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USS Olympia Restoration


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ISTR that Aurora is more of a shell with little original remaining below decks. Any of our Russian members know?

Exactly. I was thrilled to set foot on her in Feb 1990, but then appalled at the large voids below decks, no machinery, no magazines, mostly a bare hull.

Still, better than nothing I guess. Continuing what Joe Brennan wrote, I am appalled that funds will be expended for additional CV museum ships, when we

already have enough examples, same with the fast BBs; in each category, we had already blown it, by failing to save Enterprise and Washington, and

we also had several chances to save treaty cruisers and a CLAA. Internationally, it was worse, of course, and I saw Jean Bart anchored in Toulon as a

hulk in 1970 while a Georges Leygues CL [i think she was [i]Montcalm[/i]] lay nearby, torn down to bare hull, yet the old CA Suffren was still tied up at the quay. Unbelieveable. Dare I mention

the Turkish CC Yavuz [ex-Goeben], which lasted until 1971? For the Brits, imagine being able to step on board a KG V or the beautiful Vanguard!

 

Gag a maggot!

Edited by Ken Estes
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Exactly. I was thrilled to set foot on her in Feb 1990, but then appalled at the large voids below decks, no machinery, no magazines, mostly a bare hull.

Still, better than nothing I guess. Continuing what Joe Brennan wrote, I am appalled that funds will be expended for additional CV museum ships, when we

already have enough examples, same with the fast BBs; in each category, we had already blown it, by failing to save Enterprise and Washington, and

we also had several chances to save treaty cruisers and a CLAA. Internationally, it was worse, of course, and I saw Jean Bart anchored in Toulon as a

hulk in 1970 while a Georges Leygues CL [i think she was [i]Montcalm[/i]] lay nearby, torn down to bare hull, yet the old CA Suffren was still tied up at the quay. Unbelieveable. Dare I mention

the Turkish CC Yavuz [ex-Goeben], which lasted until 1971? For the Brits, imagine being able to step on board a KG V or the beautiful Vanguard!

 

Gag a maggot!

 

I think that it was quite bad that the light cruiser O`Higgins, ex USS Brooklyn got scrapped in 1992 (well, it sank near Pitcairn Island under tow to India). That ship alone was propably worth more than all the other preserved US late and post WW2 ships combined (ok, perhaps with the exeption of some of the battleships). Not that i think that it could have been preserved in Chile for monetary reasons, but bought back to the US as recently done with the round-bridge Fletcher class DD from the Mexican navy. Atleast it would have been a better idea than the recent work to preserve the whole US late cold war carrier fleet. :lol:

 

Ship-preservation doesn`t seem to have been a big ting in Europe until recently, with a few exeptions, which might explain the scrapping of the french ships you mention. Even the last french cruiser, Colbert, that was moored as a museum in Bordeaux since the 1990s has been closed down and towed to the naval graveyard outside Brest, to await scrapping.

 

On a more local level the norwegian gunboat KNM Tyr, built in 1887, is still in existance as a storage vessel at a salmon farm outside Bergen. It saw active service during the breakup of the union with Sweden in 1905 and converted as a minelayer it saw combat in 1940. Oddly people have been struggling to preserve all sorts of cold war stuff like frigates and FACs in Norway, yet this old and true gem just lingers on forgotten. <_<

Tyr`s history in english: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HNoMS_Tyr_%281887-1945%29

A photo and drawing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vale_class_gunship

Recent photos: http://www.fjordfaehren.de/no_f/tyr1887.htm

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B)-->

QUOTE(Bob B @ Sat 10 May 2008 1540) 566822[/snapback]
She is sitting in concrete.

 

This web site has some pretty good photos of her:

 

http://www.midwaysailor.com/mikasa/index.html

 

 

while the steel may rust faster, the concrete will act like water spreading her weight evenly.

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Sadly, I recall the turrets are not the originals but thin replicas; the real ones - as in the case of the entire USS Oregon (BB-3) - were sacrificed for the WWII scrap drive.

