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USS YAG-29 (ex Algonquin) on 26 June 1943
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Class: YAG-29 (ex-ALGONQUIN)
Design: Ex Coast Guard cutter
Displacement (tons): 1,119 light, 1,562 full load
Dimensions (feet): 205.5' oa x 32' x 16'
Original Armament: 1-40mmS, 2-20mm
Later armaments: --
Speed (kts.): 14
Propulsion (HP): 2,500
Machinery: Triple expansion
||28 Feb 43
||Globe IW, Cleveland
||21 Jun 43
||5 Oct 45
||1 Nov 45
||30 Dec 46
||18 May 48
FY 1943. This vessel served as the Revenue Service and later Coast Guard cutter ALGONQUIN from her construction in 1898 to 23 Sep 31, when she was sold to the Foss Launch & Tug Co., Seattle. She then remained idle until around 1941, when she was fitted with a 1000 KW turbo-generator powered by the ship's boilers and chartered to civilian Navy contractors in Alaska as a floating power station to support shore installations. In early 1943 the Commandant, 13th Naval District requested that the ship be acquired for use for towing and cargo shuttle service in the Alaskan sector. On 6 Mar 43 VCNO directed her acquisition and asked the War Shipping Administration to requisition purchase her. On 10 Mar 43 VCNO directed Com-13 to place her in service as YAG-29, and on 3 May VCNO authorized Com-13 to place her in commission instead of in service.
On 1 Apr 43 the Puget Sound Navy Yard sent to the Bureau of Ships its proposal, developed jointly with Com-13, for the conversion of this former Coast Guard cutter into "a typical small coasting freighter of three-island type with cargo holds before and abaft the machinery space." The main features of the planned conversion were the stiffening of the decks to carry cargo, the nearly total reconstruction of the superstructure above the main deck, and the provision of cargo hatches and handling gear. The poop was to be rebuilt to eliminate its extreme tumble home and the ship's sharp elliptical stern. The conversion work was assigned to the Todd Seattle Dry Docks, Inc., Seattle, Washington. The Bureau of Ships expressed concern over the impact of the major design changes on the stability of the ship but on 16 Apr 43 approved most of the conversion features. Conversion work was completed on 22 Jun 43 and official sea trials were conducted in Puget Sound on 26 and 30 Jun 43.
For the next year the ship served as intended in the Alaskan sector, under Com-13 and then Com-17. On 15 Sep 44 CNO ordered that, upon the arrival of the ship in the Puget Sound area, she be reassigned from Com-17 to Com-13 and that, after removal of Navy equipment, Com-13 decommission the vessel. CNO then planned to initiate disposal proceedings. Com-13, however, asked to retain the ship in commission until around 1 Jan 45 to provide cargo handling training for the ordnance battalion then being formed for the new Naval Magazine at Bangor. He noted that the "stevedore personnel of battalion is 100% Negro and hitherto entirely untrained in cargo handling, ship loading, operation of deck winches, lift trucks, and related equipment." CNO approved her retention on 9 Oct 44, and she in fact remained in commission until late 1945. She was sold in 1948 to Pacific Metal & Salvage Co, Seattle, almost certainly for scrapping.
||Ex Coast Guard cutter ALGONQUIN converted to a cargo ship. Converted for Navy use at Todd-Seattle Dry Docks Inc., Seattle, between 7 Apr and 21 Jun 43. MC sale date in Navy records is 23 Jun 48.
Compiled: 15 Nov 2008
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2008