Tuesday, October 22, 2019
USS Vulcan (AR-5)-- Part 1: The Battle of the Atlantic Before U.S. Entry Into the War
In the last post, I mentioned that when the USS Fulton (AS-11) submarine tender was decommissioned in 1991, it was the third oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy after the Constitution (commissioned in 1797) and the USS Vulcan (AR-5).
I knew about the Constitution, but not the Vulcan and had not posted about it. Turns out, the Vulcan had quite the long and varied career.
The USS Vulcan (AR-5) was the lead ship of her class of repair ships in the U.S. Navy. It was laid down on 16 December 1939 and launched 14 December 1940,commissioned 14 June 1941.
It was 530 feet long, had a 73.4 foot beam and crew of 1,297. Armed with four 5-inch guns and four .5 inch machine guns.
She was assigned to the Atlantic fleet. In July 1941, at the request of the Icelandic government, U.S. troops had occupied the island. Two bases were established at Reykjavik and Havalfjorour, which became known in Navy circles as "Rinky Dink" and "Valley Forge."
The Allies feared that the German battleship Tirpitz might break ot into the North Atlantic as her sister battleship Bismarck had done in the spring of 1941, the U.S. dispatched a task force to Iceland which included the aircraft carrier Wasp (CV-7) USS Mississippi (BB-41), USS Wichita (CA-45) and Vulcan along with four destroyers.
A German U-boat spotted them but couldn't keep up and the task force arrive at "Valley Forge." on 29 September 1941.
Remember, the U.S. Was Not Yet at War. --GreGen