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Indy (should) get a Gold Medal from Congress, 74 years after the fact

This photo was taken 27 July 1945, the day before she sailed from Guam to her doom, as documented by the ship’s photographer of USS Pandemus (ARL 18), on the back of the photo. This is probably the last photo taken of her. Caption on back of photo: “USS Indianapolis (CA 35) taken: 1530 27, July 1945, Apra Harbor, Guam, from USS Pandemus RL 18 as it passed heading for the sea. The picture was taken by Gus Buono”. U.S. Navy photo from the Collection of David Buell.

The loss of the Portland-class heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA-35) in 1945 is often cited as the worst disaster in U.S. Naval history. Now, Congress had approved a special medal for the ship.

S. 2101: USS Indianapolis Congressional Gold Medal Act, had 70 co-sponsors in the Senate this session Passed by Congress last week, it goes to the President next.

The medal once struck next year, will be presented to the Indiana War Memorial Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana. Hopefully, surviving Indy vets and their survivors can also claim one of their own.

The findings of the bill:

(1) The Portland-class heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis received 10 battle stars between February 1942 and April 1945 while participating in major battles of World War II from the Aleutian Islands to Okinawa.

(2) The USS Indianapolis, commanded by Captain Charles Butler McVay III, carried 1,195 personnel when it set sail for the island of Tinian on July 16, 1945, to deliver components of the atomic bomb “Little Boy”. The USS Indianapolis set a speed record during the portion of the trip from California to Pearl Harbor and successfully delivered the cargo on July 26, 1945. The USS Indianapolis then traveled to Guam and received further orders to join Task Group 95.7 in the Leyte Gulf in the Philippines for training. During the length of the trip, the USS Indianapolis went unescorted.

(3) On July 30, 1945, minutes after midnight, the USS Indianapolis was hit by 2 torpedoes fired by the I–58, a Japanese submarine. The resulting explosions severed the bow of the ship, sinking the ship in about 12 minutes. Of 1,195 personnel, about 900 made it into the water. While a few life rafts were deployed, most men were stranded in the water with only a kapok life jacket.

(4) At 10:25 a.m. on August 2, 1945, 4 days after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, Lieutenant Wilbur Gwinn was piloting a PV–1 Ventura bomber and accidentally noticed men in the water who were later determined to be survivors of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. Lieutenant Gwinn alerted a PBY aircraft, under the command of Lieutenant Adrian Marks, about the disaster. Lieutenant Marks made a dangerous open-sea landing to begin rescuing the men before any surface vessels arrived. The USS Cecil J. Doyle was the first surface ship to arrive on the scene and took considerable risk in using a searchlight as a beacon, which gave hope to survivors in the water and encouraged them to make it through another night. The rescue mission continued well into August 3, 1945, and was well-coordinated and responsive once launched. The individuals who participated in the rescue mission conducted a thorough search, saved lives, and undertook the difficult job of identifying the remains of, and providing a proper burial for, those individuals who had died.

(5) Only 316 men survived the ordeal and the survivors had to deal with severe burns, exposure to the elements, extreme dehydration, and shark attacks.

(6) During World War II, the USS Indianapolis frequently served as the flagship for the commander of the Fifth Fleet, Admiral Raymond Spruance, survived a bomb released during a kamikaze attack (which badly damaged the ship and killed 9 members of the crew), earned a total of 10 battle stars, and accomplished a top secret mission that was critical to ending the war. The sacrifice, perseverance, and bravery of the crew of the USS Indianapolis should never be forgotten.

Indianapolis by Michel Guyot

Regardless of the medal. A lasting legacy of Indianapolis is at Great Lakes, and every budding bluejacket learns about her story first hand.

