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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Sable

 

A weasel-like mammal of northern Europe and Asia, related to the marten and valued for its glossy, dark fur.

 

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(Barge: tonnage 602; 1ength 76'; beam 27'4"; draft 11')

 

On 14 November 1918, three days after the Armistice ended hostilities in World War I, the Navy inspected the wooden-hulled, non-self propelled barge Sable, built by Harry Cossey at Tottenville, N.Y., and owned by B. McLain Transportation Line, Inc., of Broadway, N. J., for potential service as a harbor coal barge. Although assigned the identification number (Id.No.) 3659, Sable was never acquired.

 

I

 

(IX-81: displacement 6,564; 1ength 535'; beam 58')

 

The War Shipping Administration acquired the steel-hulled sidewheel Great Lakes excursion steamer Greater Buffalo -- built in 1924 by the American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, Ohio -- for the Navy from the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Co., of Detroit, Mich., on 7 August 1942. Earmarked for use as an aircraft training vessel and gave her the "miscellaneous" classification IX-81, Greater Buffalo was renamed Sable on 19 September 1942. Converted at the Erie Plant of the American Shipbuilding Co., Buffalo, N. Y.; Sable was commissioned on 8 May 1943, Capt. Warren K. Berner in command.

 

Fitted with a lengthier deck than Wolverine (IX-64), the ship that had pioneered the operation of sidewheel carriers on the Great Lakes, Sable departed Buffalo on 22 May 1943 and reached Chicago, Ill., her assigned home port, on 26 May 1943. She logged her first landing on 28 May 1943. Assigned to the 9th Naval District on 1 June 1943, she qualified pilots for carrier landings through the end of hostilities with the Axis.

Decommissioned on 7 November 1945,
Sable was stricken from the list of ships on the Navy Register on 28 November 1945. Sold by the Maritime Commission to H. H. Buncher Co., Pittsburgh, Pa., on 7 July 1948, as a scrap hull, she was reported as "disposed of" on 27 July 1948.
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Corrected and revised, Robert J. Cressman, 2 April 2007