 

 

I didn't know that. What about the guns? Are they the original ones?

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I think every singe one of them is either scrap or on the bottom of the ocean right now.

 

Was never a huge fan of the Spruances, but by the end of their lives they had achieved a certain level of combat capability. As built they were huge ships without much to speak of for armament.

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Wish you had them positioned so I could read some of the hull numbers

Top one, the Spruances. left looks like 997 [Briscoe] right you can read the name if enlarged, Naylor [DD997].

Next is CA Des Moines, could be her twin Salem if before 1994. Not Newport News, as it never had the burst gun tube replaced ['missing tooth'].

Next is Edson [same photo in Wiki]

Last is a nest of - I think - single ender DLGs renumbered 9xx class DDGs, so I'd say Coontz class.

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Guest aevans
Was never a huge fan of the Spruances, but by the end of their lives they had achieved a certain level of combat capability. As built they were huge ships without much to speak of for armament.

 

As ASW platforms, which was their designed mission, they were pretty loaded -- ASROC, 2 x triple ASW torpedo tubes, 2 x LAMPS helo, towed sonar, mondo shipboard sonar. Yes, they were pretty oversized compared to tradional destroyers, but most of that extra space went to habitability and endurance, making them really the equivalent of light cruisers in strategic terms.

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Yeah, I guess you are right. In any case, the torpedo tubes were never really considered too useful from what I understand, and ASROC was retired before they finished their lives.

 

2 Helos was nice, but were they configured for 2 of the SH-60, or were they built for the earlier and smaller Kamman model.

 

I always thought that no helo on the Burkes was a HUGE mistake.

 

One Spruance concept that was interesting was using the 31st ship as a helicopter carrier. It would have been able to carry 8-9 helos and act as a core ASW platform for a convoy or battlegroup.

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As ASW platforms, which was their designed mission, they were pretty loaded -- ASROC, 2 x triple ASW torpedo tubes, 2 x LAMPS helo, towed sonar, mondo shipboard sonar. Yes, they were pretty oversized compared to tradional destroyers, but most of that extra space went to habitability and endurance, making them really the equivalent of light cruisers in strategic terms.

 

Also, they were designed for the outset to be developed to be converted to missile destroyers and they made an excellent hull for mounting the Aegis system. I am concerned that if the Spruance hull was not already ready and available, the Aegis system might have gotten canned.....

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I just got back from Philly and too the opportunity to take a look at Olympia. Fascinating ship, as it staddled the time between wood and steel. While I was walking around, a couple of guys were taking measurements of the moorings as there are plans to get Olympia and the sub into drydock for an overhaul and painting - if the $$$$ can be raised.

 

I couldn't get up to the pilot house, as it still had construction materials laying around. The ship "seems" in pretty good shape, but needs a painting in the worst way.

 

What struck me was the amount of wood on the ship, cabinets, furniture ... beautiful, but flammable!

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Fascinating ship, as it staddled the time between wood and steel.

 

What struck me was the amount of wood on the ship, cabinets, furniture ... beautiful, but flammable!

The general practice at that time was to have that kind of wood furnishing and panelling, but chop it out or otherwise get rid of it before combat, clear for action. Although, some mostly metal ships of that general period still had (unlike Olympia) wood in semi-structural applications where it couldn't be gotten rid of like decks made of wood (not just covered w/ wood). That was true of the Spanish Maria Teresa class cruisers and they suffered heavily for it at the Battle of Santiago. For ships like Olympia the assumption was that they'd have time to properly clear for action. Before the Battle of Manila Bay Olympia and Dewey's squadron did have time at Hong Kong, Mirs Bay in Chinese waters and while steaming to Manila. If the ship were presented as she appeared at Manila Bay the wooden stuff would mostly be roughly chopped out and/or thrown overboard; and the ship would sport hastily applied dark grey-green exterior paint (besides carrying the original armament, of course).

