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Yes, I am a fan of the X-Files, and yes . . . submarines have appeared on this blog before, like this one in Coney Island Creek. Or this one headed north in the Upper Bay. Parts of submarines have emerged on the blog like here and here. There have been fleets awaiting disassembly like here. But recently at a yard on the North Fork, I saw the object in the image below, which intrigued me. Here are some pics and then after you’ve observed the evidence and drawn some conclusions, I’ll tell you what I’ve read.
So what do you think? What is your version of this story?
Here’s Corey Kilgannon’s NYTimes story from eight years ago. Halfway through Kathleen Edgecomb’s The Day article you get a different version of the real history of the vessel. But by the time T. E. McMorrow writes this East Hampton Star article in August 2014, a whole new version of sub and owner have emerged.
Actually I don’t know the real story, and certainly have no clue of its future, since according to this BBC article, the court has blocked sale of the sub. Here’s the location of the real USS Deep Quest. Here’s a followup Emma Fitzsimmons’ article from the December 1, 2014 NYTimes. And according to this McMorrow follow-up of a few weeks ago, the sub owner is now in a federal facility, and the sub, even if it had never been so previously, is now federal property.
And the feds, they may put it up for sale. Want a toy with a “deep sea” history? Did anyone catch photos of it traversing the sixth boro back in 2007?
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
“Really random” posts tend to be far-flung, so let’s start out with this photo by Jed, who has contributed many photos recently. Then there’s JED, who has contributed photos starting from 2008. The boat dates from 1975.
From Jan Oosterboer via Fred Trooster, here’s the 1955 tug Argus along with
Orion (1961), and
Sirius (1966). It appears that Sirius–like Orion and Brendan Turecamo–also has a wheelhouse that can be raised.
For the scale of the “tow” here, scroll down and
behold–Thialf, with a combined lifting capacity of over 14,000 tons!! Click here to see the view down from Thialf’s deck AND be sure to read the comments that follow. Here are a few other heavy-lifters including Saipem 7000.
Heading back to NYC but as the South Street Seaport Museum area of the sixth boro of NYC looked in 1985, from a secret salt, it’s the 1939 USCGC WYT-93, Raritan! The two vessels around her are, of course 1885 schooner Pioneer and 1908 lightship Ambrose. Click here for a list of specifics and missions on Raritan, but one of her operations was against M/V Sarah of Radio NewYork International. M/V Sarah was eventually blown up for a movie stunt.
And rounding this post out . . . from Elizabeth, in Alameda, it’s the 1943 YT-181 Mazapeta.
In the distance is T-AKR-1001 GTS Admiral W. M. Callaghan, an MSC RORO named for a significant USN officer.
Credit for each of these photos is as attributed. Thanks to you all.
This was the tip-off photo: in the right light, the raised-metal lettering is clear. I received this photo from I.Y. last September, but never got more of the hull going abaft the US.
This one doesn’t show the lettering.
Nor does this.
So this past weekend, when I was in Greenport, I headed straight down to the water–aboard Glory, which I’ll talk more about tomorrow–and
although the light didn’t bring out more detail, the captain did. It turns out that YGs were garbage lighters, and this one had a memorable engine, although I don’t know if it’s rusty remains are still submerged. This YG was turned into a fish
processing vessel that sank at the dock and became the focus of a lawsuit.
Thanks to Ingrid Young for putting me on this search and sending the top three photos. The last three photos I took from launch Glory.
I got my spot early, and had some surprises . . . like this medium endurance cutter heading OUT to meet the fleet.
There were also these four yard patrol craft doing the same,
and this tropical architecture (!!?) under the palm-tree grove over by Fort Wadsworth. What’s going on? It’s Cuba at the Narrows.
Just before 10 a.m. the fleet was in sight coming up the Ambrose.
The YPs 704, 705, 707, and 708 led the fleet in,
DDG-55 Stout the first larger vessel in,
followed by DDG-52 Barry and
Here’s a schedule of events for the public and the fleet this week.
Enjoy your stay, all.
Here’s the index on previous second lives posts. I use “second lives” for what land folk call “adaptive reuse.” It strikes me that there may be more instances of repurposing re-design and -engineering on water than on land, but that’s may just be my opinion.
But first, I thought to call this “pre-boomed” to follow up on yesterday’s post and the wonderful backstory I got in email yesterday from William Lafferty, frequent contributor here. Here also sent along the photo below, which shows Twin Tube in 1951, i.e., before I was born and I’m 63.
Here’s part of what William wrote: “It shows the Twintube just after it entered service in fall 1951. Twintube was launched 28 August 1951, Captain Blount’s mother doing the honors, and built on Blount’s account. He used it as a travelling “demonstrator” for his shipyard’s products (it was Blount’s hull number 6) but also used it to haul oysters. Power plant originally was a rather rare 4-cylinder Harnischfeger 138-hp Diesel. (Click here for a 1950 news article including a photo of a 6-cylinder marine diesel.) Harnischfeger (the H in the mining equipment manufacturer P & H) had been set up in 1945 at Port Washington, Wisconsin, by P & H to exploit the workboat and yacht market. P & H closed the division, then at Crystal Lake, Illinois, in 1963. In spring 1952 Blount sold the vessel to the Staten Island Oil Company, who converted it to a tanker with a 40,000 gallon capacity in eight 5,000 gallon compartments within its “tubes.” The rest is, as they say, history.”
By the way, reference to “Staten Island Oil Company” brings me back to one of my favorite articles by the late great Don Sutherland here.
Here’s the index for all my previous Blount posts.
All this repurposing leads me to the second half of this post. A friend named Matt–former all-oceans sailor–is looking to write a serious history about Cross Sound Ferry vessel Cape Henlopen, ex- USS LST-510. Note the 510 still carried on its starboard bow. She was built in the great shipbuilding state of Indiana.
