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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Sable (IX-81)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Yankee - Zulu - Papa
NYZP
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal


Training Aircraft Carrier:
  • Built in 1924 as SS Greater Buffalo at American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain OH.
  • Acquired for the Navy, 8 August 1942
  • Converted for Naval service as a Training Aircraft Carrier at the Erie Plant, American Shipbuilding Co., Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Commissioned USS Sable (IX-81), 8 May 1943, CDR. Warren K. Berner, in command
  • Decommissioned, 7 November 1945
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 28 November 1945
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal
  • Final Disposition, sold 25 June 1948, for scrapping in Canada, to H. H. Buncher Co., broken up for scrap 27 July 1948
    Specifications:
    Displacement 6,584 t.
    Length 535'
    Beam 58'
    Complement unknown
    Armament none
    Propulsion
    two compound reciprocating engines
    Scotch boilers
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 75Kw 120V D.C.
    three turbo-drive 100Kw 120V D.C.
    two sidewheels

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    Size Image Description Contributed
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    Commercial Service
    Sable 113k SS Greater Buffalo underway on the Great Lakes prior to World War II.
    Photos courtesy of University of Detroit Mercy Fr. Edward J. Dowling, S.J. Marine Historical Collection.
    These photos are subject to copyright protection unless otherwise indicated. The documents may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium, provided it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. The source of the material, the University of Detroit Mercy Fr. Edward J. Dowling, S.J. Marine Historical Collection, must be identified and the copyright status acknowledged.
    Robert Hurst.
    Sable 138k
    Sable 115k
    Sable 245k Post card image of the steamer SS Greater Buffalo. Post card caption reads "NEW STEAMERS GREATER DETROIT - GREATER BUFFALO The two largest steamers of their type in the world, each having 26 parlors with bath; 130 staterooms with toilets; automobile capacity, 125; 650 staterooms; crew of 300 including officers. The cost of these leviathans of the Great lakes is approximately $7,000,000." Tommy Trampp
    Sable 79k Post card image of the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company sidewheel excursion steamer SS Greater Buffalo underway.
    Photo from Western New York Heritage Press.
    Robert Hurst
    Sable 63k The steamer SS Greater Buffalo prior to WWII. Haze Gray & Underway web site
    Sable 92k The sidewheel excursion steamer SS Greater Buffalo getting underway in 1941, location unknown. Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company side-wheel excursion steamer.
    Photo from Western New York Heritage Press.
    Robert Hurst
    Sable 167k Advertisement for Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Companys' side-wheel excursion steamers SS Greater Detroit and SS Greater Buffalo. During World War II Greater Buffalo was converted for Naval service as a Training Aircraft Carrier and renamed USS Sable (IX-81). Tommy Trampp
    Sable 72k SS Greater Buffalo and SS Greater Detroit cabin diagram. Tommy Trampp
    USS Sable (IX-81)
    Sable 399k USS Sable (IX-81) underway, in the Great Lakes, circa 1943-45.
    US Navy photo. Photo and text from "Aircraft Carriers of The World, 1914 to the Present: An Illustrated Encyclopedia" by Roger Chesneau.
    Robert Hurst
    Sable 114k A General Motors FM-2 "Wildcat" fighter upended after a barrier crash on board USS Sable (IX-81), during pilot training in the Great Lakes, May 1945. Another FM-2 is flying past in top center.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-354753, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    US Naval Historical Center
    Wolverine 60k USS Sable (IX-81) and USS Wolverine (IX-64) moored at Chicago, IL. date unknown. Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Wolverine 43k USS Sable (IX-81) underway in Lake Michigan, date unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Robert Hurst
    Wolverine 696k USS Sable (IX-81) underway in Lake Michigan, date unknown.
    US Navy photo. Photo and text from "Aircraft Carriers of The World, 1914 to the Present: An Illustrated Encyclopedia" by Roger Chesneau.
    Robert Hurst
    Wolverine 55k USS Sable (IX-81) at anchor in Lake Michigan, date unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Robert Hurst
    Wolverine 2027k USS Sable (IX-81) and USS Wolverine (IX-64) newspaper articles. Ron Reeves
    Sable 51k A Naval Aircraft Factory TDN-1 assault drone taxies on the flight deck of USS Sable (IX-81) while a second TDN-1 sits parked by the carrier's island, date unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Sable (IX-81)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Berner, Warren Kenneth8 May 1943 - 1943
    02CDR. Schoech, William Alton :VADM1943 - March 1944
    03CDR. Craig, Kenneth (NMN) USN (26)March 1944 - October 1944
    04CDR. Ashford Jr., William Henry :RADM? - 18 October 1944 - 7 November 1945

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Warbird Information Exchange - USS Sable and Wolverine
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Ship Type Index Back To The Miscellaneous Ship (IX) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 17 May 2013