S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Naval & Maritime Continuation Page 1 keywords = naval navy marine maritime nautical ship boat battle cruiser aircraft carrier sub destroyer corvette tall sail brig bark sloop ketch gig launch tender hull ordnance armor history artillery gun cannon rifle airplane bomb shell cartidge casing ammunition ammo Great Eastern Olympia Arizona Missouri Massachusetts Yorktown United States America Regina Maris Pioneer Thomas Jefferson Christeen Oyster Bay Jakobson

Updated:   20 Mar 2020; 15:00  ET
[Page converted 07 Mar 2011

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/nav-mar1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/nav-mar1.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Naval & Maritime Continuation Page 1


Please refer to the HELP section on the preceding page.


On the preceding main Naval and Maritime page:

  Tall Ships.
  Nautical Reminiscences and Miscellany.
  Jakobsen's Rail-Marine Tugboats.
  Rail-Marine Service.
  HELP! - requests and offers.

On this Naval and Maritime Continuation Page 1:

  The USS Franklin.
  Submarines (moved from main page 06 May 02).
    USS Thresher (SSN 593) Disaster.
  PT Boats.
  Mahogany speedboats (raceabouts, sportabouts, etc.).
  Comet Authenticast ship models.
  Yet More Yarns.

On the succeding Naval and Maritime Continuation Page 2:

  Tall Ships - continued.
  USCGC Eagle Out (for repairs).   new (06 Aug 2015)

On the Naval and Maritime Regina Maris Page:

  Regina Maris.   new (29 Aug 2013)


  (moved from main page 16 Feb 03)

I almost forgot one of the most memorable marine experiences of my whole life!  On 28 April 1945, the burned-out, shattered hulk of the Essex-class carrier Franklin (CV-13) steamed in to New York harbor from Pearl with a skeleton crew, under her own power, to one of the wildest welcomes any ship ever received, anywhere!  I watched from South Street as she, little more than a rust bucket, steamed up the East River to the Brooklyn Navy Yard to the accompanyment of flags, confetti, streamers, screams, every bell and whistle NYC could muster, and every single fireboat trying her best to pump the harbor dry!  What bedlam!  She had been hit by two exceedingly-effective bombs on 19 Mar 45 while only 50 miles off the Japanese coast, was saved through the heroic efforts of her remaining crew, and after being towed away by the Pittsburgh, was able to get up steam and proceed to Pearl Harbor for minimal refitting for sea.  That was one crew that KNEW it was REALLY welcome!

Now, on 16 Feb 03, I heard from a grandson of John Hogel, who died on the ship; his body never recovered.  Hogel's son was only two when his father died.  The grandson is seeking any information about his grandfather while aboard the ship and hopes to speak with any remining crewmates about March 19.  Are there any reunions held by the survivors of the CV-13?  Can anyone help, please?


  (moved from main page 06 May 02.)

Hunley drawing
(Image from Civil War @ Charleston website)

One of the oldest* surviving submarines in the world and the first successful military sub (one that actually sank an enemy vessel in combat), the 1864 C.S.S. H. L. Hunley has just (08 Aug 00) been raised from the Atlantic about 4 miles off Sullivan's Island near Charleston, South Carolina!  Unfortunately, there is a real brannigan over who found it and such, so I will NOT give links here, other than as above and to the National Parks Service site (none were up to date as of 00:00 on 11 Aug 00!).  The Hunley, made out of locomotive boilers, with wedge-shaped ends and two miniature "conning towers", had a 17' hollow iron spar on her bow with a spear-mounted torpedo or mine on the end.  She was propelled by a hand- cranked longitudinal axle connected directly to a prop at the stern and sported bow and stern ballast tanks, two snorkels and an air box, and bow planes and a rudder.  She was around 40' long and 4' in diameter, carried a crew of eight (8) crankers and a steersman/commander, could make 4 knots, and once stayed under (deliberately, that is) for about 2 hours and 35 minutes (not that the crew was in any condition to fight or even work after that stunt!).  Unfortunately also, she had killed off several crews by sinking during practice runs.  At 20:45 on 17 Feb 1864, however, she rammed her spar torpedo into the wooden hull of the steam frigate U.S.S. Housatonic, backed away, igniting the charge by an attached lanyard, and sending the Housatonic to the bottom within minutes.  The Hunley never returned, was found in 30' of water under 3'-4' of mud in May 1995, and was taken to the Charleston Naval Shipyard for conservation, which is expected to take some 7 years, before going on display at the Charleston Museum; the remains of the crew are aboard and will be given a military funeral with honors.