Here she passes Orient Point Lighthouse at the start of its 80-minute ride over to New London.
Matt is interested in interviewing past and present crew and seeing old photos of the vessel in any of its previous lives: Cape Henlopen, MV Virginia Beach, USS Buncombe County, or LST-510. If you send your interest in participating directly to my email, I’ll pass it along to Matt.
Many thanks again to William Lafferty for the Twintube story and photo. I took the photos of Cape Henlopen in March 2014. Here’s a version of the vessel by bowsprite.
If you ever visit anywhere near Savannah, an absolute must-see is the Ships of the Sea Museum in the former William Scarbrough House, later the West Broad Street School. Given that the house and collection are stunning and the staff extraordinarily welcoming, it didn’t surprise me how crowded the museum was.
Excuse the quality of my photos taken sans tripod, but let’s start with this model of a vessel that has a connection with New York City. Answer follows, but clues for now are that the vessel was built as the Denton in 1864 and you might know the whitish horizontal object to the left of the display case . . . in front of the bow of the model.
The SSM models are quite large, and many of them are the handiwork of William E. Hitchcock.
SS Savannah, e.g., is a great place to begin your tour and appreciate Hitchcock’s handiwork. This vessel–the first steamship to cross the Atlantic--was built on the land’s edge the sixth boro.
Notice the port side of Hitchcock’s model shows the paddlewheel, but
the starboard side features a cutaway to the boiers and the paddlewheel collapsed as it would be while the vessel sailed, which was most of the time.
Another of Hitchcock’s models shows a 220′ schooner as she appeared under construction.
Notice that Forest City‘s demise–as was SS Savannah’s–happened on Fire Island.
The SSM collection also includes a Hitchcock model of USS Passaic, another product of the sixth boro–Greenpoint–although many sources, including this one from wikipedia, state its shipyard as being Greenport, 120+ miles away. Greenpoint’s Continental Iron Works also built Monitor, launched the same year as Passaic.
Back to the model at the top. The vessel Denton had been renamed SS Dessoug when it delivered Cleopatra’s Needle to NYC.
This and much more awaits you at Ships of the Sea Museum. Thanks to Jed for suggesting–half a decade ago–that I go there.
These photos–warts and all-by Will Van Dorp.
Here were post 1 and post 2 with this name, both focusing on WW2 torpedo boats. PT-728 used to be based on the Rondout in Kingston and would make visits to NYC’s sixth boro, but now you’d have to go to Lake Huron for an outing.
The vessel below is PT-305 and “diminished” version of itself spent from 1947 until 1988 in the sixth boro as Captain David Jones. Does anyone remember it? Have photos of it?
I say “diminished” because to bypass certain crewing requirements, four yards plus was chopped off the stern. Click here and scroll through to see a photo of this chopped hull and NYC paint scheme.
If you’ve never visited Nola, you have to; and if you visit Nola, the World War II museum–easy to get to–is a must-do. And in one of many buildings–the Kushner Restoration Pavilion–PT-309 is returning to its former glory. Parts have been rebuilt or returned from scrap heaps and river bottoms–like these exhaust ports salvaged from a wreck in a river in Connecticut.
The plan is for a return to the water, a possible trip all the way to Boston with a stopover in the sixth boro.
PT-305–like many torpedo boats–is a Higgins product, made right in New Orleans.
And before you go, read Jerry E. Strahan’s biography of the Andrew Jackson Higgins. Click here for a Richard Campanella Times Picayune article with photos on Higgins. Here’s an excerpt, showing Higgins’ methods when he needed to get fifty small boats built and shipped to the Navy in two weeks: ”
Low on steel, he “chartered a fleet of trucks and armed plant guards,” wrote Strahan, “to persuade [a Baton Rouge] consignee to release the metal to Higgins Industries.”
Requiring bronze shafting, he sent his men to raid a Texas depot and arranged for complicit Louisiana police to placate livid Texas law enforcement as his trucks crossed the state line heading back to New Orleans. Needing more steel, Higgins begged and borrowed from a Birmingham plant, then sweet-talked Southern Railway officials into bending the rules to deliver the metal to New Orleans. “Never before or since,” wrote Strahan, “has a Southern Railway passenger train pulled freight cars.”
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
Aircraft about to land . . .
well . . yes, Philly’s airport is only a few miles to the south.
Recognize the aircraft carrier?
CV-67 has been mothballed since 2007. I’m just wondering whether there’s a tally of the number of crew who served aboard CV-67 in the almost four decades it was active.
Now . .. definitely, mothballed.
Until less than a year ago, Kennedy shared waterfront space with the Forrestal. Here and here are posts from February 2014 of Forrestal leaving Philadelphia and arriving in Brownville. Has anyone seen what’s left of the Forrestal today?
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
The photo immediately below was taken in July 2011, just before I published this post from Mayport.
At that time, I’d no idea that some 40 months later I’d cross paths with the same vessel, FFG 42 Klakring here.
Here is NISMF . . . aka
. . the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in the Philadelphia Navy Yard,
where in addition to FFGs (frigates) like Klakring, there are DDs (destroyers) as shown in photo #4 and LPDs (amphibious transport docks) like USS Shreveport above and below foreground.
guided missile cruisers and
amphibious cargo ships like USS El Paso,
LKA-117. Click here for info on one of her former captains.
Last vessel for today is T-AGOR-16, USS Hayes, an oceanographic research ship.
All photos by Will Van Dorp, who suggests that if you’re in Philly, take a ride to the end of Broad Street and visit the huge business campus still known as the Navy Yard. There’s no better place to walk around!