 

Joe

Edited by JOE BRENNAN
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The general practice at that time was to have that kind of wood furnishing and panelling, but chop it out or otherwise get rid of it before combat, clear for action. Although, some mostly metal ships of that general period still had (unlike Olympia) wood in semi-structural applications where it couldn't be gotten rid of like decks made of wood (not just covered w/ wood). That was true of the Spanish Maria Teresa class cruisers and they suffered heavily for it at the Battle of Santiago. For ships like Olympia the assumption was that they'd have time to properly clear for action. Before the Battle of Manila Bay Olympia and Dewey's squadron did have time at Hong Kong, Mirs Bay in Chinese waters and while steaming to Manila. If the ship were presented as she appeared at Manila Bay the wooden stuff would mostly be roughly chopped out and/or thrown overboard; and the ship would sport hastily applied dark grey-green exterior paint (besides carrying the original armament, of course).

 

Joe

 

 

Actually, my understanding was that Captain Gridley intentionally did not get rid of the mahogany furnishings. He wanted to have the ship "homey" after battle. The furnishings currently aboard Olympia are from the time of the Battle of Manila Bay, from what I've read elsewhere. Can't recall source any longer.

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Actually, my understanding was that Captain Gridley intentionally did not get rid of the mahogany furnishings. He wanted to have the ship "homey" after battle. The furnishings currently aboard Olympia are from the time of the Battle of Manila Bay, from what I've read elsewhere. Can't recall source any longer.

"Admiral Dewey at Manila and the Complete Story of the Philippines", written shortly after, says, p.34:

"Now the final preparations for battle were made. All woodwork that could be removed without injury to the working of the veseels was thrown overboard. It was interesting to see the men coming on deck in a steady stream carrying in their arms tables, chairs, doors and bulkheads which they would pitch into the sea...On Olympia the men had a number of board tables made to swing from beams above the berth deck upon which they served their meals...the XO gave an order that these should be 'put over the side' meaning hung outside...the seamen chose to interpret...should go overboard...after the battle the jackies had to eat either standing or lying down..no tables."

 

Some website said though Dewey kept more furnishings (finest ones I guess) on Olympia than the other ships. But in any case alot of the stuff on the Olympia now comes from later on I believe (the 'real' guns for example, besides other things).

 

Joe

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Good lord, what a loss that would be! :(

 

I'm betting it will be scrapped. One thing I have noticed about France, they are not to keen on WWII memorials. Its a episode they would rather forget. They do have some impressive WWI memorials.

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I'm betting it will be scrapped. One thing I have noticed about France, they are not to keen on WWII memorials. Its a episode they would rather forget. They do have some impressive WWI memorials.

 

The impressive thing about French war memorials is that the tiniest village in the Pyrenees will have a sizeable "Great War" memorial with many names on it, always dwarfing WWII memorials.

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The impressive thing about French war memorials is that the tiniest village in the Pyrenees will have a sizeable "Great War" memorial with many names on it, always dwarfing WWII memorials.

To be fair though, in 'older' places in the US often have WWI memorials (or Civil War ones if old enough), but not WWII ones, or the WWII ones are new, driven by the Stephen Ambrose/Tom Hanks 'greatest generation' wave of WWII nostalgia pretty recently. Hoboken NJ where I live was incorporated in 1855, has relatively impressive Civil War and WWI memorials both dating from shortly after the respective wars, but the WWII memorial is just under construction now. I've noticed several of the post ACW cities in the area have WWI memorials, but not WWII.

 

But the point about French and WWI v II is basically true. Although also to remember, they lost a lot more men in WWI than II (though the Brits lost more in WWI also but are more WWII oriented). Also related is a famous scene in the documentary "The Sorrow and the Pity" where residents of Clermont-Ferrand when interviewed insisted the town's WWII memorial was really from WWI, didn't want to think about WWII.

