Concept art/first panel of The Wayfarers. Ever wonder what a Navy does with it’s undesirables, screw ups and incorrigibles? They get sent here! This seaplane tender is stationed at the most remote outpost on the planet where they can do the least harm… except to each other. Basically it’s Red Skirts, my Star Trek comedy, set in a fictional late 1930s South Pacific world.

The Seaplane Tender Destroyer (AVD) though, is not a work of fiction. In the late 1930s the US converted a dozen obsolete WWI-era “four piper” Clemson-class destroyers to seaplane tenders by removing a pair of stacks and boiler, adding some new spaces and a crane. Their armament was stripped down and replaced with a few .50 machine guns a 3″ dual-purpose gun for air defense. Despite the modifications they could still do 27 knots. Some where sent to the Asiatic Fleet, where like this one, they were essentially put out to pasture like the rest of that particular fleet.

This ship, which will either be named for Cattle Egret or Blue-Footed Booby, is based on those and is intended to mimic a pre-war configuration. Good examples of this are the waterline portholes that have yet to be covered over and simple mast. She also sports a highly visible national insignia on her hull, for the Republic of Columbia. Unlike her real world counterparts, she’s managed to keep her WWI-era 5″51 caliber deck gun for self-defense and intimidating locals. This AVD acts as the mother ship for Allison’s Catalina flying boat and a few others in her detachment of Patrol Squadron No. 83, “The Wayfarers.”