design provided for 14 LCVP landing craft and two pairs of Welin davits.

At about the same time that the stability of the LSV-3 (ex AN-1) class came under examination, BuShips received a preliminary report of the inclining of LSV-1, the first of the former mine layers. She had been carrying 16 LCVP's and a full armament, and it was noted in an internal BuShips memo of 18 August 1944 that if these were reduced to 14 LCVP's and 2-5"/38 guns as in the former net layers the stability characteristics of the two types would be the same. On 18 Sep 44 BuShips asked CNO to approve making this modification to LSV 1-2 at the first shipyard availability of sufficient length. LSV-1 was already in service, but LSV-2, although complete, was still at her builder's yard, and on 23 Sep 44 BuShips directed the shipyard to remove the two gun mounts before the ship left the yard. CNO approved this change for both ships on 26 Sep 44. The change was austere, consisting only of pulling the two elevated mounts, 52 and 53, and welding blanking plates over their former locations. LSV-1 was never modified and went into the reserve fleet with her original 4-5"/38 singles.

Five of the six original LSVs (excluding LSV-6, which had been partially converted to a net cargo ship in 1946) were redesignated in 1956 as Mine Warfare Command Support Ships (MCS), later (in 1959) redefined as Mine Countermeasures Support Ships. All remained in reserve, first with the Navy and then with the Maritime Administration, until OZARK was reacquired, converted, and reactivated with Fiscal Year 1963 funds under SCB Project 123.63 and CATSKILL followed the next year under SCB Project 123.64. As converted the two ships carried 20 36-foot minesweeping launches and two minehunting helicopters. Both vessels were decommissioned for the final time in 1970.

Ship Notes:
LSV Name Notes
1 CATSKILL Launched as CM-6, to AP-106 1 May 43 and to LSV-1 21 Apr 44. In USN reserve 1946-60 (decomm. 30 Aug 46). To MCS-1 18 Oct 56. To NDRF 24 Aug 60, stk. 1 Jul 61, to MA 1 Oct 62, from MA 11 May 64, reinstated 1 Jun 64. Converted to MCS-1 by Boland Machine, New Orleans (contract 28 Apr 64) between 9 Jul 64 and 8 Sep 67, recomm. 6 Oct 67. To NDRF 1 Jul 71. To buyer 21 Dec 73.
2 OZARK Launched as CM-7, to AP-107 1 May 43 and to LSV-2 21 Apr 44. In USN reserve 1946-60 (decomm. 29 Jun 46). To MCS-2 18 Oct 56. To NDRF 17 Aug 60, stk. 1 Sep 61, from MA 19 Jun 63, reinstated 1 Oct 63. Converted to MCS-2 by Norfolk SB & DD (contract 6 Jun 63) between 16 Sep 63 and 15 Jun 66, recomm. 24 Jun 66. To NDRF 17 Nov 70, to MA 1 Sep 71. From MA 7 Oct 75 for use by Air Force as target, moored about 40 miles south of Pensacola until driven ashore by a hurricane on 12 Sep 79. Salvaged, later sunk as a fish reef by a Maverick missile in the Gulf of Mexico.

Page Notes:
LSV        1941
Compiled:        25 Jul 2008
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2008