 

Joe

Edited by JOE BRENNAN
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To be fair though, in 'older' places in the US often have WWI memorials (or Civil War ones if old enough), but not WWII ones, or the WWII ones are new, driven by the Stephen Ambrose/Tom Hanks 'greatest generation' wave of WWII nostalgia pretty recently. Hoboken NJ where I live was incorporated in 1855, has relatively impressive Civil War and WWI memorials both dating from shortly after the respective wars, but the WWII memorial is just under construction now. I've noticed several of the post ACW cities in the area have WWI memorials, but not WWII.

 

But the point about French and WWI v II is basically true. Although also to remember, they lost a lot more men in WWI than II (though the Brits lost more in WWI also but are more WWII oriented). Also related is a famous scene in the documentary "The Sorrow and the Pity" where residents of Clermont-Ferrand when interviewed insisted the town's WWII memorial was really from WWI, didn't want to think about WWII.

 

Joe

 

Getting even more OT, I lived in Hoboken (on Observer Highway and Madison, IIRC) from 1996-1997 and remember being very impressed by the Civil War memorial (the one by the park, of the stoic and probably-Irish infantryman). I'd just moved from Richmond, Va (where the memorials are all of famed Confederate generals on horseback striking glorious poses) and came up with this big theory about how it symbolized the triumph of the Average Joe over Great Men, etc. In my defense I was 23...

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When you go to France EVERYONE clains to have been in the resistance, but had that really been the case, history would have been far different.

 

In any case, one of the most moving (and I'm not an emotional guy) things I ever saw was a 50th anniversary celebration of the liberation of Luneville in 1994. They had a great sound and light show on night that covered the 1940-1944 time frame. At the end of the event they played the French National Anthem, and EVERY SINGLE PERSON (about 3-4000 people there) stood up and sang along. It was just like that scene in Casablanca. I was truly and deeply impressed by the patriotism and spirit I saw in the people at that event. One of the most memorable things I have seen.

 

I participated in many of those parades and ceremonies (one of my additional duties was to be OIC of a museum that had operational WWII tanks and vehicles. Every weekend was a parade somewehere). As a serving US soldier, I was like a rock star in those towns for those events. I won't even tell the stories because you would call bullshit on me. The stuff that happened was unbelieveable.

 

One thing I remember was that we would always buy a bunch of Hershey bars from the PX to bring along. We would hand them out during the parades. The older people would fight over the goddamned things. That little chocolate bar brought back so many memories for them. For many of them, the first taste of chocolate they had in their lives was a Hershey bar from a US soldier. They would be crying telling you about it. They wouldnt eat the damn thing, they would just stand there and hold it.

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When you go to France EVERYONE clains to have been in the resistance, but had that really been the case, history would have been far different.

 

In any case, one of the most moving (and I'm not an emotional guy) things I ever saw was a 50th anniversary celebration of the liberation of Luneville in 1994. They had a great sound and light show on night that covered the 1940-1944 time frame. At the end of the event they played the French National Anthem, and EVERY SINGLE PERSON (about 3-4000 people there) stood up and sang along. It was just like that scene in Casablanca. I was truly and deeply impressed by the patriotism and spirit I saw in the people at that event. One of the most memorable things I have seen.

 

I participated in many of those parades and ceremonies (one of my additional duties was to be OIC of a museum that had operational WWII tanks and vehicles. Every weekend was a parade somewehere). As a serving US soldier, I was like a rock star in those towns for those events. I won't even tell the stories because you would call bullshit on me. The stuff that happened was unbelieveable.

 

One thing I remember was that we would always buy a bunch of Hershey bars from the PX to bring along. We would hand them out during the parades. The older people would fight over the goddamned things. That little chocolate bar brought back so many memories for them. For many of them, the first taste of chocolate they had in their lives was a Hershey bar from a US soldier. They would be crying telling you about it. They wouldnt eat the damn thing, they would just stand there and hold it.

 

 

Colin Powell said he had a Hershey bar on his desk, given to him by the Japanese Ambassador, who told him that they were told that the Americans were barbarians who would rape, kill and plunder. The very first American he met, gave him a candy bar.

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