181218-N-BM202-1104 GREAT LAKES, Ill. (Dec. 18, 2018) Recruits receive training at the USS Indianapolis Combat Pool at Recruit Training Command. More than 30,000 recruits graduate annually from the Navy’s only boot camp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Camilo Fernan/Released)

Warship Wednesday (on a Thursday), Dec. 13, 2018: Franz Ferdinand’s Pacific platypus slayer

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places.- Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday (on a Thursday), Dec. 13, 2018: Franz Ferdinand’s Pacific platypus slayer

Photographed by B. Circovich of Trieste, Via Capuano 17, Trieste, NH 88933, colorized by my friend Diego Mar at Postales Navales https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community/Postales-Navales-100381150365520/

Here we see the Kaiser Franz Joseph I-class “torpedo ram cruiser,” SMS (Seiner Majestät Schiff =His Majesty’s Ship) Kaiserin Elisabeth, of the Austro-Hungarian k.u.k. Kriegsmarine, probably soon after her completion in November 1892 while in the Adriatic. She would have a history filled with oddities.

Laid down at Marinearsenal Pola in June 1888 for the dual monarchy’s navy, her only sister, SMS Kaiser Franz Joseph I, was named for the country’s tragic emperor. Old Franz Josef, had lost his brother, Maximillian, after the Mexicans stood him up against a wall in 1866. His only son, Rudolph, died in 1889 in the infamous Mayerling Incident. His wife, Elisabeth, a German princess, had been Empress of Austria for 44 years when she was stabbed to death by the Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni in Geneva in 1898.

A picture made available 04 September 2008 shows the triangular file with which Austria Empress Elisabeth (1837-1898) was murdered, in the Sisi Museum at the Vienna Hofburg, 03 September 2008, in Vienna, Austria. EPA/ROBERT JAEGER

It was for said consort that our cruiser was named, although she was very much alive at the time of the ship’s construction.

Just 4,500-tons, the 340-foot (overall) torpedo ram cruiser named for the ill-fated Empress earned her designation from the fact that she carried a ram bow (a weapon the Austrians had used to good effect at the Battle of Lissa just two decades earlier) and four 14-inch deck-mounted trainable torpedo launchers for early Whitehead-style fish. That is not to say that she did not carry a decent gun armament, as it should be noted that she carried a pair of 9.4-inch Krupp breechloaders as well as a number of short-barrel 5.9-inch guns.

Photographed early in her career, probably in about 1892 at Pola. The hulk in the right background is unidentified. The layout of the ship’s armament-two single 24cm (9.4 inch), one forward and one aft, and six 15cm (5.9 inch) guns, three to a side, can be seen clearly. NH 88908

However, being a steam warship for the 1880s, she was not very fast, capable of only 19-knots when all 8 of her boilers were aglow with Bohemia’s finest coal. Her bunkers could carry over 600-tons of the latter, which enabled her to steam some 3,500nm between station. This set up Kaiserin Elisabeth for overseas service.

Note that big 9.4-inch gun forward, looking right at home on a boat the size of today’s light frigates. Photographed while on trials. Note temporary rig NH 87329

How she looked when complete, notice different rig. KAISERIN ELISABETH Austrian Cruiser NH 87337

Commissioned 24 January 1892, by the next year she was headed to wave Austria’s flag in the Far East.

KAISERIN ELISABETH Photographed early in her career, possibly during her round-the-world cruise of December 15, 1892, to December 19, 1893. Notice her extensive awnings, common when the ship was in the Far East. NH 92041

Although the country had no colonies, Austria was allied to Germany who had several territories in both Africa and the Pacific, which allowed the cruiser ample opportunities for coaling.

Her first mission: take the Kaiser’s cousin and then second in line to the throne, a young Franz Ferdinand, on a world tour that included stops in India, Ceylon, and other points East. (Franz Ferdinand’s father, Karl Ludwig, was at the time first in line to the throne but died of typhoid fever in 1896, leaving Franz to become Archduke).

