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U.S. NAVY 4th FLEET IN RECIFE *

33)AV 5 ALBERMALE



Photo. www.hazegray.org


Specifications:


Displacement 8,671 t.


Length 527' 4".


Beam 69' 3".


Draft 21' 11".


Speed 20 kts.


Complement (AV-5) 1,195


(ARVH-1) 128 civilian, 308 Army Technicians.


Armament: (AV) As Built, four single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts, four quad 40mm AA gun mounts, (AV) Added during WWII, two dual 40mm AA gun mounts, twelve single 20mm AA gun mounts.


 (ARVH) none.


Propulsion geared turbines, two shafts.


Throughout 1942Albemarle acted as fast transport of aeronautical material and men to naval air bases in the Caribbean and the Pacific coast of South America, as well as in the northern South Atlantic. During this time (September November 1942), she visited Salinas, Ecuador, the air base at Seymour Island, in the Galapagos Islands San Juan and Bermuda primarily operating out of Colon and Balboa and escorted by the seaplane tender Goldsborough (AVD-5).


Relieved on station by the seaplane tender Pocomoke (AV-9) Albemarle sailed from the Canal Zone on 13 November 1942, escorted by Goldsborough and the small seaplane tender Matagorda (AVP-22). Proceeding via San Juan, Trinidad and Bermuda, the seaplane tender reached Hampton Roads on 30 November having completed her longest sustained tour of duty outside the continental Limits of the United States.


Over the next seven months, Albemarle shuttled between Norfolk and Guantanamo Bay, Trinidad, San Juan, and Bermuda, on eight round- trip voyages. She varied this routine only slightly on the sixth and eighth of these, visiting Recite, Brazil for the first time (17 to 21 April 1943) on the sixth cruise and putting into the Canal Zone on the eighth. Her cargo included aviation gasoline and ammunition. Upon completion of that cycle of Operations she underwent repairs and alterations at the Boston Navy Yard between 15 June and 23 July 1943, departing on the latter date for Norfolk, whence she resumed her cargo-carrying and transport run to Trinidad, Recife, San Juan and Guantanamo Bay. On this voyage, her last on this run, she brought back 27 German prisoners of war survivors of a sunken U-boat.


Underway from Norfolk on 16 September 1943, Albemarle sailed for the British Isles, escorted by the destroyers Bulmer (DD-222) and Barker (DD-213). Proceeding via Argentia, the seaplane tender reached Swansea,Wales, with aeronautical cargo an passengers on 28 September, the men and freight she carried to support the newly inaugurated antisubmarine operations by patrol squadrons operating from the British Isles. Underway from Swansea on 4 October, she scraped a screw while leaving the harbor, and, after sailing via Argentia, reached Boston on 15 October. She was drydocked the following day, and the damaged propeHer was repaired. Albemarle returned thence to Norfolk via the Cape Cod Canal, arriving at Norfolk on 18 October.


Underway on 22 October as part of a task group formed around the escort carrier Croatan (CVE-25) and three destroyers Albemarle sailed for Casablanca. Routed via Bermuda, the group reached its destination on 3 November. After discharging her cargo and disembarking her passengers, the seaplane tender then sailed for the United States on 10 November with another convoy, this one larger and formed around Croatan and the light cruiser Philadelphia (CL-41), escorted by seven destroyers, and containing Matagorda and three transports.


Albemarle made a second cruise to Casablanca before the year 1943 was out, underway on 28 November and escorted by the destroyers Barry (DD-248) and Goff (DD-247), and arriving on 7 December. She sailed on the 13th for Reykjavik and reached that Icelandic port on the 19th. There she embarked men from VB 128 for transportation back to the United States, and proceeded out of Reykjavik on 22 December for Norfolk. Battling heavy seas on the return voyage (making only five knots on Christmas Day), Albemarle returned to NOB, Norfolk, on the last day of the year 1943.


Proceeding thence to Bayonne, N.J., on 4 January 1944, for upkeep and availability, Albelmarle returned to Norfolk on 17 January, and prepared for a voyage to San Juan. While outward-bound, however, on 18 January 1944, the seaplane tender fouled a buoy in a thick fog and put about for repairs. Drydocked on 20 January, Albemarle sailed again for her orig inal destination, San Juan, the following day.


Subsequently touching at Trinidad and Recife, and retracing her path calling at Trinidad and San Juan on the return leg of the passage, Albemarle returned to Norfolk on 23 February 1944 for availability. She then steamed to Casablanca in company with the amphibious command ship Catoctin (AGC-5) and two destroyers, and, among her passengers on the westward bound trip, were 20 German U-boat sailors, prisoners of war.


She arrived back at Norfolk on 1 April 1944. After upkeep at NOB, Norfolk, Albemarle proceeded up to the Naval Supply Depot at Bayonne, where she loaded aviation cargo, between 7 and 13 April.


Over first seven months of 43, Albemarle shuttled between Norfolk and Guantanamo Bay, Trinidad, San Juan, and Bermuda, on eight round- trip voyages. She varied this routine only slightly on the sixth and eighth of these, visiting Recite, Brazil for the first time (17 to 21 April 1943) on the sixth cruise and putting into the Canal Zone on the eighth. Her cargo included aviation gasoline and ammunition.


Upon completion of that cycle of Operations she underwent repairs and alterations at the Boston Navy Yard between 15 June and 23 July 1943, departing on the latter date for Norfolk, whence she resumed her cargo-carrying and transport run to Trinidad, Recife, San Juan and Guantanamo Bay. On this voyage, her last on this run, she brought back 27 German prisoners of war survivors of a sunken U-boat.She then sailed, via Norfolk, to Guantanamo Bay, Trinidad, the Brazilian ports of Recife and Bahia, and San Juan, ultimately making arrival back at Norfolk on 27 May for voyage repairs and upkeep. Loading cargo at the end of that period, including 29 dive bombers, Albemarle again shaped a course for North African waters, the seaplane tender making arrival at Casablanca on 20 June. After loading cargo at Bayonne (12 to 17 October), Albemarle headed south for the supply run to San Juan, Trinidad and Recife.


DANFS   DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS

US National Archives/Haze Gray & Underway



Ship's Company picture at Recife



USS Albermale underway near Norfolk, VA., 7 September 1943. The ship is loaded with aviation cargo for transportation to the British Isles. A Martin PBM Mariner flying boat is shown on her fantail.US Navy photo # 80-G204836 from the collections of the US Navy History and Heritage Command.



 

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