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Camanche (ACM-11)
Name: USAMP Brigadier General Royal T. Frank (Army) / ACM-11, MMA-11 and Camanche (Navy)
Launched: 1942 as USAMP Brigadier General Royal T. Frank for the US Army
Acquired: by the US Navy 1944
Decommissioned: Never commissioned
Reclassified: ACM-11; reclassified MMA-11, 7 February 1955; Renamed Camanche 1 May 1955 while in Atlantic Reserve Fleet
Fate: Transferred to Atlantic Reserve Fleet on acquisition from Army in 1944
Status: Sold commercial, 1948 to become Pilgrim and later the Cape Cod.
General characteristics
Class & type: ACM-11 class auxiliary minelayer
Displacement: 1,300 long tons (1,321 t) full
Length: 189 ft (58 m)
Beam: 37 ft (11 m)
Draft: 12 ft (3.7 m)
Propulsion: Two Combustion Engineering header type boilers, two 1,200shp Skinner Unaflow reciprocating engines, no reduction gear, two shafts.
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)

Camanche (ACM-11/MMA-11) was the name given in 1955 to the former U.S. Army Mine Planter (USAMP) Brigadier General Royal T. Frank (MP-12) while in naval inactive reserve more than ten years after acquisition of the ship by Navy from the Army in 1944. The ship had previously been classified by the Navy as an Auxiliary Mine Layer (ACM) and then Minelayer, Auxiliary (MMA).[1] The ship was never commissioned by Navy and thus never bore the "USS" prefix.[2]


The ship was laid down as Hull Number 485[3] and launched in 1942 by Marietta Manufacturing Co., Point Pleasant, West Virginia for the U.S. Army Mine Planter Service as the USAMP Brigadier General Royal T. Frank (MP-12). She was the second Army mine planter named for the Civil War era officer with the fist, built 1909,[4] being converted to an inter island transport in Hawaii operating as the U.S.A.T. Royal T. Frank which was sunk by torpedo from the Japanese submarine I-171 on 9 January 1942 while carrying Army recruits with the loss of thirty-three lives.[5][6]

U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps Service

The Frank's embarked crew was, in Army terminology implemented November 1942, designated the 19th Coast Artillery Mine Planter Battery stationed at Fort Miles, Delaware.[7] The 19th Coast Artillery Mine Planter Battery was activated 28 November 1942 at Fort Hancock, New York and was directed to Point Pleasant, West Virginia to man the USAMP Brigadier General Royal T. Frank (MP-12) which on 1 April 1943 was assigned to Fort Miles guarding the entrance to Delaware Bay.[8] There the ship and battery joined the 12th Coast Artillery Mine Planter Battery embarked in USAMP 1st Lt. William G. Sylvester (MP-5) for the maintenance of the mine fields which during that year were being changed from the M3 Buoyant Mines to 455 mines of the much more powerful M4 Ground Mine type carrying a 3000 pound TNT charge planted in thirty-five groups of thirteen mines each.[7]

The ship's cable capability was to be used not only to maintain the mine control cables but the three hydrphone sets and the indicator loops acting as sensors in the approaches to the mine field.[8][9]

Inactive Naval Service

Upon acquisition in 1944 the Navy renamed the Auxiliary Mine Layer ACM-11 and, upon reclassification to Minelayer, Auxiliary on 7 February 1955, MMA-11. On 1 May 1955 the name Camanche was given the vessel.[10][11] The name had previously been used for an 1863/1864 monitor.[12] As the lead ship of the second group of Army mine planters transferred to Navy the ship gave its name to the Camanche-class auxiliary mine layers that, with the single exception of the Miantonomah (ACM-13/MMA-13), were immediately placed in reserve and never commissioned, converted or deployed.[13] The ship was sold in 1948 to become the Pilgrim and later the Cape Cod.[14]


  1. Naval Vessel Register. "US NAVY INACTIVE CLASSIFICATION SYMBOLS". Naval Vessel Register. U.S. Navy. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  2. "Ship Naming in the United States Navy". Naval History & Heritage Command. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  3. Marietta Manufacturing Company (8 January 1943). "The Brig. General Royal T. Frank (MP-12) Ship Underway (photo)". Marietta Manufacturing Company Records. Digital Collections, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  4. R. Jackson. "Coast Artillery Corps-Army Mine Planter Service". Army Ships-The Ghost Fleet. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  5. Burritt, Ida Calhoun. "U.S. A. T. Royal T. Frank Requiescat in Pace (with photo)". Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  6. Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp. "HIJMS Submarine I-171: Tabular Record of Movement". SENSUIKAN!. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Principle Armament – Mine Field". Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Army (report) (18 Jul 1944). "Philadelphia Defense Sector". Fort Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  9. Chip Calamaio. "UNITED STATES HARBOR DEFENCES – USCG CABLE SHIP PEQUOT". Indicator Loops. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  10. Naval History and Heritage Command. "Camanche". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  11. "Camanche (MMA 11) ex-ACM-11 ex-USAMP Brigadier General Royal T. Frank (MP 12)". NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  12. Naval History and Heritage Command. "Camanche (monitor)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  13. R. Jackson. "Navy Auxiliary Mine Layer (ACM) Notes". Coast Artillery Corps-Army Mine Planter Service. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  14. T. Colton. "U.S. Army Mine Craft". Shipbuilding History. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 

External links

See also

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