USS Betsy Ross
Type 381 U.S. Army Supply Ship
Displacement, light 465 tons
Displacement, full load 935 tons
Gross tonnage 560
Length overall 176’
Length on waterline 171’
Draft (loaded) 10'
Propulsion 2 500hp GM V-6 diesel engines
Screws two, bronze 72” diameter
Range: 3,600 nm with 340-ton load
3,900 nm with 115-ton load
Diesel fuel 21,000 gallons
Lubricating oil 300 gallons
Fresh water 11,500 gallons
Potable water 2,000 gallons
Quarters, normal 26
Service crew, peacetime 12
Overload accommodations 52
Cargo capacity: 340 tons in 21,400 cubic feet
Cargo handling: 2 5-ton booms for forward hold,
2 5-ton and 1 15-ton booms for aft hold.
Hull material steel
Lifeboats: 1 24’ launch, 1 25-man boat, 4 15-man liferafts
The USS Betsy Ross, originally the FS-313, was built by the U.S. Army for inter-island cargo
service during World War II. The ship was built in Camden, New Jersey in 1944 by the Mathis
Shipyard and served in the Central Pacific from October 1944 to 1946. Wartime armament was
twin .50 caliber machine guns on Port and Starboard flying bridge turrets and a 40mm Gun on
the aft boat deck turret. After the war the ship continued in service with the U.S. Army as a
cargo and training vessel. The Betsy Ross was retired from U.S. Army service in 1988 and used
as a youth training ship based out of Astoria, Oregon. With the coming of the war, she was
drafted to supply isolated garrisons and outposts throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.
Her crew consisted of a mix of veterans of all ages and branches of service, a handful of retired
Navy and Coast Guard chiefs, a retired Army warrant officer and ten high-school dropouts who
were participants in the job training program (due to the ship’s use supporting military operations
the crew was exempted from the draft or recall to active service). The crew was able to have the
ships original armament (of twin .50 caliber machineguns on each bridge wing and a 40mm
cannon on the fantail) fitted to provide a measure of protection. In 1998 she undertook a
dangerous mission through horrid weather to evacuate survivors of the Air Force base in
Shemya, Alaska, which had fought a months-long guerilla campaign against Soviet occupation
troops. Some of those troops joined the crew, notably an Air Force radio repairman, two Air
Policemen and two Marine corporals, allowing the ship’s electronics to be restored to full
capacity (including a secure SATCOM radio for worldwide communication) and providing a
small detachment of ship’s troops.
A Milgov asset, the ship’s small size, fuel economy (supplemented by makeshift sails) and tight-
knit crew ensure that the USS Betsy Ross remains busy shuttling cargo and passengers
throughout the Pacific. Past missions have included dropping agents behind enemy lines in
Mexico and Alaska, relocating refugees and soldiers between the Milgov cantonments in
Monterey, California and the Pacific Northwest, survey and salvage missions into the ruins of
San Francisco Bay, fire support for amphibious raids, and transporting spare parts for submarines
and other naval stores to the US Navy facility in Hilo, Hawaii.
She would make a good asset to assign to a PC group for a GM who was running Satellite Down,
By the Rockets Red Glare or other mission in the Pacific Ocean.
Deck plans located at http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.com/~slowbell/trough27-2.htm
Developed by Chico, March 2007.