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USS Ashland (LSD 1) on 10 April 1957 experimenting with a P5M-2 seaplane in her well dock.
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Class: ASHLAND (AV 21, ex LSD)
Design: Conversion of Navy LSD to AV, no approved characteristics
Displacement (tons): 4,960 light, 8,700 full
Dimensions (feet): 458' oa, 454' wl x 72' e/wl x 18' max nav/full load
Accommodations: 50 officers and warrants (including 20 VP squadron), 497 enlisted (including 36 VP squadron)
Speed (kts.): 15
Propulsion (HP): 7,400
Machinery: Skinner Unaflow steam reciprocating, 2 boilers (250psi/saturated), 2 screws
|21||ASHLAND||(1 Oct 1959)||Moore DD||22 Jun 1942||21 Dec 1942||--|
|21||ASHLAND||22 Nov 1969||25 Nov 1969||15 May 1970||Navy sale||--|
On 8 September 1956 CNO cancelled the inactivation of ASHLAND (LSD 1), LINDENWALD (LSD 6) and WHITEMARSH (LSD 8). LSD 6 and LSD 8 were to be transferred to MSTS (LSD 6 in December 1956, LSD 8 placed in service 8 November 1956) and it was proposed to assign LSD 1 to AIRLANT in November 1956 and to transfer her to MSTS prior 15 May 1957 to enable MSTS to complete her conversion prior to planned Arctic resupply operations. LSD 1 became a candidate in July 1957 for initial conversion to tend seaplanes and was placed out of commission on 14 Sep 1957. Approved characteristics for the conversion of an LSD to an Aviation Seaplane Support Ship (AVD), SCB Project No. 186, were promulgated by CNO on 13 August 1957 with a single change on 22 May 1959. A memo of 21 October 1957 contained design criteria for "AVD, conversion of LSD, Project No. 186." The document stated "Continuing the program of providing improved facilities for servicing seaplanes, it is tentatively planned that the FY 1959 Program will include the conversion of three ships of the LSD 1 class to AVD. This is designated as SCB Project No. 186 for which characteristics have been received (on 13 August 1957). An AVD, one of three satellite ships, will operate in company with an AV to support a squadron of 12 P6M jet seaplanes. The facilities of an AVD should be sufficient to control and support at least three of these planes and to dock this type seaplane for repairs." The "AVD 15 LSD 1 conversion," was an active project between October 1957 and March 1958 that reached preparation of contract plans and specifications.
Approved characteristics for a Seaplane Tender (AV), SCB Project No. 201, were promulgated on 6 June 1958 without later changes but this was probably a new construction design. A revision of the P6M program was directed on 24 November 1958 and the program as of 20 January 1959 called for afloat support by AV 5 and "AVD 1". The full conversion of an LSD to an AV for the Seamaster program was ordered on 1 [or 11?] February 1959 at NSY Philadelphia. No characteristics for this conversion other than the earlier ones for Project 186 reached the approval stage. LSD 1 was scheduled to be reclassified AV 21 upon arrival at the yard (to be 1 Oct 1959) but the program was cancelled in around August 1959. LSD 1 was back in commission as an LSD 29 Nov 1961 to 22 Nov 1969.
Note that "uniflow" was the generic term for this type of engine while "Unaflow" was Skinner's trademark for their product. LSD 1-8 had Skinner Unaflow engines, as did the CASABLANCA (CVE 55) class escort carriers and the Maritime Commission's S3 cable ships (later ARC 2 and 6). The ACM 11 class and AK 261 class had uniflow engines not made by Skinner.
|21||ASHLAND||(ex-LSD 1, ex-APM 1). Completed as LSD 5 Jun 1943.|
Compiled: 31 Jul 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Sources: DB, Maroon, PHS