Franz Ferdinand and his hunting companions pose by a dead elephant in Ceylon, from the Austrian National Library / Ehzg Franz Ferdinand und vier Jagdbegleiter beim erlegten Elefanten

In May 1893, Kaiserin Elisabeth made port at Sydney, where aboard was Ferdinand, along with other such personages as the Archduke Leopold of Tuscany. As told The Monthly, an Australian magazine, in a 2011 issue, for the next several weeks Ferdinand and company, “accompanied only by his personal taxidermist, three counts, a major-general, the Austrian consul,” et.al. took over 300 animals on a series of great hunts across the Australian continent including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies and at least one likely very surprised platypus for which the Archduke had a “burning desire” to take.

Kaiserin Elisabeth went on become involved in Chinese politics and landed forces in 1900 along with the Austrian cruisers Zenta, Maria Theresia and Aspern to take part in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion as part of the Eight-Nation Alliance.

Sailors from the SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth in the streets of Tsingtau. The four Austrian cruisers would land a 300-man force for duty ashore.

The two-year conflict netted Vienna a paltry 150-acre concession from the failing Manchu Dynasty in the city of Tianjin in 1902, which was duly protected by a platoon of Austrian marines. During the Boxer Rebellion, the commander of the Austrian force, RADM Count Rudolf Monecuccoli, used Kaiserin Elisabeth as his flagship. He would in 1904 go on to become Marinekommandant (Navy Commander) and Chef der Marinesektion (Chief of the Naval Section of the War Ministry), so it was evidently a good stepping stone for him.

Photographed at Pola on 1 October 1901 on her return from East Asia and the Boxer Rebellion, in a grey scheme. NH 87336

Returning to Europe, Kaiserin Elisabeth underwent a major two-year refit and modernization starting in 1905 after more than a decade of hard service including two extensive world cruises. This saw the replacement of her dated Krupp 9.4-inch guns with a pair of long-barreled 5.9-inch L/40 K.96s. This gave her a broadside of five 5.9-inch guns on each side, with three ahead and three astern. Her sister, which became a harbor defense ship at Cattaro, had a similar refit.

Photographed after reconstruction of 1906. NH 87341

Photographed at Kobe, Japan on 18 August 1909 with her decks almost completely covered in canvas. The ship had been rebuilt in 1906. NH 87339

Her 1914 entry in Janes

Caught in the German Chinese colony of Tsingtau when the Great War kicked off, Kaiserin Elisabeth originally didn’t have anything to fear from the growing Japanese fleet that was massing just offshore. This changed when Japan declared war on Austria-Hungary on August 25, 1914– two days after the Empire of the Rising Sun did so on Germany.

While the Germans managed to evacuate most of the ocean-going warships from the harbor during the Japanese ultimatum prior to the balloon going up, the elderly and, by 1914 obsolete, Austrian cruiser was left behind along with the small German coastal gunboats and torpedo craft Iltis, Jaguar, Luchs, Tiger, and S-90. The stripped and crewless old German Bussard-class unprotected cruiser SMS Cormoran (2,000-tons), was also in the harbor, but her crew had already beat feet with the condemned ship’s guns and vital equipment in a captured Russian steamer that assumed the latter’s name.

When the Japanese siege began, Kaiserin Elisabeth‘s 5.9-inch and 3-pounders were removed and mounted ashore in what became known as “Batterie Elisabeth.”

SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth’s guns as part of the defenses at Tsingtau, August-Nov 1914

During this period, as the largest ship in the defender’s hands, she suffered no less than three ineffective air raids including the first documented attack by a ship-based airplane when Japanese Navy Maurice Farman seaplanes from the seaplane carrier Wakamiya dropped small bombs around her. If the curiosity of French balsa-wood flying machines piloted by English-trained Japanese pilots bombing an Austrian warship crewed largely by Yugoslavs (and commanded by Hungarians) in a German-held port in China doesn’t make you shake your head, I don’t know what will.

An abortive sortie out of the harbor by the partially disarmed cruiser failed, although it did allow the crew of the German torpedo boat S-90 to escape to nearby Nanking– after she sank the Japanese mine cruiser Takachiho (3,700-tons).

One by one, as the Japanese grew closer, the bottled up Austro-German ships were scuttled and Kaiserin Elisabeth was no exception, being sent to the bottom by her own crew on 2 November 1914, just two days before the city fell.

