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Duluth, USAMRS


Builder: Chicago Shipbuilding Company, Chicago, Illinois

Length: 381' 6"

Beam: 50' 2"

Draft: 26'

Displacement: 4,869

Cost: N/A

Launched: 1903

Commissioned: 15 August 1944

Decommissioned: 23 November 1945

Disposition: Returned to service on the Great Lakes

Machinery: Reciprocating steam engine; 1,600 HP

Performance:

          Maximum Speed: 8 knots
          Economic/Cruising Speed: ?

Complement: ?

Electronics: ?

Armament: At least 1 x 3"/50; unknown number of 20mm/80s


Vessel History:

On 14 March 1944 the Coast Guard agreed to man numerous small Army Transportation Corps vessels and by the end of the war, the service had manned a total of 288 U.S. Army craft.  Despite having Coast Guard crews, however, the Army Transportation Corps maintained administrative control over each of these vessels.  Many of these vessels were already operating in the southwest Pacific and most served in the South Pacific with no assigned permanent station or home yard.  Each of the larger repair ships manned by the Coast Guard were old, in fact David Grover, author of the only history of the Army's "fleet" during the war, characterized each as "ancient castoffs."

The Duluth, a 4,369-ton Great Lakes freighter, served as a marine repair vessel in the Pacific.  Her Coast Guard crew was first put aboard on 15 August 1944 and they were removed on 23 November 1945.  

Although old by this time, the Duluth's long cargo bays provided ample space for marine repair shops.  No further information about her government service is available.  After the war she returned to service on the Great Lakes and was used for a time as a cannery ship.  She disappears from the records in 1958.




Photographs: (Click thumb-nail to see full-size image)

 

The USS Duluth

SS Duluth.

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.  Courtesy of Bowling Green State University's Center for Archival Collections.  Please note that this is not a Coast Guard photo.

Photo Credit: Center for Archival Collections, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, 40403.

 

A photo of the SS Duluth

SS Duluth.

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.  Courtesy of Bowling Green State University's Center for Archival Collections.  Please note that this is not a Coast Guard photo.

Photo Credit: Center for Archival Collections, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, 40403.

 

A photo of the USS Duluth

SS Duluth.

"GETTING READY FOR WAR: Duluth is pictured at a pier in Oakland during the conversion from Great Lakes freighter to Army Repair Ship.  New superstructure and booms for taking Arm equipment above for repairs is evident.  (Radio antenna on highest forward mast was to be later shot off at Leyte in the Philippines.)"; no date/photo number; photographer unknown.  Courtesy of Ed Flynn.  Please note that this is not a Coast Guard photo.

Photo Credit: Ed Flynn.

 

A photo of the USS Duluth

SS Duluth.

"ARMED BUT NOT VERY DANGEROUS: View shows the USARS (Army Repair Ship) Duluth just about ready for departure to the Pacific with guns and life rafts in place.  Visible aft is 3 inch  50 caliber and (just behind stack) one of six 20 mm gun tubs.  Repair shop facilities were below deck, gallery and crews quarters aft, radio shack and officers quarters and ward room forward below bridge."; no date/photo number; photographer unknown.  Courtesy of Ed Flynn.  Please note that this is not a Coast Guard photo.

Photo Credit: Ed Flynn.


Sources:

Edward Flynn.  The Forgotten Voyage of the USARS Duluth: Recalling a Coast Guard Manned Vessel That Fell Through the Cracks of World War II History.  Clifton Park, NY: By the author, 2004.

David H. Grover. U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1987.

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.


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Last Modified 11/17/2014