by: Chris Hewitt [ ]
USS Kearsarge (BB-5), the lead ship of her class of battleships, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named, by act of Congress, in honor of the famous American Civil War sloop-of-war Kearsarge. Her keel was laid down by the Newport News Shipbuilding Company of Newport News, Virginia, on 30 June 1896. She was launched on 24 March 1898, sponsored by Mrs. Herbert Winslow, daughter-in-law of Captain John A. Winslow, who had commanded the sloop Kearsarge during her famous battle with Alabama, and commissioned on 20 February 1900, with Captain William M. Folger in command. Kearsarge is the only battleship in US Navy history not named for a state.
Between 1903 and 1907 Kearsarge served in the North Atlantic Fleet, and from 1907 to 1909 it sailed as part of the Great White Fleet. In 1909 it was decommissioned for modernization, which was finished in 1911 .In 1915 it served in Atlantic, and between 1916 and 1919 it served as a training ship.
In 1920 the now-obsolete battleship Kearsarge was converted to a heavy-lift crane ship, intended to provide a mobile capability to handle large guns and other massive objects. This work, carried out at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, involved stripping away the ship's superstructure and replacing it with a huge crane rated at 250-tons lifting capacity. To ensure stability, Kearsarge's hull was fitted with side blisters that increased her beam by some twenty feet. She also retained her engines and some boilers. Carried on the Navy's register of ships as "unclassified", with the designation "Crane Ship # 1", she retained her original name until November 1941, when she was formally renamed Crane Ship No. 1. She had already (in April 1939) been redesignated AB-1.
Beginning active service in her new role in the mid-1920s, Kearsarge spent much of the inter-war era on the West Coast, at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, where her work included regunning battleships. During World War II she was employed at East Coast shipyards, where she assisted in the construction of the battleships Indiana (BB-58) and Alabama (BB-60), among other chores. She was towed back to the Pacific in 1945 but came back east in 1948 to serve at the Boston Naval Shipyard. After more than three decades of unique non-combatant service, Crane Ship No. 1 was sold for scrapping in August 1955.
As with all LionRoar,standard Royal blue and black box with gold lettering , this box has quality all over it . On the top is a picture of the completed model unpainted,so the modeller knows what they are buying.On opening the box every thing is very well wrapped and very little chance of any thing been damaged.Inside every item is individually wrap in bubble wrap,there are three packages ,plus the instructions.
The first pack the Photo etching
This comes well wrapped ,with the bubble wrap going from twice and cardboard for extra strength,there are 5 sheets,3 brass and 2 steel sheets.The smallest one is to replace the brass parts in sheet C,dont know why,they look the same.All the sheets come with a plastic cover on then ,so be careful when removing,as both sides are covered and its sticky.
The second pack and third pack are the resin parts ,again well packed,all the parts very clean,only small parts to cut off from the molds,just have to be careful,no decking on the ship so it must have been removed ,when refitted to being a crane.
The instructions are excellent,there are 24 pages ,with a step by step,detailed pictures for the model,only thing missing ,no rigging details,but the pulleys are there ,so it should easy to follow were they go,will see when I build it