Scrapping the World War II Warships

Discussion in 'General Military' started by Cyrano, Sep 10, 2020.

  1. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    Air Force veterans can usually find examples of the airplanes they flew and serviced. Armored personnel can find examples of their tanks, self-propelled guns, and armored fighting vehicles. Infantrymen can almost always find the guns they carried in combat to buy.

    It's different for Navy vets and Merchant Mariners. The ships we sailed in are rarely preserved. Most of them serve out their designed lifespans and are laid up for awhile, then scrapped with little to no notice taken by either the government or the lamestream media. Hence, jokes like the early Ohio-class boomers being turned into first-class razor blades.

    This article explains how the warships that the Greatest Generation used to fight their war were scrapped, immediately after the war and later. To me as a seafarer, it is sad and yet somehow fascinating, like watching an autopsy. It's worth reading.
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  2. shanebrews

    shanebrews G&G Evangelist

    I've had the privilege of visiting Patriot's Point in Charleston, SC and the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi. Both spots feature WWII era carriers.
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  3. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    It's sad, but there's a big difference between preserving an airplane or tank, and a warship.
    I do have the pleasure of knowing my old ship, USS Ainsworth FF-1090, a Knox Class ASW Frigate, was sold to Turkey in 1984, served there as TCG Ege til 2005, then was preserved as a display ship at the Sea Museum in Incirlik, Turkey. Wish I could visit her again.
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  4. rando

    rando G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Near me there is a Navy ship graveyard up in Curtis Creek. Rows of ships and smaller craft tied together and been there ever since I remember. Its across the creek from the Coast guard station. It is eerie driving through them in a small boat. Big grey giants waiting to be scrapped one day.
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  5. Seeing this post Reminds me of the Philly Naval Shipyard back in the mid 90's. I was stationed there on the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67 - now decommissioned) undergoing a condensed overhaul. Lot's of wonderful old ships including heavy cruisers, battleships and even a Carrier all awaiting disposition. When we left they closed the shipyard. I always thought that they should have taken the Shipyard and made it National Naval Museum as they already had so many pieces of history there, and the base was also the birthplace of Naval Aviation. I have no Idea what is there now, but at the time it would have been a great opportunity for creating a National Historical Treasure.
  6. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    I heard about this one from classmates whose class rank wasn't high enough to qualify them to ship out with the merchant fleet at the start of first class year.

    In 1976, when the training ship called at Philadelphia, the Navy invited us to pump out all the Bunker C from the USS Wisconsin and the USS Iowa that we could pull. I'm not sure why they offered the oil to the Academy; there were still oil-fired carriers in the Navy then that burned it. But the Chief figured out how to route steam into the battleships' bunker tank heating systems to warm up the oil (Bunker C at the temperature of the Delaware River in summer is roughly the consistency of the sludge at the bottom of the river) to a temperature where it would flow, took a suction on it, and filled the training ship's tanks to the brim. Good deal for us.
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  7. blaster

    blaster G&G Evangelist

    interesting article.
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  8. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Yes sir, pretty good article Roy. Private individuals with a considerable amount of wealth can fairly easily own and maintain a WWII airplane. Owning and maintaining a huge WWII ships is an endeavor that few cities or states want to commit too though, unless they have the backing of a few innovative non-profits raising and funneling funds to them. Ticket prices could not be raised high enough to make maintaining the USS Midway or the USS Alabama a sustainable financial venture. Money has to come from several other sources. Another thing too, as oldsters like me die off or become more home bound and immobile, those types of displays are going to generate less and less interest. The same class of citizen that demands defunding the police, taking down statues, renaming universities, changing the names of military bases, etc are going to demand that these existing museum ships are also sunken or dismantled.
    Their hate knows no bounds...
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  9. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

    There was an old warship moored in Mobile for years that people kept talking about sending to Battleship Park - a naval museum, also in Mobile.

    The funny thing is that through the whole process of them trying to get it "preserved" it was also getting scrapped. all the deck plating, most of the guts, and everything that had once been topside -gone.

    Eventually the preservationists had to admit that there wasn't enough left to save. Last I heard the hull was a reef somewhere.

    As an interesting side note, there are a few luxury yacht companies buying up old military ships around the world and converting them (
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  10. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter G&G Evangelist

    If you get enough people with enough $$$$ in their pockets you can preserve an old war ship. Here in town they have an old LST restored to running condition. It's on display for the public viewing & they give tours of this ship at different times. This ship was on the beach on D-day to unload all of it's cargo & take back many injured solders.
    It is setting almost where the ship yard was that built many of these ships during the war.
    For more information check out this link.
    106507161_10158565947684813_6176085890687790885_n.jpg 106276645_10158565948904813_5792681607809392101_n++.jpg 106290501_10158565947634813_7974251725336001582_n.jpg 73265642_10158565947719813_8344927927128061827_n.jpg
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  11. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    Yes, but the problem is, sometimes the needed money cannot be raised. And there is the need for ongoing upkeep and maintenance. If the public has no interest in raising the money, the ship gets scrapped or sunk.
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  12. John Wayne had a yacht that was converted from a mine sweeper
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  13. rando

    rando G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Many of these old ships are sunken offshore here at a designated place. They are for artificial fishing reefs. Takes at least a few years to have sea life attaching to them and fish using them as habitat. A few are even sunken in the bay here in deeper waters.
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  14. Felix's Tattoo

    Felix's Tattoo G&G Evangelist

    Very interesting article. I think I told before of meeting a guy in a bar by the bus station in San Francisco. He and two other men (2!) had just run an old a decrepit old timer around from the east coast , through the Panama Canal, up to the Bay Area , for breaking up. I remember, too, of a Dirty Harry movie, where he was chasing a bad guy across a couple of wooden flightdecked carriers. They were in a breaker’s yard, awaiting their end. There were always ships being broken in these days, the 60s.
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  15. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    The two escort carriers were the USS Rabaul and the USS Badoeng Strait. The Rabaul was finished just as World War II ended and went straight into the reserve fleet, and was scrapped without ever being commissioned. The Badoeng Strait was commissioned in November 1945 and tracked into anti-submarine work. During the Korean War, she was used as an ASW carrier and as a base for Marine Corsairs flying close air support for the Marines and Army units holding the Pusan Perimeter. In the 1950s, she was a test ship for operating ASW helicopters. She was decommissioned and mothballed in 1957 and sold for scrap in 1972.

    The two CVEs were awaiting scrapping at the old Kaiser No. 3 shipyard when Ted Post obtained permission to use them as a location in the second Dirty Harry film, Magnum Force. The scrappers were just starting to remove the stored supplies from them when the movie filmed on board.

    Although American shipyards built 122 CVEs of various classes, not one survives today. All of them have been scrapped long since.
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  16. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    Darned shame. It would have been nice to walk the decks of one preserved on display.