And all we caught was this Kingfisher. And some netting…
This cute single-seat scout seaplane was in fact one of the best -if no the best- American foatplane built durin’ WW2.In any event The Seahawk entered service at the end of 1944, too late show its true potential.Peace time and the arrival of the new versatile helicopters closed the glorious era of embarqued seaplanes.
More here: Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk: Double Sadness.
Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all of their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger
Here we see the Lapwing (“old bird”)-class minesweeper-turned-seaplane tender USS Avocet (AVP-4) from atop a building at Naval Air Station Ford Island, looking toward the Navy Yard. USS Nevada (BB-36) is at right, with her bow afire. Beyond her is the burning USS Shaw (DD-373). Smoke at left comes from the destroyers Cassin (DD-372) and Downes (DD-375), ablaze in Drydock Number One. The day, of course, is December 7, 1941 and you can see the gunners aboard Avocet looking for more Japanese planes (they had already smoked one) at about the time the air raid ended.
Inspired by large seagoing New England fishing trawlers, the Lapwings were 187-foot long ships that were large enough, at 965-tons full, to carry a pair of economical reciprocating diesel engines (or two boilers and one VTE engine) with a decent enough range to make it across the Atlantic on their own (though with a blisteringly slow speed of just 14 knots when wide open on trials.)
Not intended to do much more than clear mines, they were given a couple 3″/23 pop guns to discourage small enemy surface combatants intent to keep minesweepers from clearing said mines. The class leader, Lapwing, designated Auxiliary Minesweeper #1 (AM-1), was laid down at Todd in New York in October 1917 and another 53 soon followed. While five were canceled in November 1918, the other 48 were eventually finished– even if they came to the war a little late.
Which leads us to the hero of our tale, USS Avocet, named after a long-legged, web-footed shore bird found in western and southern states– the first such naval vessel to carry the moniker. Laid down as Minesweeper No. 19 on 13 September 1917 at Baltimore, Maryland by the Baltimore Drydock & Shipbuilding Co, she was commissioned just over a year later on 17 September 1918– some seven weeks before the end of the Great War.
Read the rest here: Warship Wednesday Dec. 7, 2016: The eclipsing old bird of Battleship Row
I’m not sure what the piece of equipment is on the right. A band saw? I’d be happy with a wood working shop like that, steam powered or otherwise…
Notice a theme? LOL!
HMS MTB-263 (British Motor Torpedo Boat, 1940, ex-USS PT-14) Ready for delivery to The Royal Navy, circa Mid-1941. She has been modified to British specifications, with R.N. Type 21″ Torpedo Tubes, a 20mm machine cannon and other changes. (NHHC: NH 100911)
70′ Motor Torpedo Boat:
- Laid down 26 April 1940 as PT-14 by the Electric Boat Co., Elco Works, Bayonne, NJ
- Launched 7 November 1940
- Placed in service 29 November 1940 and assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron TWO (MTBRon 2) under the command of Lt. Comdr. Earl S. Caldwell, USN
- MTBRon 2 tested the first 70′ Elco boats in Florida and Caribbean waters in the winter of 1940/41
- Transferred to the Royal Navy as HM MTB-263 11 April 1941 and assigned to the 10th MTB Squadron
- Returned to U.S. Navy 16 March 1946 at Alexandria, Egypt
- Transferred to the State Department, Foreign Liquidation Commission in December 1946
- Fate unknown.Specifications:
- Displacement 40 t.
- Length 70′
- Beam 19′ 11″
- Draft 4′ 6″
- Speed 41 kts.
- Complement 15
- Armament: Two twin .50 cal. Browning M2 machine guns in Dewandre turrets and four 18″ torpedoes
(MTB-263 added two .303 cal. twin Mk1 Lewis machine guns, one 20mm mount and two depth charges in addition to replacing the 18″ torpedoes with two 21″ torpedoes)
- Propulsion: Three 3,600shp Packard V12 M2500 gasoline engines, three shafts.