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Albatross

 

The first and third ships named Albatross retained their former names. The others were named for any of the large, web-footed sea birds related

 

IV

 

(AM-71: dp. 465; 1. 132'4"; b. 24'; dr. 12'1"; s. 10 k.; cpl. 40; a. 1 3"; cl. Albatross)

 

The fourth Albatross (AM-71)—a diesel-powered trawler built for the Red Diamond Trawling Corp.—was laid down as Illinois at Bath, Maine, by the Bath Iron Works on 25 October 1930; launched on 19 March 1931; acquired by the Navy on 9 August 1940; renamed Albatross on 14 August 1940; and commissioned to petrelsat the Boston Navy Yard on 8 November 1940, Lt. Lysle E. Ellis in command.

 

Following her conversion for naval service as a minesweeper by the General Ship & Engine Works, Boston, Mass., Albatross was assigned to duty in the 5th Naval District. In early May 1941, she sailed to Bermuda, arriving at Port Royal Bay on 9 May. The ship operated in Bermuda waters until 15 August, when she got underway for Norfolk, Va. After a period of upkeep, she returned to her minesweeping activities in the Hampton Roads area. On 12 December, she set sail for Newfoundland, arriving at Argentia on 23 December 1941.

 

Albatross left that port on 4 January 1942 in company with Linnet (AM-76) to join a British convoy bound for Iceland. En route to the rendezvous, the ships encountered heavy weather which forced them to change their course; and they reached Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on 16 January. Although Albatross had sustained minor damage, she was sent to Iceland via northern Scotland, the Orkneys, Shetlands, and Faroe Islands. The minesweeper finally returned to the United States in July, when she arrived at the Boston Navy Yard. She left Boston as an escort for a convoy on 1 October and reached Greenland on 21 October. Albatross spent the remainder of the year in waters around Greenland.

 

Albatross struck an iceberg on 7 January 1943, causing minor damage. Then an ice pack formed astern of the ship, blocking the ship's path until shifting winds cleared the ice, enabling her to leave Greenland on 12 January. She touched at Newfoundland on 3 February and then proceeded on to Boston, arriving on the 8th. Albatross reached Norfolk on the llth. After a month's overhaul, she got underway for Canada. On 11 April, while operating out of Nova Scotia, Albatross was struck by another ship and suffered damage which caused her to return to Boston for a drydock period. When this was completed, the minesweeper returned to Greenland to resume her convoy duties.

 

Albatross spent the first six months of 1944 moored to the pier at Narsarssuak, Greenland, awaiting repairs to her main engine which were held up for want of spare parts. While she was thus immobilized, she provided repairs and services to other ships. On 1 June, Albatross was redesignated IX-171. When her engine was finally back in working order, she headed home and arrived at Boston on 14 July. Then the minesweeper reported to the 1st Naval District for inactivation. Stripped of her military equipment, she was decommissioned on 11 September, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 23 September 1944. Albatross was transferred to the Maritime Commission on 15 November 1944 for disposal. She then resumed the name Illinois, but no record of her subsequent career has been found.

 

__________

 

The name Albatross was assigned to AM-391 on 17 May 1945. However, on 1 November 1945, the Navy cancelled its contract with the DeFoe Shipbuilding Co., of Bay City, Mich., for the construction of the projected Admirable-class minesweeper, prior to the laying of her keel