BIG NEWS! - AP advised 29 Apr 01 that there was a Union soldier's I.D. tag (Ezra Chamberlin, who fell in 1863 at the battle of Ft. Wagner in Charleston harbor) next to the skull of one of the Hunley crewmen; there is a grave for Ezra Chamberlin in Killingly, Connecticut and speculation as to how the tag got in the Hunley is rife!

* - I recall that there is (or was) an earlier unsuccessful Hunley in the central park (Jackson Square?) in New Orleans, across the park from the Cabildo and across the street from the cathedral, when I first visited the Crescent City ca. 1946 and then moved under an arcade across from the park (the northwest corner?) ca. 1980.  I imagine she is the Hunley-predecessor 1862 Pioneer, now at the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans.

A friend once assured me that, as a child (ca. 1920), at mean low tide, he could see the remains of an early Holland sub on the bottom of Fort Pond Bay or thereabouts on far eastern Long Island.

When the USS Thresher (SSN 593) went down, she was equipped with pneumatic filter manifolds from Pall Corporation's Aircraft Porous Media subsidiary, where I was then Manager of Support Services; the real story may have been that when she was put into Emergency Blow-Down, the wet air going through the differential pressure valves in our manifolds simply expanded and froze solid, plugging the blow-down systems!  The Navy/Electric Boat specs just might have been inadequate and we may well have designed a system that couldn't work in actual practice through no fault of our own!

And speaking of subs, a RR buddy sent me a URL 16 Mar 2000 for an ad for a Soviet 300' Juliett-class cruise-missile sub,U-484 (1964, K-81, later B-81, hull no. 522), billed as the world's largest diesel sub (I believe them).  She's in Florida as a tourist attraction, no less; my, how times have changed!

That's all hogwash; she turned out to be the K-77 and has, unfortunately, now been scrapped!  The whole sad tale is documented in a comprehensive Wikipedia article.   new (20 Mar 2020)

Here's a fabulous compilation of stories and pictures of the U-boats, Icelander Guğmundur Helgason's uboat.net.

RELICS - Redivivus

[Initial material moved from main Naval and Maritime page 02 Feb 2001.}

One of the most surprising steel relics afloat (other than the newer battleship Texas, BB-35, in Galveston) is the battle cruiser Olympia at Philadelphia's Penn's Landing, in the Independence Seaport Museum.  Built in 1892, she was one of our first steel warships, is the only relic of the Great White Fleet which sailed around the world in 1898{?}, and was Dewey's flagship at the battle of Manila Bay, when he gave the famous command, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley", and his footprints at that moment are placed in bronze on the deck.  Then, in 1921, her last major service was to bring home the Unknown Soldier from France.  Her 8" main guns may be real (or not) and I understand that her turrets are reproductions, 5" open gun mounts having been mounted in WWI or II.  Still, she's handsomely restored and an incredible survivor (how she escaped the scrap drives escapes me).

I took this picture of her in Philly ca. 1998:

USS Olympia
(Photo by SB,III ca. 1998 missing - must reshoot!)

Here is an "old" (how old can styrene be?) and grubby model of the Olympia I rescued from a hobby shop window and hope to "restore":

Olympia model
(Photo by SB,III - Model by ???)

Mighty Mo, the Battleship Missouri (CINCPACFLT's site) (BB-63), on whose teak deck the Pacific war surrender was signed 02 Sep 1945 next to the 16-inch guns of turret two on the starboard side, arrived (~22 Jun 98, after trans-Pacific tow) at Pearl Harbor to sit in majesty by Ford's Island at the opposite (seaward) end of Battleship Row from the Arizona, at the California's old berth; that should be an interesting item for the hordes of grinning Japanese tourists to photograph!

