Casco class seaplane tender

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Class overview
General characteristics
Displacement: 2,498 tons (full load)
Length: 311 ft 8 in (95 m) o/a
300 ft (91 m) p/p
Beam: 41 ft (12 m)
Draft: 12 ft 7 in (3.84 m)
Propulsion: 4 × Fairbanks-Morse, 10-cylinder direct reversing diesels
6,080 shp
Speed: 17.3 knots (32 km/h)
Range: 20,800 nmi (38,500 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h)
10,300 nmi (19,100 km) at 17.3 kn (32 km/h)
Complement: 10 officers
2 warrant officers
77 men
Sensors and
processing systems:
SPS-23 radar
SQS-1 sonar
Armament: 1 × 5"/38 caliber gun (replaced with 5"/54 caliber in 1972)
6 × .50 caliber machine guns
2 × 90 mm (3.5 in) anti-submarine mortars

The Casco class ships were built as small seaplane tenders by the US Navy during World War II. They were designed to operate out of small harbors and atolls and had a shallow draft. The fact that the class was very seaworthy, had good habitability, and long range made them well suited to ocean-station duty. In fact, an assessment made by the Coast Guard on the suitability of these vessels for Coast Guard service noted:

"The workmanship on the vessel is generally quite superior to that observed on other vessels constructed during the war. The vessel has ample space for stores, living accommodations, ships, offices and recreational facilities. The main engine system is excellent. . . .The performance of the vessel in moderate to heavy seas is definitely superior to that of any other cutter. This vessel can be operated at higher speed without storm damage than other Coast Guard vessels."

Once they were accepted into Coast Guard service, a number of changes were made in these ships to prepare them for ocean-station duty. A balloon shelter was added aft; there were spaces devoted to oceanographic equipment and a hydrographic winch as well as an oceanographic winch were added.