USS Valentine (AF-47)

Last updated
History
US flag 48 stars.svgUnited States
Ordered: as R1-M-AV3 hull, MC Hull 2339
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 3 February 1945
Acquired: 19 June 1945
Commissioned: 19 July 1945
Decommissioned: 6 August 1946
Struck: 8 October 1946
Identification: IMO number:  6912293
Fate: converted to fish factory ship
General characteristics
Displacement: 3,139 t.(lt) 6,240 t.(fl)
Length: 338'
Beam: 50'
Draught: 18'
Propulsion: diesel engine, single screw, 1,700 shp (1,300 kW)
Speed: 12 kts. (max)
Capacity: 2,120 long tons deadweight (DWT)
Complement: 84
Armament: one single 3 in (76 mm) dual purpose gun mount, six single 20 mm gun mounts

USS Valentine (AF-47) was an Adria stores ship acquired by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II. Her task was to carry stores, refrigerated items, and equipment to ships in the fleet, and to remote stations and staging areas.

Type R ship

The Type R ship is a United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) designation for World War II refrigerated cargo ship, also called a reefer ship. The R type ship was used in World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and the Cold War. Type R ships were used to transport perishable commodities which require temperature-controlled transportation, such as fruit, meat, fish, vegetables, dairy products and other foods. The US Maritime Commission ordered 41 new refrigerated ships for the US Navy. Because of the difficulty of building refrigerated ships only two were delivered in 1944, and just 26 were delivered in 1945 and the remainder in 1946–48. The 41 R type ships were built in four groups. Two of design types were modified type C1 ships and two were modified type C2 ships. The United Fruit Company operated many of the R type ships in World War II. The type R2-S-BV1 became the US Navy Alstede-class stores ship and the type R1-M-AV3 became the US Navy Adria-class stores ship.

World War II 1939–1945, between Axis and Allies

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Contents

Valentine was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 2339) at Beaumont, Texas, by the Pennsylvania Shipyards, Inc. Launched on 3 February 1945 and sponsored by Mrs. P. Blaschke, the ship was placed "in service" on 19 June 1945 for ferrying and departed Beaumont on 25 June, bound for Galveston, Texas. There, at the Todd-Galveston Shipyard, Inc., Valentine underwent conversion to a refrigeration ship. She was commissioned at Galveston, Texas, on 19 July 1945, Lt. John W. Perdue in command.

Beaumont, Texas City in Texas, United States

Beaumont is a city in and the county seat of Jefferson County, Texas, in the United States, within the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located in Southeast Texas on the Neches River about 85 miles (137 km) east of Houston, Beaumont had a population of 117,267 at the time of the 2010 census, making it the thirtieth-most populous city in the state of Texas.

Galveston, Texas City in Texas

Galveston is a coastal resort city and port off the southeast coast on Galveston Island and Pelican Island in the American State of Texas. The community of 209.3 square miles (542 km2), with a population of 47,743 in 2010, is the county seat of surrounding Galveston County and second-largest municipality in the county. It is also within the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area at its southern end on the northwestern coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

World War II service

After shakedown and post-shakedown availability, Valentine departed Galveston on 2 August, bound for Mobile, Alabama. She loaded her first cargo of fleet supplies there and got underway on 10 August for the Pacific Ocean. While en route, the ship received word that Japan had surrendered on 14 August 1945. Valentine transited the Panama Canal on the 16th and departed Balboa shortly after noon on the 17th for the Hawaiian Islands.

Shakedown (testing)

A shakedown is a period of testing or a trial journey undergone by a ship, aircraft or other craft and its crew before being declared operational. Statistically, a proportion of the components will fail after a relatively short period of use, and those that survive this period can be expected to last for a much longer, and more importantly, predictable life-span. For example, if a bolt has a hidden flaw introduced during manufacturing, it will not be as reliable as other bolts of the same type.

Mobile, Alabama City in Alabama, United States

Mobile is the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 as of the 2010 United States Census, making it the third most populous city in Alabama, the most populous in Mobile County, and the largest municipality on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans, Louisiana, and St. Petersburg, Florida.

Pacific Ocean Ocean between Asia and Australia in the west, the Americas in the east and Antarctica or the Southern Ocean in the south.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by the continents of Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

Post-war activity

Valentine arrived at Pearl Harbor late in the morning of 5 September, discharged her first cargo, reloaded with fleet issue supplies over the ensuing days, and sailed for Okinawa on 21 September for onward routing.

Pearl Harbor Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U.S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U.S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II.

Riding out a typhoon

Two days out of Buckner Bay, on 7 October, the barometer began to plummet; and, as Valentine's historian recorded, "all indications pointed to some pretty rough weather." Aerology reports indicated that a typhoon was passing ahead of the ship, and it was expected, initially, to go up the China coast. However, late on the 8th, the storm's course changed. In view of that development, Valentine reversed course to stay out of its center. The ship rode out the typhoon; 60-knot (110 km/h) winds drove waves and spray as high as the bridge. By the morning of the 9th, the wind and waves had calmed sufficiently to enable the ship to continue on to Okinawa. Although buffeted about in the heavy seas, Valentine had fared much better than other ships of the fleet that had been trapped at Okinawa as the center of the typhoon swirled destructively across Buckner Bay.