In all, more than 300 members of Kaiserin Elisabeth‘s crew that survived the siege became Japanese prisoners, with most of them held at Camp Aonogahara, near Kobe, for the duration of the war. They only returned to Europe in 1920– to a country that no longer existed. As for Franz Josef, he died in 1916 while Elisabeth‘s crewmen were in Japanese EPW camps. As for Tianjin, it was indefensible and the Chinese took it over in 1917 after the formality of a bloodless declaration of war.

For our cruiser, she is remembered in maritime art:

S.M.S. Kaiserin Elisabeth in Tsingtau by https://fmarschner.myportfolio.com/sms-kaiserin-elisabeth-in-tsingtau Fritz Marschner, shown with the Austrian naval ensign on her stern and the German ensign aloft.

Specs:

Photographed at Pola Courtesy of the International Naval Research Organization NH 87342

Displacement: 4,494-tons FL
Length: 340 ft 3 in
Beam: 48 ft 5 in
Draught: 18 ft 8 in
Propulsion: 2 triple expansion engines, 8 boilers, 8,450 ihp at forced draft, two shafts
Speed: 19 knots (near 20 on trials)
Range: 3,500 nm on 600 tons coal (max)
Complement: Listed as between 367 and 450, although only had 324 at Tsingtau.
Armor: Up to 4 inches at CT, 2.25-inches deck
Armament:
(As designed)
2 × 9.4 in (24 cm)/35
6 × 5.9 in (15 cm)/35
2 × 66 mm (2.6 in)/18
5 × 47 mm SFK L/44 Hotchkiss guns (3 pdr)
4 × 4.7 cm L/33 Hotchkiss guns (3 pdr)
3 × 3.7 cm L/23 Hotchkiss guns
(1906)
2 x 5.9 in (15 cm)/L/40 K.96
6 × 5.9 in (15 cm)/35
16x 47 mm SFK L/44 Hotchkiss guns (3 pdr)
1 MG
4 × 360mm (14 in) torpedo tubes

If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO), Publishers of Warship International

They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find. http://www.warship.org/membership.htm

The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.

With more than 50 years of scholarship, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.

PRINT still has its place. If you LOVE warships you should belong.

I’m a member, so should you be!

Warship Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018: 41 and his paddle-wheel flattop

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places.- Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018: 41 and his paddle-wheel flattop

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog #: 80-G-41715

Here we see the training aircraft carrier USS Sable (IX-81) moored in an icy Great Lakes harbor, probably Buffalo, New York, on 8 May 1943, the day she was placed in commission. Of note, she and a similar vessel– responsible for training thousands of budding Naval aviators in the fresh water of the Lakes– were the last paddle-wheel, coal-fired U.S. Navy ships on active duty.

Yes, paddle-wheeled.

Coal-fired.

Aircraft carriers.

In the 1920s, the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company (D&C) ordered a large side-wheel excursion steamship, Greater Buffalo, from the American Ship Building Company of Lorain, Ohio.

Built to a design by marine architect Frank E. Kirby, she was an impressive 518-feet overall with “26 parlors with bath; 130 staterooms with toilets; automobile capacity, 125; 650 staterooms; crew of 300 including officers.” Some 7,300 tons, she used 9 coal-fired boilers to power her inclined compound steam engine suite, which in turn drove 35-foot paddlewheels.

She was a gorgeous and well-appointed ship in Great Lakes service, often carrying as many as 1,500 paying passengers per excursion on the Lakes in the summer seasons between 1925 and 1942.

Her lounge

Hotel Buffalo wagon meets the Greater Buffalo as the liner arrives in Buffalo, N.Y., on the first trip of the 1942 season– the ship’s last (Detroit Free Press)

In late 1942, a plan to convert large Great Lakes steamers to training carriers in the 9th Naval District, far away from threatening U-boats and mines, was hatched and Greater Buffalo, along with fellow Kirby-designed Seeandbee, were acquired by the War Shipping Administration and fitted for flight.

