Amenities ship

An amenities ship is a ship outfitted with recreational facilities as part of a mobile naval base. Amenities ships included movie theaters and canteens staffed by mercantile crews of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary service. These ships were intended to provide a place where British Pacific Fleet personnel could relax between operations.[1]

Background

As the Royal Navy prepared for operations in the Pacific Ocean during the final stage of World War II, it was recognized warships would be operating far from base facilities. Mobile naval base facilities were prepared for remote Pacific harbors without shore facilities. Each mobile base would include repair ships and depot ships to provide maintenance and personnel services for flotillas of small ships like destroyers, submarines, minesweepers, and landing craft. Base ships were outfitted with offices to provide administrative and communications services for efficient refueling and resupply of ships using the base, and accommodation ships provided living quarters for base staff and personnel awaiting transfer.[1]

Description

Amenities ships were expected to provide an alternative to shore leave in remote locations without commercial recreation facilities. Two former minelayers, HMS Agamemnon and Menestheus were converted to amenities ships after the Northern Barrage was completed.[1] These 7,500-ton ships were former Blue Funnel Liners launched in 1929 and initially converted to auxiliary minelayers. They underwent further conversion at Vancouver in 1944 including installation of a brewery to make beer for shipboard consumption. These ships had been painted grey for service as North Atlantic minelayers, but were repainted white for service in the western Pacific.[2] The war ended before they were used in their intended role as amenities ships.[3]

References

  1. ^ a b c Lenton, H.T.; Colledge, J.J. (1968). British and Dominion Warships of World War II. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company. pp. 333&355.
  2. ^ "ROYAL NAVY AMENITY SHIP MV MENESTHEUS - THE FLOATING BREWERY". Colonial Film. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  3. ^ Mason, Geoffrey B. "HMS AGAMEMNON - mercantile conversion, Auxiliary Minelayer". Service Histories of Royal Navy Warships in World War 2. edited by Gordon Smith. naval-history.net. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
Ammunition ship

An ammunition ship is an auxiliary ship specially configured to carry ammunition, usually for naval ships and aircraft. An ammunition ship′s cargo handling systems, designed with extreme safety in mind, include ammunition hoists with airlocks between decks, and mechanisms for flooding entire compartments with sea water in case of emergencies. Ammunition ships most often deliver their cargo to other ships using underway replenishment, using both connected replenishment and vertical replenishment. To a lesser extent, they transport ammunition from one shore-based weapons station to another.

Coastal minesweeper

Coastal minesweeper is a term used by the United States Navy to indicate a minesweeper intended for coastal use as opposed to participating in fleet operations at sea.

Because of its small size—usually less than 100 feet in length—and construction—wood as opposed to steel—and slow speed—usually about 9 or 10 knots—the coastal minesweeper was considered too fragile and slow to operate on the high seas with the fleet.

Minesweeping, in conjunction with fleet activities, was usually relegated to the diesel-driven steel-hulled AM-type minesweepers, later to be replaced by the wood-hulled MSO-type minesweeper with aluminum engines.

Coastal submarine

A coastal submarine or littoral submarine is a small, maneuverable submarine with shallow draft well suited to navigation of coastal channels and harbors. Although size is not precisely defined, coastal submarines are larger than midget submarines, but smaller than sea-going submarines designed for longer patrols on the open ocean. Space limitations aboard coastal submarines restrict fuel availability for distant travel, food availability for extended patrol duration, and number of weapons carried. Within those limitations, however, coastal submarines may be able to reach areas inaccessible to larger submarines, and be more difficult to detect.

Combat stores ship

Combat stores ships, or storeships, were originally a designation given to ships in the Age of Sail and immediately afterward that navies used to stow supplies and other goods for naval purposes. Today, the United States Navy and the Royal Navy operate modern combat store ships. The Sirius and Mars classes (for the US) and the Fort Rosalie and Fort Victoria classes (for the UK) provide supplies, including frozen, chilled and dry provisions, and propulsion and aviation fuel to combatant ships that are at sea for extended periods of time. Storeships should not be confused with fast combat support ships or tenders.

Destroyer tender

A destroyer tender, or destroyer depot ship in British English, is an auxiliary ship designed to provide maintenance support to a flotilla of destroyers or other small warships. The use of this class has faded from its peak in the first half of the 20th century as the roles of small combatants have evolved (in conjunction with technological advances in propulsion reliability and efficiency).

General stores issue ship

General stores issue ship is a type of ship used by the United States Navy during World War II and for some time afterwards.

