America was unprepared for the second
World War, but it came like a rainstorm moving over Hawaii, and then
back out to sea. Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor, and left the
Pacific Fleet severely crippled. Germany and Italy declared war on
the United States a few days later.
America now had the task of building
the largest Military force in it's history. As the war began,
America was suffering heavy losses of merchant shipping due to
submarine warfare. The steel shipyards were working at top capacity.
Reluctantly the Maritime Commission contracted several alternative
shipyards to build concrete barges for logistic support of the
One of these concrete barges was the
Slate. The United States Navy commissioned the Slate on May 11,
1944. The Navy renamed this ship the "USS Carmita" IX-152