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Berkshire

A county in Massachusetts, named for an English county located in England's Thames River valley.

(ScStr: dp. 2,300; l. 422.4', b. 50.6'; dr. 10'1"; s. 14 mph.; cpl. 86)

Berkshire (SP-1578)--a screw steamer built in 1881 at Philadelphia by William Cramp & Sons--was chartered by the Navy from the Merchants and Miners Line, Baltimore, Md., on 1 April 1918 and commissioned at Philadelphia on 24 April 1918, Lt. Clarence C. Jones, USNRF, in command.


Assigned to the 3d Naval District, Berkshire conducted minesweeping training in Long Island Sound for U.S. Navy sailors and for men of the Emergency Fleet Corporation. That service lasted until 22 March 1919 at which time she was simultaneously decommissioned and returned to her owner. Her name was struck from the Navy list that same day.

Raymond A. Mann


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On 23 August 1942, the name Berkshire was assigned to APR 2, one of 11 projected “rescue transports” intended to accompany transatlantic convoys to pick up survivors of any vessels sunk by U boats. That class of ship, however, was cancelled on 12 March 1943 before any keels were laid. Accordingly, the name Berkshire was struck from the Navy list on 27 March 1943.

Robert J. Cressman



15 February 2006