USS Quartz (IX-150) circa early 1945
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        TREFOIL (IX-149)
Design        MC B7-D1
Displacement (tons):        5,636 light, 10.970 full load
Dimensions (feet):        366.3' oa, 350.0' wl x 54.0' e x 26,25' full load
Original Armament:        1-40mmS 4-20mm
Later armaments:        --
Complement        54 (1944)
Speed (kts.):
Propulsion (HP):
Machinery:        Non-self propelled.

Construction:
IX Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
154 BAUXITE 22 Jun 44 Barrett & Hilp 9 Jul 43 11 Oct 43 22 Jun 44
153 ASPHALT 30 Jun 44 Barrett & Hilp 6 Aug 43 27 Oct 43 30 Jun 44
152 CARMITA 11 May 44 Barrett & Hilp 21 Aug 43 11 Nov 43 11 May 44
149 TREFOIL 5 Mar 44 Barrett & Hilp 4 Sep 43 22 Nov 43 9 Mar 44
150 QUARTZ 13 Apr 44 Barrett & Hilp 17 Sep 43 4 Dec 43 13 Apr 44
151 SILICA 8 Jun 44 Barrett & Hilp 5 Oct 43 18 Dec 43 8 Jun 44
164 CORUNDUM 18 Jul 44 Barrett & Hilp 19 Oct 43 31 Dec 43 18 Jul 44
159 FELDSPAR 11 Aug 44 Barrett & Hilp 3 Nov 43 22 Jan 44 11 Aug 44
160 MARL 29 Aug 44 Barrett & Hilp 16 Nov 43 2 Feb 44 29 Aug 44
161 BARITE 31 Aug 44 Barrett & Hilp 24 Nov 43 18 Feb 44 31 Aug 44
162 LIGNITE 26 Sep 44 Barrett & Hilp 8 Dec 43 26 Feb 44 26 Sep 44
163 CINNABAR 26 Sep 44 Barrett & Hilp 22 Dec 43 10 Mar 44 26 Sep 44
158 LIMESTONE 14 Oct 44 Barrett & Hilp 5 Jan 44 25 Mar 44 14 Oct 44

Disposition:
IX Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
154 BAUXITE -- 23 Jun 47 31 May 47 FLC --
153 ASPHALT -- 23 Feb 45 6 Oct 44 Lost --
152 CARMITA 30 May 46 25 Sep 46 24 Mar 47 Dest. --
149 TREFOIL -- 22 Dec 48 25 May 48 FLC --
150 QUARTZ 31 Dec 46 22 Jan 47 23 Oct 47 MC/D 11 Aug 47
151 SILICA 30 Nov 45 3 Jan 46 9 Oct 45 Lost --
164 CORUNDUM 8 Aug 46 28 Aug 46 8 Aug 46 MC/D --
159 FELDSPAR 7 Aug 46 28 Aug 46 7 Aug 46 MC/D 22 Mar 48
160 MARL 2 Aug 46 15 Aug 46 2 Aug 46 MC/D 4 Aug 48
161 BARITE 5 Aug 46 15 Aug 46 5 Aug 46 MC/D 22 Mar 48
162 LIGNITE 6 Aug 46 28 Aug 46 6 Aug 46 MC/D --
163 CINNABAR 3 Dec 45 3 Jan 46 6 Apr 46 MC/D --
158 LIMESTONE 12 Dec 46 10 Jun 47 6 Feb 47 MC/D 11 Aug 47

Class Notes:
FY 1943. After Congress and the Maritime Commission added concrete ships to the World War II shipbuilding effort in late 1941, the San Francisco firm of Barrett & Hilp, which had extensive experience in concrete construction, submitted a bid in May 1942 to the MC for the construction of 13 non-self-propelled concrete barges designed to transport bauxite ore. It received a contract for 13 of these 366-foot B7-D1 barges on 30 Jun 42, and on 4 Aug 42 added another 13 that had been ordered from another firm, MacDonald & Kahn, on 30 Jun 42 and then cancelled. Barrett & Hilp also received a contract to build a new facility, the Belair Shipyard. Six of these 26 B7-D1 barges were later cancelled. The MC also built at other yards 33 concrete oil tank barges of the similar B7-A1 type and the longer (375-foot) B7-A2 type, of which all 22 B7-A2's became Navy YO's and YOG's (see Station Tankers). The MC concrete barge program also included 32 more B7-A1 barges that were cancelled plus 27 smaller 265-foot concrete barges of the B5-BJ1 (Army floating warehouse), B5-BJ2 (Army refrigerated floating warehouse), and B5-BJ3 (Army maintenance lighter) types.