S.S. Greater Buffalo arrives in Buffalo, N.Y., on Aug. 6, 1942, to be converted into aircraft carrier USS Sable (IX-81). Note the three funnels, you will see these again.

Seeandbee went on to become USS Wolverine (IX 64) while Greater Buffalo would be USS Sable (IX 81). While Wolverine picked up a 550-foot long Douglas-fir aircraft deck, Sable would be given a nice steel flight deck, as well as an island superstructure. The fact they did not have a hangar, elevators, or magazine did not matter too much, as they were just for the role of practicing traps and launches.

A great before and after. USS Wolverine (IX-64) at Buffalo, New York, in early 1942 just after completion. At left is the stern of SS Greater Buffalo, just beginning conversion to USS Sable (IX-81). Photo courtesy of C.C. Wright. Catalog #: NH 81059

The 518-foot deck, hundreds of feet shorter than those used on fleet carriers, was considered OK in an “if you can dodge a wrench” kind of way, and given eight arrestor wires as a bonus safety measure, which no doubt came in handy. As of note, even the old Langley‘s flight deck was 542-feet long. Still, for aviators headed to “jeep” carriers, it was spacious (e.g. the Bogue-class escort carriers had just a 439-foot long flight deck.)

Converted at the Erie Plant of the American Shipbuilding Co., Buffalo, N. Y.; Sable was commissioned on 8 May 1943, CPT. Warren K. Berner (USNA 1922) in command, and became one of only two coal-fired paddle-wheelers in Navy service. As such, she was a throwback to an early time.

Sidebar: The Navy exits coal

The first oil-burning American destroyer, USS Paulding (DD-22), was commissioned in 1910, at the same time the new USS Nevada-class battleships were planned for solely oil as fuel. In 1914, the last American battleship that was coal-fired, USS Texas (BB-35), was commissioned– the final large warship built for the U.S. Navy to rely on West Virginia’s finest and even she had a mix of 14 Babcock & Wilcox coal-fired boilers with 6 Bureau Express oil-fired boilers. In the mid-1920s, most of the battleships kept after the Washington Naval Treaty that did not burn oil was extensively converted to do so. Likewise, by the early 1930s, the old “peace cruisers” that smoked bricks were put to pasture. By 1940, the only purpose-built warships I can find on the Naval List still set up to burn coal were the old patrol gunboats Sacramento (PG-19) and Tulsa (PG-22), each of which, due to their 12-knot speed and light low-angle armament, were of marginal use outside of waving the flag in times of peace. Further, every single one of the Navy’s aircraft carriers burned oil. Yes, even the converted collier USS Langley (CV-1), was turbo-electric.

For reference, the iron paddlewheel gun-boat USS Wolverine, ex-USS Michigan, had been the last Navy paddle wheeler before Wolverine/Sable, and she left the fleet in 1923.

United States Navy sidewheel steamer USS Wolverine, ex-USS Michigan, in a Great Lakes port in the 1900s. Laid down in 1842, she spent her career– including the Civil War, in the Lakes. Wolverine was decommissioned on 6 May 1912, although the Navy kept her as an auxiliary until 1923.

Now back to our story.

For a sidewheeler, Sable was a deceptively good-looking aviation ship.

USS Sable (IX 81) formerly the Greater Buffalo, commissioned as a training ship on May 8, 1943, on the Great Lakes for carrier pilots. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, 80-G-41716, now in the collections of the National Archives.

80-G-354765: USS Sable (IX-81) underway on the Great Lakes, June 1945. See the funnels?

Similarly, Sable was made ready for bluejackets and aviation crews, picking up several experienced hands from the recently-lost USS Lexington.