A barometer is a scientific instrument that is used to measure air pressure in a certain environment. Pressure tendency can forecast short term changes in the weather. Many measurements of air pressure are used within surface weather analysis to help find surface troughs, pressure systems and frontal boundaries.

Typhoon tropical cyclone that forms in the northwestern Pacific Ocean

A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops between 180° and 100°E in the Northern Hemisphere. This region is referred to as the Northwestern Pacific Basin, and is the most active tropical cyclone basin on Earth, accounting for almost one-third of the world's annual tropical cyclones. For organizational purposes, the northern Pacific Ocean is divided into three regions: the eastern, central, and western. The Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) for tropical cyclone forecasts is in Japan, with other tropical cyclone warning centers for the northwest Pacific in Hawaii, the Philippines and Hong Kong. While the RSMC names each system, the main name list itself is coordinated among 18 countries that have territories threatened by typhoons each year.

China Country in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion in 2017. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third or fourth largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Along the dangerous China coast

The refrigeration ship lingered at Buckner Bay from 1345 on the 11th to 1735 on the 12th before she got underway for the China coast. Arriving at Shanghai on the 16th, Valentine unloaded her cargo—part of which consisted of Thanksgiving dinners for American servicemen stationed at that port—before she eventually weighed anchor for Hong Kong shortly after noon on the 25th. While leaving Shanghai via a swept channel, Valentine encountered a mine that she sank with gunfire in the middle of that waterway. Later on in her voyage to the British Crown Colony, as the ship passed the southern tip of Formosa, her lookouts sighted another stray mine 50 yards (46 m) ahead; a quick course change enabled the vessel to slip by within a narrow margin before she destroyed that mine, too, with gunfire to end its threat to shipping.

Shanghai Municipality in the Peoples Republic of China

Shanghai is one of the four municipalities of the People's Republic of China. It is located on the southern estuary of the Yangtze, and the Huangpu River flows through it. With a population of 24.2 million as of 2018, it is the most populous urban area in China and the second most populous city proper in the world. Shanghai is a global center for finance, innovation, and transportation, and the Port of Shanghai is the world's busiest container port.

Thanksgiving (United States) holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November

Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It originated as a harvest festival. Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, with a proclamation by George Washington after a request by Congress. Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday, and its celebration was intermittent until the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, when Thanksgiving became a federal holiday in 1863, during the American Civil War. Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens," to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the date was changed between 1939 and 1941 amid significant controversy. From 1942 onwards, Thanksgiving has been proclaimed by Congress as being on the fourth Thursday in November. Thanksgiving is regarded as being the beginning of the fall–winter holiday season, along with Christmas and the New Year, in American culture.

Hong Kong Chinese special administrative region

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a special administrative region on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

Valentine arrived at Hong Kong at 0916 on 31 October, unloaded her cargo over the ensuing days, and sailed for home on 10 November. She arrived at San Francisco, California, on 8 December to take on another load of fleet issue supplies. All hands had hoped for a "stateside" Christmas, but this was not to be, as Valentine weighed anchor for the Far East on 22 December—three days before Christmas.

Servicing the American occupation troops in Japan

After the ship tarried at Okinawa, she was routed on to Japan, her holds laden with supplies for the American occupation forces. She touched at the Japanese ports of Sasebo, Kure, and Kobe, in succession, into late February 1946. She departed Kobe shortly before noon on 26 February and arrived back at San Francisco on 21 March. Loading cargo on a fleet issue basis, Valentine departed the west coast, one month later, on 21 April, bound again for the western Pacific.

She remained at Pearl Harbor from 30 April to 5 May before she proceeded on toward the Marshalls and arrived at Majuro on the 13th. She provided fresh and frozen provisions to ships of the fleet at Kwajalein, Roi, Bikini Atoll, Eniwetok, and Wake Island before she returned via Pearl Harbor to the west coast, arriving at San Francisco on 16 July. During her brief service career, Valentine sailed 47,770 miles (76,880 km) and delivered 6,400 tons of cargo.

Decommissioning

Decommissioned at San Francisco on 6 August 1946, Valentine was transferred to the War Shipping Administration soon thereafter. She was struck from the Navy List on 8 October 1946. Final Disposition: she was sold by the Maritime Administration in 1967 and converted to fish factory ship. She was used as a processing vessel by All Alaskan Seafoods located in Seattle, WA. and was renamed ALL ALASKAN by that company. In the late 1980s she grounded off the coast of St Matthew Island, Alaska and became a total loss. Unable to be economically refloated, she was broken up where she grounded.

Military awards and honors

Valentine's crew was eligible for the following medals:

See also

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References

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships .The entry can be found here.