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S.S. Bethnor, a sister to the future USS Domino (IX-208), on 15 November 1919 just after completion
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Class: DOMINO (IX-208)
Design EFC Design 1094
Displacement (tons): 5150 deadweight
Dimensions (feet): 338.0' oa, 328.0' wl x 46.2' x 21'
Original Armament: None listed
Later armaments: --
Speed (kts.): 9
Propulsion (HP): 1,650
Machinery: 1 screw, triple expansion
||15 May 45
||Bethlehem Steel, Wilm.
||3 Oct 18
||23 Jul 19
||25 Jun 45
||25 Jul 47
FY 1944. DOMINO was one of seven medium-sized EFC Design 1094 freighters ordered from the former Harlan & Hollingsworth yard at Wilmington, Del., by then part of the Bethlehem Steel Co. Five of the ships were built at the Wilmington yard while the other two were transferred to Bethlehem's yard at Elizabethport, N.J., for construction.
On 25 Oct 44 VCNO asked WSA for three hulks for ultimate use as Bureau of Yards and Docks construction equipment, the tanker CALICHE and the freighters EASTERN PILOT (Soviet GILIAK) and BENLEDI (Soviet CHETVERTIY KRABOLOV). In addition he asked that the freighter DOMINO, then laid up at Mobile, Ala., be allocated to the Navy for a voyage to the Pacific with Bureau of Yards and Docks equipment and subsequent acquisition for the same purpose. WSA allocated DOMINO to the Navy on 3 Nov 44 and she was scheduled to depart Gulfport, Miss., for Guam on about 24 Nov 44. On 23 Nov 44 CNO informed CinCPOA that he was then authorized to take delivery of the vessel from WSA. She was ultimately to be used as "BuDocks construction equipment" and was not to be classified (given a hull number), commissioned, placed in service, or taken up on the List of Naval Vessels. (Three of these four ships were expended as breakwaters in the Western Pacific between April and June 1945, DOMINO being the only survivor.)
On 26 Jan 45 CinCPOA reported that DOMINO, which had been designated for use as a breakwater ship, had been inspected and was considered satisfactory for use instead as mobile dry storage. On 28 Jan 45 CNO modified his earlier instructions and directed CinCPOA to commission the vessel as an IX, and on 3 Feb 45 the Auxiliary Vessels Board followed suit by recommending that the ship be acquired from WSA upon her arrival at Pearl Harbor and after necessary repairs be put into commission for assignment to ServPac as an IX. The Navy name DOMINO and classification IX-208 were approved on 30 Jan 45. On 23 Apr 45 however an inspection board in Hawaii reported that the vessel was in poor material condition throughout and that she would require four months' work and about $250,000 to put into proper condition. This board recommended that she not be accepted from WSA, although it noted that CinCPOA was not entirely in agreement. On 3 May 45 CNO cancelled his instructions of 28 Jan 45 and stated that his instructions of 23 Nov 44 were once again in effect. DOMINO was transferred by WSA to the Navy at Pearl Harbor on 15 May 45 as BuDocks construction equipment. On 25 Jun 45 the Auxiliary Vessels Board also changed its previous position and recommended that the ship be used as construction equipment under the cognizance of BuDocks. The hull number IX-208 was subsequently listed as "not acquired" as of 25 Jun 45. The ship was retained at Pearl Harbor for possible use as a blockship in future operations, but was not so used. She was towed back to the West Coast between 18 and 31 Jan 46 with a Navy crew on board and was delivered to the MC reserve fleet at Suisun Bay on 13 Feb 46.
||Ex merc. DELCO (ID-4226, completed 22 Sep 19) 1922. Acquisition as naval vessel cancelled 25 Jun 45. To buyer 22 Nov 47, scrapped by 1 Jun 48.
Compiled: 28 Aug 2010
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2010