Friday, February 6, 2009

Gut-shot ship

I was looking for a bunch of different ships the last time at San Francisco NARA, and ran into an interesting issue much more than in past research sessions. Due to the research I've done, a lot of ship names seem "familiar" to me for one reason or another. I go with a target list, but if I stumble across something that's of interest I don't often say no. So it was a good thing to have a 3G air card with me so I could quickly look up a ship to see what was tugging at my brain about her.

It happened with DD-689 Wadleigh, although I recognized her name enough to not have to look it up. She was one of the ships profiled in the Structural Repairs in Forward Areas During World War II booklet I posted back in 2006. She had struck a mine and the book covered the repairs done to get her back to the US< but nothing after that, and her Navsource page didn't even mention it or have any photos.

So I was happy to discover that a box I pulled of destroyer records had (amongst other things) photos of the ship in drydock at Mare Island undergoing repair. What was amazing to me was the extent of work and how much of the ship was removed and replaced to bring her back to service. From what I can tell, part of the port side shell of the ship was the only thing kept. She was not only gutted, but almost completely rebuilt amidships.

So, of course I scanned those photos in and posted them to the "Forward Repair" page as an addendum; if you're interested you can see them here at the bottom. My respect for the damage control and industrial side of the US Military continues to grow. She was repaired quick enough to return to battle in WWII, and well enough that she served up to 1983.

3 comments:

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