USS Hydra (AK-82)
Post conversion sister ship USAPRS Thomas F. Farrel, Jr. underway off the East Coast of the United States, 26 August 1944. US National Archives photo # 80-G-420158 RG-80-G, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
|Ordered:||as N3-M-A1 hull, MC hull 465|
|Builder:||Penn-Jersey Ship Building Co.|
|Laid down:||as MV Eben H. Linnell|
|Launched:||23 January 1943|
|Acquired:||1 January 1943|
|Commissioned:||as USS Hydra (AK-82) 25 September 1943|
|Decommissioned:||19 November 1943 transferred to Army same day|
|Out of service:||20 August 1947|
|Displacement:||1,677 t.(lt), 5,202 t.(fl)|
|Length:||269 ft 10 in (82.25 m)|
|Beam:||42 ft 6 in (12.95 m)|
|Draught:||20 ft 9 in (6.32 m)|
|Propulsion:||Diesel, single shaft, 1,300shp|
|Armament:||one 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount|
USS Hydra (AK-82), ex MV Eben H. Linnell, was an Enceladus-class cargo ship[Note 1] commissioned by the U.S. Navy for cargo service in World War II. Hydra was in naval service from 1 January through 19 November 1943 before she was transferred to the U.S. Army for conversion to the Engineer Port Repair ship Madison Jordan Manchester.
Constructed as a Maritime Commission N3-M-A1 type, initially under Maritime Commission contract by Penn-Jersey Ship Building Co., Camden, New Jersey as MV Eben H. Linnell, with the contract being transferred to Navy during construction. The ship was acquired by the Navy 1 January 1943 before launch on 23 January 1943.
The ship was converted for naval service at Bethlehem Steel, Key Highway, Baltimore, with completion on 27 May 1943. Hydra commissioned 25 September 1943, Lt. E. F. McCotter, USCGR, in command and arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, 1 October to prepare for her shakedown. For the next month she engaged in various operations, including speed trials and target runs in the Chesapeake Bay. She was loading cargo in Norfolk, Virginia upon transfer to the Army and departed in early November for Boston Harbor 5 November to begin the transfer process where she was decommissioned 19 November 1943 and transferred to the Army the same day.
Hydra was renamed by the Army as the Engineer Port Repair ship Madison Jordan Manchester after an Engineer officer killed in the war. Conversion began in the second week of December 1943 with delays plaguing the program and scheduled completion delayed until 31 March 1944. Crew training further delayed the ship. Sailing for the European Theater was not until 8 November 1944 from New York in Convoy HX 303.
The ship was returned to the Maritime Commission and arrived in the James River National Defense Reserve Fleet on 20 August 1947. There, the ship was put into use on 15 July 1985 as Fleet Service Craft (SS-27) to support maintenance of the fleet until disposal 24 May 1994. Madison Jordan Manchester was berthed at Fairfield Terminal at Baltimore, Maryland before scrapping there.
- Only USS Enceladus (AK-80) of the ten-ship Enceladus-class, composed of Maritime Commission N3-M-A1 type small cargo vessels, saw significant naval service. The other nine, except USS Hydra (AK-82), were transferred within months or days of shipyard delivery from the Navy to the Army. Hydra was transferred to the Army shortly after commissioning and trials. The Navy had assumed administration of the contracts for these ships from the Maritime Commission on 1 January 1943 during or before construction so most were only administratively Navy, including names and numbers, during construction.
- "Hydra". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- Coll, Blanche D.; Jean E. Keith; Herbert H. Rosenthal (1958). United States Army in World War II - The Corps of Engineers: Troops and Equipment - Chapter XVII - Preparing to Reconstruct Ports. U.S. Army Center Of Military History. pp. 391–416. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- T. Colton. "N-Type Coastal Cargo Ships". Merchant Ship Construction in U.S. Shipyards. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- Stephen S. Roberts. "Class: ENCELADUS (AK-80)". ShipScribe. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- Don Kindell based on research by Arnold Hague. "HX 301 through HX 358". Ships in Atlantic Convoys. Warsailors.com. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- Photo gallery of Hydra at NavSource Naval History (aka USAT Madison Jordan Manchester)