I got a big kick out of seeing Big Mo featured in news of, and promos for,
the 01 Jun 2001 première of the movie "Pearl Harbor"!

A few other mighty maritime monsters I've visited include BB-59, the Battleship Massachusetts, "Big Mamie", at Battleship Cove in Fall River; the Battleship North Carolina, BB-55, in Wilmington; CV-10, the (second) USS Yorktown, the "Fighting Lady", at Patriot's Point in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, across the harbor from Charleston; and, of course (for a New Yorker), the Intrepid, CV/CVA/CVS-11, at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in NY City.

There's also the Alabama, BB-60, off I-10 in Mobile.

BB-60 Alabama
(Image retouched from Alabama brochure)

Deep Sixed Dinosaurs!  You want relics; I'll give you relics!  Try www.ssmounttemple.com; the story of the 1916 sinking of a ship with Canadian dinosaur skeletons on board!  It's a really interesting story but talk about vain quests; they want to raise the bones!  I prefer leaving well enough alone; just think of the total confusion of archaeologists 10 millennia hence!

This came from the Dinosaur Research Program, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Drumheller, Alberta, Canada.  Drumheller, Alberta, eh?  Pity; don't think I'll be stopping by any too soon (sitting here high on the Harbor Hill Moraine on Long Island).

PT Boats - also at Battleship Cove is Newberry Hall, the home of the fabulous PT Boat Museum and Library, maintained by PT Boats, Inc., "a non-profit organization established by veterans of WWII PT service to preserve the history of Patrol Torpedo Boats, their shore bases and tenders ships, and the men who manned them."  The Museum has over 4,000 square feet "devoted to 43 commissioned squadrons, some 80 bases and 19 tender ships, including two completely restored P.T. boats."  "P.T. Boats, Inc. also publishes a fifty page magazine twice a year."

Sorry, I missed the USS Salem (CA 139) at the U. S. Naval & Shipbuilding Museum in Quincy, Massachusetts.  A refurbished old 1:500 Comet Authenticast (see also below) ID model of "baby"-sister ship USS Northampton (CLC-1), will be placed on permanent display inside an acrylic box in the "U.S. Navy Cruiser Sailors Memorial Room" on the Salem.

The "Big J", BB-62 New Jersey, headed for New Jersey at long last on 13 Sep 99 (only one day late from the scheduled departure date)!  She's moored now on the Delaware; I saw her there ca. Jan 02 from the New Jersey State Aquarium in Camden (and me with no camera!) where she's moored directly south of the Aquarium, across from the Olympia in Philadelphia.

Speaking of mighty naval vessels, the SS UNITED STATES (Michael Alexander's site) was a "naval" vessel as was on the rolls of the Reserve Fleet as a troop carrier, sitting magnificent and mothballed far south of the Olympia in Philadelphia.  I wonder if her top speed was ever declassified?  Two other great "Big U" sites are Martin Berend's SS UNITED STATES and Rich April's AMERICA'S FLAGSHIP sites, with lots of fabulous photos.  The Big "U" is 990 feet long and a towering 17 stories high in a hundred foot wide hull; the worlds most powerful ocean liner.  She was privately owned and for sale at $30,000,000.

"Big U" fans were shocked to learn of the death on 19 Feb 2002 of Edward Cantor (Cantor Affiliated Interests), the ship's owner and patron; Mr. Cantor died suddenly after suffering a massive heart attack.

For a visual treat, visit Joe Rota's picture gallery of images
taken aboard the SS UNITED STATES in her heyday.

Mike and Rich April conducted a survey at the end of Feb 2002 to see what people want done with the "Big U"; the results were almost exactly split for restoration as an active cruise ship, as a monument, and as a moored hotel, with a small percentage wanting her used for humantarian purposes and (surprise!) only a very few opting for scrapping.  All it takes to accomplish the positive options is lots of determination and barrels of money!

