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USS Miantonomah (CM-10) on 29 April 1944
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Class: MONADNOCK (CMc-4)
Design: Coastal cargo, 1938
Displacement (tons): 3,015 light, 4,200 trial
Dimensions (feet): 292.0' oa, 280.0' wl x 48.5' x 19.7' mx
Original Armament: 2-4"/50
Later armaments: 2-4"/50 4-20mm (1942: both);
2-3"/50 10-20mm (1942: both)
2-3"/50 2-40mmT 10-20mm (1945: ACM-10)
Complement: 204 (1944)
Speed (kts.): 17.5
Propulsion (HP): 4,000
Machinery: G.E. turbine, 1 screw
||9 Jun 41
||Pusey & Jones, Wilmington
||14 Apr 38
||2 Dec 41
||5 May 41
||Pusey & Jones, Wilmington
||15 Feb 38
||13 Nov 41
||3 Jun 46
||3 Jul 46
||23 Jul 47
||23 Jul 47
||13 Nov 44
||25 Sep 44
FY 1941. In the summer of 1938 the Philadelphia and Norfolk Steamship Co. took delivery of two fast coastal passenger and freight carriers, QUAKER and CAVALIER, from the Pusey & Jones shipyard at Wilmington, Del. These vessels had no cargo booms or hatches and instead loaded their cargoes of vehicles and parcels through four side ports (two on each side). The Philadelphia and Norfolk Steamship Co. had been established by Felix P. Jackson in the 1920s as a barge line connecting these two ports. It closed in 1945 because of increasing competition from rail shipping.
Following discussions with their owner that began in around July 1940, CNO on 15 Mar 41 directed the acquisition of the two ships using funds earmarked for the purchase of civilian ships to augment local district defense forces. (See CMc 3-5 for earlier acquisitions under this program.). They were classed as district craft and designated coastal mine layers (CMc). Also on 15 Mar 41 the Bureau of Ships, after making some stability calculations, advised OpNav's Naval Districts Division that it appeared feasible to convert them to minelayers with a capacity for 450 mines. The Navy soon found that they were capable of more extended operations, and when a new mine division was organized in the Eastern Sea Frontier in May 1942 consisting of KEOKUK (AN-5), MONADNOCK (CMc-4), and MIANTONOMAH (CMc-5), all three ships were reclassified minelayers (CM 8-10). CM 9-10 served in the invasion of North Africa in October 1942 and CM-8 joined them in November.
Probably during a refit at Norfolk completed in April 1944, MIANTONOMAH had two minelaying rails added to the original two, with their ports in large sponsons on the stern outboard of the original two ports. The ports for the new rails were larger than those for the original rails. The ports for the original rails were reconfigured and lowered and the cargo loading ports in the sides were plated over in this overhaul. MIANTONOMAH was ordered to England in May 1944 and served during the Normandy invasion as a flagship, dispatch vessel and aviation gasoline carrier. She also carried harbor clearance teams and equipment to captured French ports. She was sunk by a German pressure mine in September 1944 while departing Le Havre, France, with a cargo of food and gasoline.
MONADNOCK was sent to the Pacific in December 1943. On 17 Jun 45 Commander Service Forces Pacific, at the request of Commander Mine Forces Pacific, recommended that MONADNOCK be reclassified as an auxiliary minelayer (ACM) and fitted during her July-August availability at Mare Island to provide logistic support to minecraft in combat areas. A photograph of MONADNOCK at Sasebo, Japan, in late 1945 shows that her mast had been moved from the foredeck to a position behind the bridge, probably during the ACM conversion. It also confirms that MONADNOCK did not receive the additional mine rails with their stern sponsons that MIANTONOMAH received in early 1944.
||Ex merc. CAVALIER (ID-4962, completed Aug 38). Converted by Bethlehem Steel Co., Atlantic Works, East Boston, Mass. 9 Jun-5 Dec 41. To CM-9 15 May 42, to ACM-10 10 Jul 45. Merc. CAVALIER (1946, MC), KARUKARA (1949, Panamanian), MONTE DE LA ESPERANZA (1952, Spanish). Scrapped 1966.
||Ex merc. QUAKER (ID-4963, completed Jun 38). Converted by Bethlehem Steel Co., Atlantic Works, East Boston, Mass. To CM-10 15 May 42. Sunk by mine off Le Havre, France.
Compiled: 29 Dec 2008
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2008