From: Georgetown, Texas, USA
I was looking around on fold3 and came across the war diary of San Clemente Island. Seems it was a little more developed then most scenarios represent. It was an operational Naval Auxiliary Air Station, with a small permanent garrison. The airfield was used primarily for training (largely drones and target tow aircraft) and also as an emergency landing field. I'd say a level one airfield for AE. Very slight port facilities, but usable by smaller ships.
But what hit me was a note of the delivery of 100+ troops by a Navy YF. YF is the symbol for a powered lighter. I'd always thought of them as small barge type craft with just enough horsepower to putt-putt across the harbor. But apparently at least one was capable of acting as a small transport, moving from San Diego to San Clemente Island.
So I started research...
The Navy YF-259 (or 257?!?) class YF was 133 feet long, diesel powered, around 650 tons full load, with a top speed of 10-11 knots and an endurance of around 2800 miles (at 6 or 7 knots). Lots of variations of data out there - some sources refering to the class as the YF-259 class and some as the YF-257 class. Cargo capacity appears to be around 250 tons, fuel around 24 tons. Looks like there were a large number of units too. Found units of this class numbers in the mid 300s. Hard to find a lot of data on Yard Craft.
Construction records that I could find (all civilian yards) referred to them as Coastal Freighters. They were slightly larger than the Army FS vessels (which are in DaBabes). Bits and pieces of data here and there indicate they sailed from San Francisco to Hawaii and one was part of a convoy that went from the West Coast to Noumea. Lots of inter-island work (all over the map!). I sometimes forget that the "Y" means "District", not "Yard".
I've always been interested in such useful small craft. Those that can take a company sized unit or a small cargo load over short distances and be expendable if lost. I think the YFs fit into that category and I'll be adding them to my personal version of DaBabes (DaZygotes). I offer this data to any other fanatics out there that might be interested.
I've also started a thread asking for art work. Maybe some kind soul will help there...
< Message edited by Don Bowen -- 9/24/2012 4:41:21 PM >