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The WW2 Harbor Net Tender Insignia Types and Origin


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Salvage Sailor

Just for fun, some Korean War era and Vietnam era Net Tender patches from my collection


USS NAHANT (AN-83) Cohoes class net laying ship, Japanese made


AN 83 USS NAHANT 001.jpg


AN 83 USS NAHANT 002.jpg


USS NAHANT (AN-83) Philippine made, easier to see the submarine net anti-torpedo rings in this one






USS BUTTERNUT (AN-9) Aloe class net layer, Both Japanese Made










USS COHOES (ANL-78) class leader


AN 78 USS COHOES 001.jpg



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Nelly the octopus was used on all sorts of things at the Tiburon Net Depot including menus, a newsletter, and on matchbook covers (see attached photo).  They even had a movie theater at the Depot.

Nelly_Tiburon Net Depot_matchbook_sml.jpg

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I love the info shared on this thread. Thanks everyone. I was fortunate enough to find a Type 1 this year for my collection. Even though Type 1 is the most common, they are still difficult to find.

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Salvage Sailor

After a long deep dive into the USN casualty records, Fold 3, Ancestry, and the National Archives I believe I've identified the sailor who designed this 'type 3' net tender patch at the Naval Net Depot Tiburon in 1944.


His name is Warren Bernard (Bud) WHITNEY, Carpenters Mate First Class (CM1), 4135542.  He was killed in combat according to the USN KIA database on October 28th, 1944 aboard the Net Tender USS VIBURNUM (AN-57) when she was struck by a Japanese mine at Doa Channel, Ulithi Lagoon anchorage, the major staging base for SERVRON TEN and the US fleet during the liberation of the Philippines.  He was married and his wife lived in South Pasadena, CA.


Bud Whitney was first interred at the US Military Cemetery at Guam (Guam No. 2 Cemetery, Marianas Islands) and then repatriated to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii January 14th, 1949.  (QMC Form 14, Rev. 1 AUG 45)


AN 57 USS VIBURNUM 008.jpg




WHITNEY, Warren B, CM1, 4135542, USS Viburnum (AN-57), October 28, 1944, (CasCode121) killed in combat, dd October 28, 1944 (bp3) + WHITNEY, Warren Bernard, Carpenter’s Mate 1c, USNR. Wife, Mrs. Marjorie Jane Whitney, 1208 Bank St., South Pasadena, Calif (na)


USS VIBURNUM (AN-57) Ailanthus Class Net Laying Ship: (from navsource.com)
Laid down, 9 December 1943, as (YN-76) at Pollock-Stockton Shipbuilding Co., Stockton, CA.
Redesignated a Net Laying Ship (AN-57), 1 January 1944
Launch, 26 April 1944
Commissioned USS Viburnum (AN-57), 27 June 1944, at Stockton, CA., LT. Benjamin A. Smith USNR in command
During World War II USS Viburnum was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater at Ulithi, Caroline Islands
Viburnum struck a mine. 28 October 1944, at Ulithi Atoll killing three men in the forward hold and blowing twelve men that were on deck over the side, all twelve were rescued
Returned to San Francisco, 5 June 1945


Commissioning photos of USS VIBURNUM (AN-57) at Stockton, CA LT. Benjamin A. Smith Commanding


AN 57 USS VIBURNUM 002.jpg


AN 57 USS VIBURNUM 001.jpg


AN 57 USS VIBURNUM 003.jpg


CM1 Bud Whitney is not among the plankowners of the Net Tender VIBURNUM in this crew photograph.  Shortly after this was taken, she picked up her net gear at Tiburon and was dispatched to the Pacific Theater.  Bud reported aboard on July 21st, 1944 when they were refitting at the Naval Net Depot, Tiburon, replacing a CM2 who was transferred off the ship to the depot.  Source:  Report of Changes, USS VIBURNUM (AN-57) 23 July 1944 date of sailing from Tiburon, CA to San Pedro, CA.


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Salvage Sailor

The mining of the USS VIBURNUM (AN-57) on October 28th, 1944 (note: She was not sunk, but was heavily damaged)


After shakedown out of the Naval Net Depot, Tiburon Bay, Calif., and post-shakedown repairs and alterations at Long Beach, Viburnum departed Treasure Island, San Francisco, Calif., on 15 August, bound for Pearl Harbor with two high-speed sled targets in tow. The net-layer reached Pearl Harbor on 27 August, delivered her tows, and subsequently pushed on for Majuro, in the Marshall Islands, where she arrived on 15 September. Assigned to Service Squadron 10, Viburnum shifted to Ulithi, in the Carolines, soon thereafter.


