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USS Kailua (IX-71) on 17 July 1943
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Class:        Small IX: Miscellaneous Types (2)
Design        Small acquired. These specifications are for IX-71.
Displacement (tons):        1,027 light, 1,411 full
Dimensions (feet):        189.75' oa, 167.25' wl x 30.0' x 15.75'
Original Armament:        1-3"/23 (1942: IX-71)
Other armaments:        1-6pdr (1943: IX-80);
Small or none (others)
Complement        55 (1944)
Speed (kts.):        9.8
Propulsion (HP):        800
Machinery:        1 screw, vertical triple expansion engine

Construction:
IX Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
68 SEVEN SEAS 10 Apr 42 Bergsund, Stockholm -- 1912 5 May 42
71 KAILUA 19 May 42 Sun SB & DD -- 1923 19 May 42
72 LIBERTY BELLE 23 Apr 42 Harlan & Hollingsworth -- 1910 1 Jan 43
80 CHRISTIANA 6 Aug 42 Johnson Foundry -- 1891 9 Nov 42

Disposition:
IX Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
68 SEVEN SEAS 22 May 44 29 Jul 44 26 Jul 45 MC/S 26 Jul 45
71 KAILUA 29 Oct 45 19 Dec 45 7 Feb 46 Dest --
72 LIBERTY BELLE 18 May 44 29 Jul 44 15 Apr 47 MC/S 10 Apr 47
80 CHRISTIANA 28 Jul 45 17 Sep 45 25 Feb 46 MC/S 25 Feb 46

Class Notes:
FY 1942 (IX-68, 80), FY 1942 BuShips Maintenance funds (IX-72), FY 1943 (IX-71). The specifications above are for IX-71, those for the others are in the Ship Notes.

IX-68: On 6 Apr 42 CNO asked the Maritime Commission to acquire the full rigged ship with auxiliary diesel power SEVEN SEAS and authorized Com-3 to accept her. She was owned by William S. Gubelmann of Convent Station, Morristown, N.J., who had bought her in 1936, and was acquired by the Navy from Marine Airways, Roslyn, Long Island, N.Y. She had been built in Stockholm to her builder's design as the Swedish sail training ship ABRAHAM RYDBERG in 1912, was lengthened from 129.6 feet to 150.6 feet in 1925, and was sold to the American yachtsman Inglis Uppercu as SEVEN SEAS in 1928 at which time she was converted to a yacht and fitted with an auxiliary diesel engine. She was assigned to duty as station ship at Key West in the 7th Naval District. In July 1945 she was sold back to Gubelmann, who at the same time received a lump sum payment for her wartime service that the Navy had not previously paid. She was not registered for postwar service as an American yacht.

IX-71: On 22 Apr 42 CNO asked WSA to acquire the steam ship DICKENSON (incorrectly rendered in Navy records as DICKINSON) and authorized Com-14 to accept the vessel. The small cable ship DICKENSON had been built in 1923 for the Commercial Pacific Cable Co., which in 1902-1903 had laid the first cable from California to the Philippines via Honolulu, Midway, and Guam. Built to resupply the cable stations on the various islands and to transport staff to and from the stations, the ship had accommodation for 12 passengers, two cargo holds, and a single cable tank 20 feet in diameter and 8 feet deep. Two 18 inch bow sheaves were fitted with very basic cable handling equipment for light cable maintenance work; no stern paying out gear was provided. During portions of the 1920s and 1930s her quarterly visits provided the inhabitants of Midway, Fanning, and other Pacific islets their only direct contact with the outside world. The Navy took the ship over from the cable company in Hawaii and placed her in service on 19 May 42, designated her IX-71 on 20 May 42, and renamed her KAILUA on 22 May 42. She was placed in full commission on 5 May 43 for service in the Southwest Pacific, and after about a year in the 7th Fleet Service Force she was ordered back from Milne Bay to Pearl Harbor in June 1944. On 8 Oct 45 CNO directed Com-14 to turn her over to WSA for return to her owner, but WSA did not accept her as she was in no condition to be towed to the West Coast and instead asked the Navy to dispose of her. On 30 Jan 46 Com-14 reported she was a "total loss" and asked authority to dispose of her by sinking, as retention was expensive, scrap was worthless, and sale believed unlikely. Com-14 later reported that she had been sunk on 7 Feb 46.