The 13 B7-D1 concrete barges acquired by the Navy are listed here in the order of their keel laying and launching, which correlates with their MC hull numbers and the hull numbers originally assigned by the Navy but scrambles the order of the final Navy hull numbers in the tables below. Seven barges of this type were built before these. AGATE and CHROMITE (MC hulls 1319-20) went to the Army, CHROMITE being returned to the yard for conversion to the Navy plans, and FLINT, GRANITE, GRAPHITE, GYPSUM, and MICA went to the Navy's Bureau of Yards and Docks as construction equipment. (These five barges were all expended as breakwaters in the Western Pacific between August 1944 and April 1945.) MC hulls 1339-1344, which would have followed the ones listed below, were cancelled by the MC on 9 Jan 44. The concrete ships were colloquially referred to as "crockery" ships and "green dragons." All were placed in service, not in commission.

-- IX 149-152: On 4 Oct 43 CinCPac requested that six B7-D1 type concrete barges be acquired and converted by their builder to provide facilities for carrying and issuing general stores (GSK) at advanced bases. On 9 Nov 43 CNO asked the MC for the ships and asked that they be converted by the builder during their construction to provide facilities for carrying and issuing general stores. This conversion would consist essentially of the installation of a 'tween deck in the holds, although instructions were later given for two of them to be provided with reefer spaces at all levels of holds #5 and #6 and all special stowages. Crews increased from 16 for the basic barge to 53 for the GSK conversion and 61 for the refrigerated conversion. Having been informed that the MC would approve the request, the Auxiliary Vessels Board on 23 Nov 43 recommended that six of the earliest available barges be acquired. As of 3 Jan 44 it was expected that MC hulls 1326-31 would be completed in the order of their MC numbers (they had been launched in that order). The MC named them respectively ONYX, QUARTZ, SILICA, SLATE, ASPHALT, and BAUXITE, and the Navy numbered them respectively IX 149-154. While assigning the Navy names, BuPers on 13 Jan 44 recommended changing the names ONYX and SLATE as they were already assigned to Navy vessels; this change was incorporated into the initial list of Navy names that was approved on 21 Jan 44. By 10 Feb 44 the barges were expected to complete in the order MC 1329-31, 1328, 1327, and 1326, and on 15 Feb 44 CNO "corrected" the names and hull numbers of the vessels to retain the original order of the names, with the former ONYX (now USS MIDNIGHT, IX-149) the first to be completed (now MC hull 1329) and BAUXITE (IX-154) the last (now MC hull 1326). MC records also reflect this change. ASPHALT and SILICA subsequently fell even further behind because they had to wait to receive refrigeration equipment (the others had none). The name of IX-149 was changed again in May to avoid conflict with a MC cargo ship.

-- IX 158-164: On 12 Jan 44 CinCPOA asked that six more B7-D1 dry cargo barges be acquired with conversion to the same specifications being used for IX 149-154 to provide facilities for carrying and issuing provisions, general stores, and spare parts at advance bases in the Pacific. On 18 Jan 44 CNO asked the MC for six barges, MC hulls 1333-1338. At this time MC hull 1332 had just been assigned to the Army in lieu of MC hull 1333, while the contract for additional vessels of this type, MC hulls 1339-1344, was being cancelled. Hull 1332 soon also became available for Navy acquisition. On 24 Jan 44 the Auxiliary Vessels Board noted that the request for additional barges had been increased to seven since there was exactly that number of concrete barges remaining in the MC contract with the builder of the B7-D1 type, Barrett & Hilp, and in view of the willingness of the MC to transfer them to the Navy. The Board recommended the acquisition of all seven. The initial list of Navy names for IX 158-164, approved on 7 Feb 44, replicated all of the MC names for these barges. The first six of these, MC hulls 1332-1337, were to be converted to typical GSK issue barges and the seventh, MC hull 1338 (IX-164 CORUNDUM), was to be converted for use as a landing craft and vehicle spare part barge. (A history by the shipyard suggests that two of these seven were refrigerated.) On 23 May 44 CNO "corrected" the names, stating that IX-164 CORUNDUM was assigned to MC hull 1332 and IX-158 LIMESTONE to MC hull 1338. CNO explained that it was understood that this reassignment of hulls was requested in order to complete the first ship of the IX 158-164 group as a spare part barge for landing craft and vehicles in lieu of for use as a typical GSK issue barge. MC records also reflect this change.

