USS Silica (IX-151)

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History
United States
Name: USS Silica
Builder: Barrett & Hilp, Belair Shipyard, San Francisco, California
Laid down: 5 December 1943
Launched: 31 December 1943
Commissioned: 8 June 1944
Decommissioned: 30 November 1945
Struck: 3 January 1946
Fate: Wrecked by a typhoon, 9 October 1945
General characteristics
Class and type: Trefoil-class cargo barge
Displacement: 5,636 long tons (5,726 t)
Length: 366 ft 4 in (111.66 m)
Beam: 54 ft (16 m)
Draft: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Propulsion: None
Speed: Not self-propelled
Complement: 52 officers and men
Armament: 1 × 40 mm AA gun

USS Silica (IX-151), a Trefoil-class concrete barge designated an unclassified miscellaneous vessel, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for silica. Her keel was laid down as SS Bauxite (T. B7-D1, MC hull 1331) on 5 December 1943 by Barrett & Hilp, Belair Shipyard, San Francisco, California. She was launched on 31 December 1943 sponsored by Mrs. William O'Neill, and acquired by the Navy and commissioned on 8 June 1944 with Lieutenant Ormond A. Seavey, USNR, in command.

Service history[edit]

World War II, 1944–1945[edit]

Silica was acquired for use as a store ship to be used to provide general supplies at advance bases. She was assigned to Service Squadron 8, Service Force, Pacific Fleet. On 30 June, Gulf Star took her in tow at San Francisco and departed for Pearl Harbor, arriving on 13 July. Three days later, the barge was towed to Eniwetok. Megrez (AK-126) towed her from there to Ulithi where she remained from 16 October 1944 to 7 May 1945. Serrano (ATF-112) towed her to the Philippine Islands where she remained until August when she was towed to Okinawa.

Wrecked by a typhoon[edit]

Silica was driven aground in Buckner Bay on 9 October 1945 by Typhoon Louise. A Board of Inquiry found her damaged beyond economical repair and recommended that she be destroyed or sunk in deep water. Silica was decommissioned on 30 November 1945 and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 3 January 1946.

References[edit]