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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!
Here was 15. The first relief crew post appeared here over seven years ago. The idea is to feature someone else’s photos and/or writing, just because so many of you see, photograph, and write such interesting stuff AND –of course–because collaboration is such powerful leaven.
All these photos today come from Birk Thomas. The event was the departure last week of CV-60 USS Saratoga–Brooklyn built–for the scrapyard. For some intriguing photos of the other end of her life, click here for this navsource site.
Signet Warhorse III is the motive force.
Not until last night did I learn that a final aircraft takeoff and landing was happening at this very moment up on her flight deck.
Warhorse . . . what a name!
Note the riding crew on the deck.
Rainbow straightens out the tow. . .
in the early minutes of the tow.
Again, many thanks to Birk Thomas for use of these photos, which not all of you have seen on Facebook.
Near the upper left corner is JFK airport and the barrier beach along the bottom is the city of Long Beach, NY. The map makes clear how much of the debris swept off the barrier beach called Long Beach went into low lying marshes waiting to float off again at any higher tide and clutter the waterways through the green areas, the marshes of southwestern Long Island . . . not far from sixth boro waters.
Here’s where the landing craft from yesterday’s post plays a role. The vessel is now called Spartina, ex-Beach Comber, Eleanor S, and 56CM 751x, one of 15 identical landing craft built in Marinette in 1977.
The beauty of a landing craft is its shallow draft . . . .
Note the debris piled near the waterway . . . by the marsh ‘uns. When the landing cart arrives for removal, it does need some water, but not that much and not a dock.
If you have waders or are willing to get your feet wet,
or if you pick the right spot in the waterway at the right tide . . .
you can haul away what you would not want floating in the channel.
Other workboats in the delta include survey boats looking for sunken boats and cars, and
various and sundy other equipment moved by the tiniest of tugs.
Can anyone identify this vessel CW 12? I haven’t been able to yet.
Here are some other Sandy Aftermath posts.
Call this hull up for action. Slater is back in the sixth boro for the first time in 17 years. Anyone have photos of her in New York waters from 1994 until 1997?
Here’s the platform where a vessel who served two nations will get “hull work” for the next nine weeks or so.
Compare this stern shot of Slater with this one of Kidd.
And so the work starts . . . with no time lost from day 1.
All photos byWill Van Dorp.