BIG NEWS! - Mike Alexander advised that Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced on 14 Apr 03 it has purchased the S/S United States and intends to convert the vessel to a state-of-the-art, modern cruise ship and to add her to NCL's planned US-flagged fleet.

I was in Philadelphia 03 May 03 and took a lot of 35m shots of Olympia and New Jersey, Mosholu, and the Big U; c'mon back soon.

Driving down (southbound) from Connecticut on the afternoon of 29 Mar 01, along the lower reaches of the Hutchinson "River" on the parkway of that name, under lowering skies, I was astonished to see a square-rigger tied up across the creek from the gas station just north of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge; coverage has been moved to

MAHOGANY SPEEDBOATS - Raceabouts, Sportabouts, and the like

Not all relics afloat are big warships or the "Big U" or Queen Mary; there are many museums of small watercraft, such as at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, or at the Mystic Seaport about 10 miles east of New London, Connecticut.  However, there are also many sport boats in daily use that deserve preservation in such museums.  Of these, my all-time favo(u)rites are the sleek three-cockpit speedsters built by Gar Wood (here Long Island, New York, in Astoria, Queens), and by Chris-Craft (in Cheriton, Virginia, but originally in Michigan and Penn Yan (in Canandaigua, New York, but originally in Penn Yan, New York), the former, at least, still going strong.

The original "Miss America" was built by Chris(topher Columbus) Smith and his sons in Algonac, Michigan, before they turned to pleasure boats by starting a little company that would come to be called Chris-Craft.

Gar Wood was actually a man named Garfield Wood, who made a name for himself in boating by building and racing to victory (with his mechanic, Orlin Johnson) a series of high-speed power boats known as the "Miss America" series.  In their day, they were every bit as famous, or far more so, than Guy Lombardo's "Tempos".  He won and held the prestigious British Harmsworth Trophy from 1920 through 1933 and, in 1930, in "Miss America X", he set a new world's record of 102 miles per hour, using four supercharged Packard engines producing 6,400 horsepower.

From these boats, Smith, Wood, Penn Yan, and others developed lines of personal pleasure craft based on these racers.  Produced ca. 1920 through the 1940s, they were elegant and powerful, but what struck me then (the WWII era and on), and sticks with me now, were the open cockpit speedsters known as runabouts or sportabouts.

Some sites with great coverage of beautiful mahogany boats in top condition include the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, The Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, New York, the New Hampshire Antique and Classic Boat Museum inn Wolfeboro, and Mark (sabre_fan)'s.

"Woofleboro" on Lake Winnepesaukee was home to some of the world's finest woodies; a friend has B&W photos of a series of triples owned by her family and they were only a few of many on the lake.  I note an adventure with a similar triple on Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks.

[Photos follow - as promised; credits will be sorted out next]

28' triple Lake Win. MissWinn
Miss Winnepesaukee - the archetypal triple woodie (sort of) - then and now

My Girls

Miss Cornelia

31 CC Runabout Plan
1931 Chris-Craft Runabout Plan

Hackercraft Carte Blance
Hackercraft triple "Carte Blanche"

An odd one - rounded upper hull

Gotta Go
Gotta Go - a modern re-creation of a classic triple

Pardon Me
"Pardon Me"  Gigantic runabout ("runover" is more like it)!  Look at all the tiny people!
(Not REALLY a triple)

A view of the exhibit area at the Antique Boat Museum
in Clayton, NY (at the outlet of Lake Keuka)
with "Pardon Me" towering over the other boats!

"Timepiece" is not a triple but look at that magnificent Gar Wood hardware
(including his signature folding windscreen)

(photos from the NHACBM, the ABM, Chris-Craft, Penn Yan Boats, and Mark (sabre_fan) - all rights reserved)

Comet Authenticast Ship Models

During and after World War II and at least into the Korean "police action" (1940s, 50s, and 60s), a small firm in Richmond Hill (Postal Code 18), Queens County, New York built a line of scale model ships (see logos below), under the trade name "Authenticast".  These were originally U.S.N. recognition models, in the scales of 1:500 and 1:1200 and the company is profiled on my Comet Authenticast page, et seq. (the 1945 catalog is posted on continuation page 1, as is the Price List.