The task of the general stores issue ship was to sail into non-combat, or rear, areas and disburse general stores, such as canned goods, toilet paper, office supplies, etc., to ships and stations.

Guard ship

A guard ship is a warship assigned as a stationary guard in a port or harbour, as opposed to a coastal patrol boat which serves its protective role at sea.

HMS Agamemnon (M10)

MV Agamemnon was a cargo liner launched in 1929 for the Blue Funnel Line between United Kingdom ports and the Far East. She was requisitioned by the Royal Navy for conversion to the auxiliary minelayer HMS Agamemnon. She joined the 1st Minelaying Squadron based at Kyle of Lochalsh (port ZA) laying mines for the World War II Northern Barrage. When minelaying was completed in October 1943, she was retained for conversion to an amenities ship as part of a mobile naval base for British Pacific Fleet warships. She underwent further conversion at Vancouver in 1944 including installation of a movie theater and canteen to be staffed by mercantile crews of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary service. Conversion was incomplete when hostilities with Japan ended, and she was returned to Blue Funnel Line in 1946.

HMS Menestheus

MV Menestheus was a Blue Funnel Liner launched in 1929. She was requisitioned by the Royal Navy for conversion to the auxiliary minelayer HMS Menestheus. She joined the 1st Minelaying Squadron based at Kyle of Lochalsh (port ZA) laying mines for the World War II Northern Barrage. When minelaying was completed in October 1943, she was retained for conversion to an amenities ship as part of a mobile naval base for British Pacific Fleet warships. She underwent further conversion at Vancouver in 1944 including installation of a movie theater and canteen staffed by mercantile crews of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary service. Conversion included a brewery to make beer for shipboard consumption. The ship had been painted grey for service in the North Atlantic, but was repainted white for service in the western Pacific. Conversion was incomplete when hostilities with Japan ended, and she was returned to Blue Funnel Line in 1946.

Light aircraft carrier

A light aircraft carrier, or light fleet carrier, is an aircraft carrier that is smaller than the standard carriers of a navy. The precise definition of the type varies by country; light carriers typically have a complement of aircraft only one-half to two-thirds the size of a full-sized fleet carrier. A light carrier was similar in concept to an escort carrier in most respects, however light carriers were intended for higher speeds to be deployed alongside fleet carriers, while escort carriers usually defended convoys and provided air support during amphibious operations.

Merchant raider

Merchant raiders are armed commerce raiding ships that disguise themselves as non-combatant merchant vessels.

Mine countermeasures vessel

A mine countermeasures vessel or MCMV is a type of naval ship designed for the location of and destruction of naval mines which combines the role of a minesweeper and minehunter in one hull. The term MCMV is also applied collectively to minehunters and minesweepers.

Minehunter

A minehunter is a naval vessel that seeks, detects, and destroys individual naval mines. Minesweepers, on the other hand, clear mined areas as a whole, without prior detection of mines. A vessel that combines both of these roles is known as a mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV).

Motor Gun Boat

Motor Gun Boat (MGB) was a Royal Navy term for a small military vessel of the Second World War. Such boats were physically similar to Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs), equipped instead with a mix of guns instead of torpedoes. Their small size and high speed made them difficult targets for E-boats or torpedo bombers, but they were particularly vulnerable to mines and heavy weather. The large number of guns meant the crew was relatively large, numbering as high as thirty men.

Net laying ship

A net laying ship, also known as a net layer, net tender, gate ship or boom defence vessel was a type of small auxiliary ship.

A net layer's primary function was to lay and maintain steel anti-torpedo or anti-submarine nets. Nets could be laid around an individual ship at anchor, or around harbors or other anchorages. Net laying was potentially dangerous work, and net laying seamen were experts at dealing with blocks, tackles, knots and splicing. As World War II progressed, net layers were pressed into a variety of additional roles including salvage, troop and cargo transport, buoy maintenance, and service as tugboats.

Ocean boarding vessel

Ocean boarding vessels (OBVs) were merchant ships taken over by the Royal Navy for the purpose of enforcing wartime blockades by intercepting and boarding foreign vessels.

Repair ship

A repair ship is a naval auxiliary ship designed to provide maintenance support to warships. Repair ships provide similar services to destroyer, submarine and seaplane tenders or depot ships, but may offer a broader range of repair capability including equipment and personnel for repair of more significant machinery failures or battle damage.

Shin'yō-class suicide motorboat

The Shinyo (震洋, Shin'yō, "Sea Quake") were Japanese suicide motorboats developed during World War II. They were part of the wider Japanese Special Attack Units program.

Submarine tender

A submarine tender is a type of depot ship that supplies and supports submarines.

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