Warship Weds July 4
Here at LSOZI, we are going to take out every Wednesday for a look at the old steampunk navies of the 1866-1938 time period and will profile a different ship each week.
- Christopher Eger
Warship Wednesday, July 4
Here we have the Patoka. This funny looking (the one in the water) ship was laid down about six weeks after the end of WWI as an oiler at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock, Co., Newport News, VA. Commissioned as Fleet Oiler No. 9, 13 October 1919, she soon became a balloon tender and was the service’s only one for tw decades. Patoka was modified as a tender for the Navy’s rigid airships, receiving a distinctive mooring mast on her stern and facilities for handling seaplanes. She was subsequently used as an operational and experimental base by three of the Navy’s great dirigibles, USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) in 1924-1925, USS Los Angeles (ZR-3) in 1925-1932, and USS Akron (ZRS-4) in 1932.
Decommissioned, 31 August 1933 after the loss of her airships, she spent six years without a mission. Redesignated Seaplane Tender (AV-6), and commanded by CDR. Clifton Sprague (later Rear Admiral of Taffy-3 Fame) in 1939. She spend most of the war as a oiler, mine craft tender and was reclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary (AG-125), 15 August 1944. Decommissioned, 1 July 1946 she was sold for scrapping, 15 March 1948 by the Maritime Commission to Dulien Steel Products, Co.
Displacement 5,400 t.(lt) 16,800 t.(fl), 17,820 t.(lim)
Length 447′ 10″
Beam 60′ 3″
Draft 27′ 8″(lim)
Speed 11.2 kts.
Largest boom capacity 40 t.
Navy Standard Fuel Oil 62,300 bbls
Gasoline 309,000 gals
two single 5″/38 dual purpose gun mounts
four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
four twin 20mm AA gun mounts
Fuel oil capacity 4,780 bbls.
Ships’ service generators
four turbo-drive, 60kW 120V D.C., 1 75kW 120V D.C.,
two diesel-drive, 100kW 450V D.C.
one Newport News vertical quadruple expansion engine
two Yarrow boilers, 265psi Sat°
single screw, 2,800 shp.