Ship Notes:
IX Name MC Notes
154 BAUXITE 132 Ex USS MIDNIGHT (IX-149, ex merc. ONYX) 15 Feb 44. Typical GSK issue barge. Sold by FLC at Shanghai. Date placed out of service not recorded.
153 ASPHALT 132 Ex USS QUARTZ (IX-150, ex merc. QUARTZ) 15 Feb 44. Reefer and provision issue barge (refrigerated). Driven on to coral reef at Saipan by typhoon 6 Oct 44, stripping completed and hulk abandoned 13 Feb 45. Listed in later Navy records as destroyed effective 30 Nov 45.
152 CARMITA 132 Ex USS SILICA (IX-151, ex merc. SILICA) 15 Feb 44. Army and Marine Corps stores issue barge (outfitted to meet Army requirements). Placed out of service at Samar. On 5 Mar 47 CNO authorized ComNavPhil to destroy or abandon IX-152, barge reported sunk 27 Mar 47 by Ship Repair Facility, Manicani (on a small island near Samar).
149 TREFOIL 132 Ex USS MIDNIGHT 10 Jun 44, ex USS CARMITA (IX-152, ex merc. SLATE) 15 Feb 44. Typical GSK issue barge. Used in 1946 to house employees building a dry dock at Apra Harbor, Guam. Date placed out of service not recorded. Sold 1948 by FLC at Guam to Asia Development Co., Shanghai, but impounded at Guam by legal dispute through end 1948.
150 QUARTZ 133 Ex USS ASPHALT (IX-153, ex merc. ASPHALT) 15 Feb 44. Modified GSK issue barge (GSK, ships & service stores). To buyer (Foss Launch & Tug Co.) 23 Oct 47 for operation. Later became part of a breakwater at Powell River), B.C., (100 miles north of Vancouver) with ex-YOGN-82 (q.v.), still there 2003.
151 SILICA 133 Ex USS BAUXITE (IX-154, ex merc. BAUXITE) 15 Feb 44. Reefer and provision issue barge (refrigerated). Grounded (submerged on coral reef) in typhoon at Okinawa 9 Oct 45, stripping and abandonment recommended 6 Nov 45. Refloated, towed to sea, and scuttled.
164 CORUNDUM 133 Ex USS LIMESTONE (IX-158, ex merc. LIMESTONE) 23 May 44. Landing Craft and Vehicle Spare Part barge. To MC at Subic Bay 1946. To Army there 4 Feb 47. Sunk about 28 Feb 48 at
159 FELDSPAR 133 Ex merc. FELDSPAR. Army and Marine Corps stores issue barge. To MC at Subic Bay 1946. To buyer (Asia Development Corp.) 23 Apr 48 for operation.
160 MARL 133 Ex merc. MARL. Army and Marine Corps stores issue barge. To MC at Subic Bay 1946. To Army there 1 Mar 47. To buyer (Asia Development Corp.) 4 Sep 48 for operation.
161 BARITE 133 Ex merc. BARITE. Army and Marine Corps stores issue barge. To MC at Subic Bay 1946. To Army there 1 Mar 47. To buyer (Asia Development Corp.) 23 Apr 48 for operation.
162 LIGNITE 133 Ex merc. LIGNITE. Army and Marine Corps stores issue barge. Grounded in typhoon at Okinawa 9 Oct 45 but refloated 16 Oct 45. To MC at Subic Bay 1946. To Army 4 Feb 47. Grounded and badly damaged Dec. 1947, declared constructive total loss
163 CINNABAR 133 Ex merc. CINNABAR. Army and Marine Corps stores issue barge. Grounded in typhoon at Okinawa 9 Oct 45, stripping and abandonment recommended 29 Oct 45. To MC at Okinawa 1946, sold by the Foreign Liquidation Commission in May or November 1947 with other wrecks at Buckner Bay to the Oklahoma-Philippines Co. (the "Berry Sale").
158 LIMESTONE 133 Ex USS CORUNDUM (IX-164, ex merc. CORUNDUM) 23 May 44. Army and Marine Corps stores issue barge. To buyer (Foss Launch & Tug Co.) 11 Sep 47 for operation.

Page Notes:
IX        1944
Compiled:        28 Aug 2010
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2010