IX-72: On 22 Apr 42 CNO asked the Maritime Commission to acquire the steamer LIBERTY BELLE and authorized representatives of BuShips to accept her. This ferry boat had been built in 1910 as CITY OF PHILADELPHIA for the Wilmington Steamboat Co. of Wilmington, Delaware (the Wilson Line) and was renamed LIBERTY BELLE in 1938. She was chartered for experimental purposes under BuShips. On 8 Sep 42 BuShips requested equipment for an armed guard be sent to the ship, noting that she was being operated for BuShips on experimental work of a confidential nature, that the gear she had on board was confidential, and that she was generally operated by a merchant crew with a force of Naval personnel quartered aboard with an Officer in Charge. On 17 Apr 43 she was reassigned to the Naval Mine Warfare Test Station, Solomons, Md., for training and experimental operations in conjunction with ATLANTIDA (IX-108, q.v.) with the Mark 29 mine, an anti-torpedo device that consisted of a towed acoustic sensor and two explosive filled hoses up to 400 feet in length that were to be streamed on each side of a merchant vessel using her paravane gear. She was released from Mk-29 related duty in April 1944. In April 1947 she was sold to Andrew Richard of Atlantic Highlands, N.J. Renamed ASBURY PARK in 1947 and TOLCHESTER in 1949, she was hulked in 1957 as FREESTONE, renamed POTOMAC in 1961, and scrapped in 1974.

IX-80: On 4 Jul 42 the Gulf Sea Frontier asked for authority to purchase the motor vessel CHRISTIANA for conversion to a seaplane tender for operation with OS2U type seaplanes in ASW operations. On 6 Jul 42 VCNO directed BuShips to negotiate directly with the owners, the Bahamas Trading Co. for the purchase of the vessel, which was of foreign registry. Built as the Lighthouse Service tender AZALEA and commissioned on 25 Jun 91, she had served under Navy control during World War I between 16 Apr 17 and 1 Jul 19. She was repaired after a collision in 1921 and was decommissioned on 30 Jun 33 and sold. She originally had a 400 HP inverted condensing compound steam engine and one single-ended Scotch boiler and was probably converted to diesel during a second major repair period in 1941. CHRISTIANA was assigned as IX-80 to the Gulf Sea Frontier on 22 Aug 42. Reassigned to the 7th Naval District on 5 Nov 43 and reclassified YAG-32 on 20 Nov 43, the vessel continued to support seaplane patrols in the Caribbean until May 1945, usually from an anchorage near Royal Is. in the Bahamas. The name CHRISTIANA was cancelled 1 Mar 45 because, according to CNO, the majority of the District Craft Auxiliary, Miscellaneous (YAG) were not named. She was sold in February 1946 to S. E. Thatcher of Miami, Fla., and may have returned to foreign registry.

Ship Notes:
IX Name Notes
68 SEVEN SEAS Ex yacht SEVEN SEAS, ex Swedish sail training ship ABRAHAM RYDBERG 1929. Auxiliary full rigged 3-masted ship. 430 tons light, 294 tons gross. 168.0' oa, 137.0' wl x 27.5' x 12'. Steel hull. 1 Fairbanks-Morse diesel (fitted 1929), 430 HP.
71 KAILUA Ex merc. DICKENSON. Small cable ship, steel hull. Specifications above.
72 LIBERTY BELLE Ex merc. LIBERTY BELLE, ex CITY OF PHILADELPHIA 1938. Ferry boat. 749 tons gross, 192.75' oa x 32' x 11.25'. Steel hull. 1 triple expansion engine, 1550 HP, 15 kts. Completed conversion 22 May 42.
80 CHRISTIANA Ex merc. CHRISTIANA, ex AZALEA (U.S. Lighthouse Service). 393 tons light, 640 tons full load. 154' oa x 24.25' x 12.3'. Iron hull. 1 Cooper Bessemer diesel. Converted by Tampa S.B. Co. between 23 Aug 42 and 21 Nov 42. Used as seaplane tender. To YAG-32 20 Nov 43. Name cancelled 1 Mar 45.

Page Notes:
IX        1942
Compiled:        21 Dec 2010
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2010