On 28 October 1944, Viburnum was tending the net installation at Doa Channel, Ulithi. Late that morning, she picked up a net section from the depot ship Tuscana (AKN-3) and proceeded to stretch a double net section early in the afternoon. At 1457, a sudden, violent explosion blew the port side of the forecastle deck upward, and the ship's commanding officer, Lt. Smith, ordered all hands to stand by to abandon ship. The blast had killed CM1c Warren B. Whitney, O-1, USNR,  and blown others over the side. All but two of the latter were swiftly rescued by a boat from the general-stores-issue ship Volans (AKS-9). Arapahoe (ATF-68) came alongside Viburnum at 1550, joined shortly thereafter by Zuni (ATF-95) ; the latter consequently moored the stricken net-layer alongside the destroyer tender Dixie (AD-14) for a thorough check of the damage. Ultimately, CM1c Robert G. Bell, SV6, USNR, and S1c William W. Reddick, two men listed as missing-in-action, were determined to have been killed.


AN 57 USS VIBURNUM 004.jpg


AN 57 USS VIBURNUM 005.jpg



The ensuing investigation revealed that a Japanese submarine mine had blown a hole in the starboard side of the ship extending 10 frames' length (from frame 10 to frame 20) and to a point within five feet of the main deck. The explosion had broken the keel, and the hole extended about eight feet up from the keel on the port side. In ensuing days, and a work crew from the battle damage repair ship Nestor  (ARB-6) cleared away the wreckage.  From November 1944 to January 1945, Viburnum received repairs from Jason (ARH-1) and Vestal (AR-4) before she was docked in AFDL-32 and repaired enough to resume active operations about 9 February 1945.


AN 57 USS VIBURNUM 006.jpg


AN 57 USS VIBURNUM 007.jpg


(Note the Fleet Tug USS ZUNI ATF-95 alongside in this photo rendering rescue and salvage services)


Viburnum remained at Ulithi, performing limited harbor work in a protected harbor into the spring of 1945. She sailed for the west coast of the United States on 9 May, stopped briefly at Pearl Harbor en route, and arrived at San Francisco on 5 June. Due to the heavy workload on west coast yards for repairs to damaged combatant vessels, the Navy did not desire full restoration of Viburnum. Accordingly, the net-laying ship was decommissioned and placed in an "in-service" status on 12 July 1945.


Source: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS), Naval History and Heritage Command 

Photos from navsource.com


USS Viburnum (AN-57) being temporarily patched in USS ARDL-32 in preparation for the voyage back to San Francisco for permanent repairs. Structural support for main the deck are shown in this photo. USS Viburnum (AN-57), a wooden hull ship, struck a contact mine at frame 12 starboard on 28 October 1944. The explosion tore a hole in the shell between frames 6 and 17 starboard and from the keel to the second deck side longitudinal, tore a hole In the second deck and in the port side of the main deck The keel and planking about 3 feet to port were shattered between frames 7 and 18. The bolts pulled loose in connections between the shell and all bulkheads forward of frame 30. All spaces forward of bulkhead 30 flooded to the waterline as the ship took on a draft of 21 feet forward and 10 feet aft. After the ship was drydocked, debris and damaged planking were cleared away and temporary repairs were began. Since neither proper materials nor trained personnel were available to do the required wood repairs, it was necessary to use steel.

Source: Structural Repairs in Forward Areas During World War II, Bureau of Ships Navy Department, December, 1949,
Photo No. 82 - Looking aft at hole in starboard shell plating where the mine struck the ship
Photo No. 83 - Showing hole in main deck, port side from overhead from superstructure. Below deck level is being cleaned out before rebuilding the inside hull and then main deck structures
Photo No. 89 - Temporary mine damage repair showing connection between transverse frames and undamaged wooden hull structure
Photo No. 93 - Structural supports for main the deck are shown in this photo




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salvage...thanks for that great info! I hoped to find the harbor net tender patch on a uniform in those photos. Probably my favorite thread on the forum. The power of the forum bringing collectors, historians, and family members to bring forth knowledge to remember history. Bravo. 

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Salvage Sailor
On 5/16/2018 at 11:52 AM, ocsfollowme said:






Thanks Steve,


On a lighter note, you've once again illustrated one of the consistent errors made by many patch collectors on their displays and auction listings.


Look at the USN Miinecraft Personnel patch at upper right on the display boards........It's upside down......the cable goes DOWN into the blue seas.  It's not the sky fellow collectors.




Minecraft Personnel WRONG.jpg




Minecraft Personnel RIGHT 003.jpg


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Here is a photo of Bud Whitney, the artist who designed the Nelly patch that is shown as "Type 3" in ocsfollowme's posted message above . 

Bud Whitney.jpg

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  • 5 months later...
nice original WW2 net tender type one patch on ebay.  look for seller cubusmc.......

Some of us were already watching it ;-)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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