Achelous class repair ship
The "Achelous" class repair ship was a class of ship built by the
US Navyduring World War Two.
USgained experience in amphibious operations, it was realized that some sort of mobile repair facility would be useful for repairing the damage that frequently occurred to smaller vessels such as LCVP's (Landing Craft Vehicle/Personnel). The Auxiliary Repair Light (ARL) ship was designed to meet this need, and the "Achelous" class was the only class to receive this designation.
"Achelous" class vessels were based on the same hull as LST's (
Landing Ship, Tank) which at the time were being produced in large numbers. This hull was thought to be ideal for a ship specializing in the repair of light craft, since it was not overly large and had a shallow draught which would enable it to maneouvre into small harbours, rivers and inlets where it could service damaged boats and effect other repairs on location.
The conversion from an LST to an "Achelous" class ARL was done mainly by converting the large interior
tankdeck into a number of different shops and storerooms. Two large cargo booms were added forward, and a large 60 ton A frame boom added amidships. The wheelhouse/chart room deck was expanded, and a conning tower added.
The ship's company consisted of the usual LST crew of deck, engineering and communications departments but in addition it had a supply department, plus a repair department consisting of machinery and engine repair, carpentry, electronics repair, and hull repair divisions, giving a ship's complement of approximately 250 officers and men in total.
During World War II, the "Achelous" class vessels worked mostly on repairing damaged landing craft, but many continued in service after the war, working again on landing craft during the
Korean Warand on river craft during the Vietnam War.
In all, 39 "Achelous" class repair ships were built between 1943 and 1945.
* [http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/19/19idx.htm What is an ARL?] - Navsource Online.
* [http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/ships-ar.html Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1940-1945]
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