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USS Chandeleur

U.S. Maritime Commission type C3-S1-B1

One of the many variations on the standard C3 design, USS Chandeleur (AV-10), was a seaplane tender, the only vessel of its type. Several earlier seaplane tenders had been constructed from converted C3 hulls, but only Chandeleur was purpose built for the task by the Maritime Commission.  The U.S. Navy designed and constructed later seaplane tenders within its own shipbuilding program.

Western Pipe and Steel Company launched Chandeleur on November 29, 1941, and the U.S. Navy commissioned it on November 19, 1942. The steam-powered, single screw, Chandeleur had a length of 492 feet and a speed of 18 knots.

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As a seaplane tender, the ship used a large crane on its stern to fish aircraft from the sea, and also had a large aft desk space used to repair aircraft. During World War II, Chandeleur served in the Pacific Theater of Operations and the seaplanes it tended participated in numerous reconnaissance and attack operations during the war, including the spotting of the Japanese battleship Yamato which resulted in its sinking by carrier-based aircraft.  In addition to operating as a seaplane tender, the ship also transported troops and cargo.  The vessel earned five battle stars for its WWII service before the U.S. Navy laid the ship up in its inactive fleet in 1947.  The U.S. Navy struck Chandeleur from the Naval Vessel Register in 1971 and scrapped it that same year.

Port view of the model, with a focus on the boat deck.
Port view of the model, with a focus on the boat deck.
View of the open work area at plane-hoisting crane.
Detailed view of the open work area at plane-hoisting crane.
View of the stern, with propeller and rudder
Detailed view of the stern, with propeller and rudder.
Forward part of the ship, including cargo booms and work boats
Detailed view of the forward part of the ship, including work boats.

(Maritime Administration Heritage Asset, Object 1981.201.0001)