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Suisun Bay Mothball Fleet Article


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#1 fordmustanggt_350

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 09:10 AM

Due to the other articles and the fact that the USS Iowa is trying to be preserved I thought this article might be of interest. This is I believe a San Francisco Chronicle reporter who, illegally, visited the different ships of the mothball fleet. Interesting article and great photos!
Kevin

http://scotthaefner....et-ghost-ships/

#2 gwb123

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:01 PM

Interesting article... one wonders if these would ever be used again, especially considering the time and cost of refurbishing them.

#3 Dave

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:15 PM

Wow - cool article! I work only a couple miles from there...I should take a trip down to the shore sometime to see them...

Dave

#4 Teamski

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:41 PM

Some beautiful photos for sure! I always remember looking out into Suisun Bay as I drove past the ships....

-SKi

#5 Bob Hudson

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:59 PM

I always got a kick out of seeing the fleet when driving by Suisun Bay - I tried to imagine how it looked when there were a few hundred ships moored out there.

When I was kid there was a huge reserve fleet in San Diego and you could see it when driving along old Highway 101:

sdmothball1.jpg

I tried to find a photo online of Suisun Bay in its heyday, but everything I find shows just a relatively few ships:

suisun.jpg

#6 fordmustanggt_350

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 07:18 AM

Wow that would have been amazing to see that in San Diego! I suspose they met the same fate and eventually just cut apart for scrap.


I always got a kick out of seeing the fleet when driving by Suisun Bay - I tried to imagine how it looked when there were a few hundred ships moored out there.

When I was kid there was a huge reserve fleet in San Diego and you could see it when driving along old Highway 101:

sdmothball1.jpg

I tried to find a photo online of Suisun Bay in its heyday, but everything I find shows just a relatively few ships:

suisun.jpg



#7 Bob Hudson

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 07:23 AM

Wow that would have been amazing to see that in San Diego! I suspose they met the same fate and eventually just cut apart for scrap.


We sold a lot of those to foreign navies including many in South America: I used to joke that they then used them to seize San Diego-based tuna boats.

#8 67Rally

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:31 AM

Having done this very thing when I was active duty at Bremerton, I can say that it is quite amazing to walk through history like this. I spent time in 1990 aboard the Oriskany, Bon Homme Richard and the Hornet, walking the decks, ready rooms, state rooms, etc. My buddy and I removed a DRT (dead-reckoning tracer) from The Oriskany and hauled it down 6 decks to the pier. We brought it back for use on the Camden (sadly, the Oriskany's was in far better shape than ours).

When I was a kid, I remember seeing what was left of the massive reserve fleet in the Port of Tacoma. Although most of these were gone, there were a handful left in the early 70s:

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#9 67Rally

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:32 AM

By the mid-70s, the fleet was gone. All that remained were some MSOs at the Naval Reserve Center (that is now long gone):
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I highly recommend Warship Boneyards for those who enjoy learning about the legacy of these ships long gone...and how the Navy managed them after their service lives had concluded:
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#10 willysmb44

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 06:15 PM

Thanks for posting that original link.
Iím not a big fan of Naval stuff but I feel an odd sense of melancholy around ships whoís day has passed. I donít feel it around airplanes, tanks or anything else. Old ships past their prime as really sad to me for some reason (that, and anything railroad-related that is abandoned, but thatís another topic). When I was stationed at Aberdeen, I used to go up to Philly every now and then and would look over the USS Olympia and would also drive into the former Naval yard, which had plenty of ships still there (including the Iowa, I drove right past the ďdo not passĒ signs and right up to the gangplank once but lacked the guts to walk on board. I really wish I had, now. It was sad to see some of these warships, knowing most of them would be razor blades eventually. The SS United States along Pennís Landing is even more sad, a massive cruise ship you can literally see from miles away, slowly rotting away.
Iíve gone to Bremerton plenty of times, but you canít really see much there other than the two nearest carriers sitting there waiting for a reprieve that will likely never come. The Independence, Constellation and Ranger are all sitting there with other smaller ships. They used to do tours of these ships, but havenít since Iíve lived here.
Iíve reading an old Clive Cussler book right now called, ďVixen 03Ē where the Iowa was sold for scrap, gutted and then sailed up the Potomac by terrorists to shell Washington DC. Itís hard not to laugh at the premise as people such as ourselves and veterans of such a ship would know what was going on well in advance of such a ridiculous scheme.

#11 SlaterDoc

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 06:58 PM

While I was stationed in San Diego I had the chance to visit the mothball fleet at the 32nd St Base. A friend from boot was stationed there. I got the chance to walk a few of the decks and as an 18 yr old kid who grew up on John Wayne war movies I was awestruck. Some of those ships that were there still showed some of their scars from the war. The top picture was taken in the late 60's, but most of those ships were still there in 72. They are all gone now!
Maybe the different sense one gets around them is the soul of the ship! When men die and their blood stains the deck, I believe the ship embraces their souls as it's own. We have lost so many of our connections with our past. Those ships not only were a part of history, they created it. The people they served and saved created our very lives! It is so important for us to save the few that remain. As a veteran crew member on a WW2 ship I found a way to respect and honor the men that served on them first and then the ship itself. Ask any Navy vet how best he would wish to be remembered and he'll tell you "save my ship"! Let the children or our children walk their decks and see how I lived and how my shipmates died! Even if you can't contribute money, contribute time! Spend a Saturday scrapping a deck or painting a gun tub! You honor them best by not forgetting!

#12 tractor

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:39 PM

I know along Mare Island is the USS Crescent City. It used to be the old Golden Bear from the California Maritime academy and before that the Crescent City and before that a South American banana boat. It was one of the most decorated ships in the Navy during WWII and also shows some signs of straffing and komikaze attack. The stack has repaired holes from bullets hitting it.

#13 Doomula5000

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:27 PM

If I stand on my roof I can see them :D

#14 SlaterDoc

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 02:26 PM

I know along Mare Island is the USS Crescent City. It used to be the old Golden Bear from the California Maritime academy and before that the Crescent City and before that a South American banana boat. It was one of the most decorated ships in the Navy during WWII and also shows some signs of straffing and komikaze attack. The stack has repaired holes from bullets hitting it.


ex-USS Crescent City is now on her way to her final destination, Brownsville, TX. Another great WW2 veteran with an honored past that been discarded on the ash heap of history!

#15 SlaterDoc

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 02:27 PM

I know along Mare Island is the USS Crescent City. It used to be the old Golden Bear from the California Maritime academy and before that the Crescent City and before that a South American banana boat. It was one of the most decorated ships in the Navy during WWII and also shows some signs of straffing and komikaze attack. The stack has repaired holes from bullets hitting it.


ex-USS Crescent City is now on her way to her final destination, Brownsville, TX. Another great WW2 veteran with an honored past that been discarded on the ash heap of history!

#16 Bluehawk

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 05:24 PM

Between 1972 and 1993, I spent many a happy solitary day facing the waters around and above Benicia bay... the quiet ships of our Navy in the distance reminding me about the cost of such peace.

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