Old Comet Logo
(07 Jul 03 photo by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
(Note - no reference to Authenticast; no subject image in logo)

Old Comet Logo
(08 Feb 01 photo by and © 2001 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved
restored 07 Mar 2011)

Comet Auth Part-Color Logo Comet Auth B&W Logo

Comet Auth Full Color Logo Comet Auth Waterline Logo (Logos from 1945 Catalog)

There is also a history of the company, Comet Metal Products Co., Inc., and its ship models on Paul Jacobs' 1200 and 1250 model Warships page.  I remember that I got one of the more elegantly-shaped British battleships*, the German Schlachtschiff (battleship) Scharnhorst, and the Japanese carrier Shokaku, ca. 1945, all long gone now, battered into pancakes by incessant "bombing" from my model airplanes.  PLEASE don't ask me why those three (I have absolutely no idea).

You should also see the ships portion of Mike's Tanks for more on these models.

* - I do remember, now, that one of my ships had a third (#3) forward three- or four-gun turret that faced aft and I also think the elegant Brit was a Dido class (a light cruiser).  Help (I gave away my Jane's)!  Maybe I had four ships?

A similar 1:1200 Navy ID set from the associated South Salem Studios is now on my Authenticast/Comet continuation page 2.

- - -* - - -

[Paul Jacobs, the miniature (the ships, NOT Paul) ship model expert noted above and elsewhere on these pages, has written a book about 1:1250 and similar modeling, "MINIATURE SHIP MODELS - A History and Collector's Guide", available from the U. S. Naval Institute:


Yet More Yarns

(Moved from main page 02 Feb 2001)

Intermuddle Transportation - Funny story about the port of Elizabeth (NJ) - ca. 1970 I sent an oversized load for the USAF from Long Island to meet a freighter at the port of Elizabeth, labeled for Port Elizabeth.  The trucker erroneously took the Manhattan Bridge and jammed.  By the time he reduced tire pressure to lower the load, removed a valve at the top of the device, and continued, it was already late and getting dark.  Then I got an unhappy call from him; he was at Port Elizabeth, NJ, and "Buddy, you couldn't float a canoe in THIS river!"  Seems there actually is a hamlet called Port Elizabeth down on a rivulet running into the Chesapeake!  Happily, the freighter captain was willing to wait until the trucker drove all the way north to the Port OF Elizabeth.

This is decidely strange - here's another yarn I could swear I'd already put up:

My paternal grandmother was born on 15 February, the day the battleship Maine was blown up in Havana harbor, and then so was I (born on the 15th, NOT blown up!).  My older daughter was born on 07 December, the day of infamy (need I say more?) and when her first child (my granddaughter) was due, I wrote the Dept. of Defense warning that all naval units be put on full alert.  Happily, she came along on 02 Oct and nothing nautically untoward seems to have occurred on that date (or am I wrong?).

{And THIS required that I post this second (continuation) page; if you didn't already see it, please visit my main Naval and Maritime page - overload!}

A correspondent wrote 03 Feb 03 anent the Drake (on the main and Ordnance pages) to tell me that not only the Drake, but also the Basilisk, Bombard, Culverin, Minion, Saker, Passavolante, and Serpentine are all covered in a new book on "Naval Guns - 500 Years of Ship and Coastal Artillery" by Hans Mehl, published by the Naval Institute.  Now, I know it makes me sound like a smart-ass know-it-all (which is certainly true) but the only one that's new to me is the Passavolante; guess I'll have to do some digging.

Here's a puzzler for you - who remembers who put out a 25 cent balsa wood kit of the USS Panay gunboat, right after the Japanese sank the prototype (on the Yangtze near Wuhu in Anwhei province in China on 12 Dec 1937)?

There is a third (continuation) page.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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