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USS Nashawena (YAG 35) ca. 1947-1948.

USS Nashawena (YAG 35) ca. 1947-1948.
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Design: Army BSP (Barge, Self Propelled) Design 358
Displacement (tons): 602 light, 940 full
Dimensions (feet): 155' oa, 150' wl x 37' e, 35.5' wl x 6' (8' max nav)
Armament: none
Accommodations: 4 officers, 34 enlisted
Speed (kts.): 10
Propulsion (HP): 630
Machinery: 3 Buda diesel engines (direct), 3 screws

35NASHAWENA21 Jun 1947Seattle SB & DD28 May 194323 Mar 194421 Jun 1947

YAGNameTInactStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale
35NASHAWENAJan 19531 Nov 19591 Jun 1960Navy sale--

Class Notes:
The Army's two Design 358 "barges, self propelled" COL WILLIAM A GLASSFORD (BSP 2098) and COL BASIL LENOIR (BSP 2099, launched on 29 April 1944 and completed in August 1944) were designed by Edwin Monk of Seattle as cable ships suitable for working in the shallow confined waters of the Alaskan coast while retaining the capabilities required for deep sea work. They were classed by the Army as 155ft wooden-hulled diesel-propelled cable repair barges. Propulsion was by three screws driven by two 240hp Washington (outboard) and one 150hp Buda (centerline) diesel engines. About 400 tons of cable could be carried in two 27ft diameter tanks each with a volume of 4,300 cubic feet. Three bow sheaves 4ft 6in in diameter were fitted. A Sunfeldt dual combined paying-out and picking-up machine was installed, driven by steam from a vertical oil-fired Scotch boiler. GLASSFORD was in service for the Army Signal Corps until mid-1947 and in addition to working for the Alaskan Communication System ranged as far west as the Philippines. LENOIR carried out cable work ranging from California to the Aleutian Islands. She continued to work on Alaskan military cables after the war as an Air Force vessel when the Air Force Communications Service took over the Army cables circa late 1947 and was still maintaining those cables in the late 1960s. The centerline diesel in GLASSFORD was not listed by the Navy in 1956 and the speed listed then was 8 knots.

The name NASHAWENA (an island in Massachusetts, stress on 1st syllable) and classification AG 142 were assigned to COL WILLIAM A GLASSFORD on 2 April 1947, becoming effective when the vessel was accepted by the Navy from the U.S. Army Air Force. She was accepted and placed in full commission at NSY Mare Island on 21 June 1947 under Fiscal Year 1947. Orders dated 8 April 1947 had stated that when ready for shakedown she was to report to CINCPACFLT for duty with OPDEVFOR, but an INSURV inspection of 17 July 1947 reported her deficient in seaworthiness and on 22 July 1947 BUSHIPS ordered that work be discontinued on AG 142 at Mare Island pending further instructions. She was reassigned from OPDEVFOR to PACFLT subordination on 8 August 1947, the assigment being considered temporary pending inactivation or disposal of the ship when project SOFAR (SOund Fixing And Ranging) was complete. (Scientists had discovered in 1944 that low frequency sound could travel long distances in a sound channel in the deep ocean called the SOFAR channel. See PORTUNUS, ARC 1, for more on SOFAR.) A CNO note of 20 August 1947 stated that NASHAWENA (AG 142) would be reclassified to YAG in the near future and assigned to COM-12 in connection with the SOFAR project. She was duly reclassified to YAG 35 by SECNAV on 22 August 1947 effective 1 September 1947. She was reduced to USN reserve at San Francisco in January 1953 and remained there until 1959.

Ship Notes:
35NASHAWENA(ex-AG-142) Ex-COL WILLIAM A GLASSFORD, ex BSP 2098, completed 23 Mar 1944. Sold 1 Jun 1960 to Anthony Zahardis whose tunny fishing company towed her from Treasure Island 3 Jul 1960, renamed her OMEGA and put her up for charter as a cable ship. The United States Underseas Cable Corporation bought her in 1961. Owned by Hydospace Services Inc., a subsidiary of Underseas, OMEGA did cable work in the Navy's Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC). She then laid shore ends for part of the Air Force's Atlantic Missile Range and the Vietnam Coastal Network connecting coastal centers in Vietnam and a terminus in Thailand. In 1971 the ship and the company's much larger cable layer NEPTUN were sold to a Liberian registered company set up by ITT to buy the two ships. OMEGA was sold out of the cable world in 1973. Ex-GLASSFORD or LENOIR was "reportedly sent to the shipbreakers in Bellingham, Washington, in about 1975."

Page Notes:
Compiled: 20 Oct 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Special sources: CS William A. Glassford and CS Basil O. Lenoir by Bill Glover at atlantic-cable.com/Cableships/index.htm; K. R. Haigh, Cableships and Submarine Cables (United States Undersea Cable Corp., 1968).