Crews’ Quarters scene, taken on 8 May 1943, the day the ship was placed in commission. Note the suspended pipe berths and bedding. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog #: 80-G-41717

Sable’s Aviators’ Lecture Room, 3 June 1943. Officers present are Lieutenant Commander B.A. Bankert, Sable’s Air Officer (seated) and Lieutenant G.M. Cole, her Flight Deck Officer. Note the suspended pipe berths along the compartment’s bulkhead, and what appear to be dining room chairs used for student seating. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog #: 80-G-41719

Sable departed Buffalo on 22 May 1943 and reached Chicago, Ill., her assigned home port, on 26 May 1943. Sable qualified her first two pilots just three days later– the first of many.

The training aircraft carrier USS Sable at the Navy Pier on Lake Michigan in Chicago

Importantly, the freshwater flattop served as a testbed for a revolutionary development in naval warfare for the age– an armed carrier-launched drone.

The Navy’s TDN-1 was a TV-guided remote-controlled assault drone developed by the Navy in 1942. Envisioned to operate from carriers under the control of a nearby TBM Avenger (or land-based with a PBY chase plane), the 37-foot-long twin-engine aircraft could carry either a 2,000-pound bomb or an aerial torpedo. The launches from Sable of the type are widely considered the first US drone to take off from an aircraft carrier– eat your heart out Stingray.

TDN-1 drones parked on the Sable’s flight deck, off Traverse City, Michigan, during flight tests on 10 August 1943. Note the inscriptions and cartoons on the aircraft noses, including Fatstuff and Coop’s and Roy on the nearer TDN, and Dilbert on the more distant one. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog #: 80-G-387161

Sable (IX-81) Launching a TDN-1 drone while steaming off Traverse City, Michigan, during flight tests on 10 August 1943. Note this aircraft’s unoccupied cockpit. The TDN was intended for use as a television-guided attack drone. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog #: 80-G-387174

In West Grand Traverse Bay, off Traverse City, Michigan, with two TDN-1 drones on her flight deck for tests, 10 August 1943. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog #: 80-G-387151

When it came to training aircrews, accidents on Sable and Wolverine were to be expected.

As noted by the Navy:

Between 1942 and 1945, the years of the carriers’ operations, there were 128 losses and over 200 accidents. Although most losses resulted in only minor injuries, a total of eight pilots were killed. These numbers seem significant until it is considered that during that time over 120,000 successful landings took place, and an estimated 35,000 pilots qualified. The training program, in this light, was a huge success.

General Motors FM-2 Wildcat fighter Upended after a barrier crash onboard USS Sable (IX-81), during pilot training in the Great Lakes, May 1945. Another FM-2 is flying past in the top center. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Photo #: 80-G-354753

Additionally, Sable and her twin trained thousands of deck crews and landing signals officers in how to move, launch and recover aircraft in high tempo operations. Without such men, the war in the Pacific would have been impossible.

USS Sable: Landing Signal Officer, LT Whitaker, in action during training operations on the Great Lakes, May 1945.

In just two years, Sable made an amazing 50,000 landings alone. By comparison, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) only recently hit her 50,000th trap in 2012, 23 years after she joined the fleet.

SNJ Texan trainer makes the ship’s 50,000th landing on Sable, during training operations on the Great Lakes, May 1945. Catalog #: 80-G-354737

Among those trained on her decks was one TBM Avenger pilot, George H.W. Bush, who volunteered for flight training on his 18th birthday.

Flying from the light carrier USS San Jacinto (which was a “small” flattop but still had a longer deck, 552-feet, than Sable!), he completed 58 combat sorties, picking up the DFC and three air medals before VJ Day.

While Bush went on to a bright future, Sable would soon be forgotten in the victory.

Decommissioned on 7 November 1945, Sable was stricken from the list of ships on the Navy Register on 28 November 1945. Sold by the Maritime Commission to H. H. Buncher Co., Pittsburgh, Pa., on 7 July 1948, as a scrap hull, she was reported as “disposed of” on 27 July 1948. Likewise, the Navy decommissioned Wolverine on 7 November 1945 and she was sold for scrap in December 1947.

Other than her plans, which are in the National Archives, few relics of the ship exist today.

However, her legacy to aviation history may be more enduring.

It is estimated that well over 100 aircraft working from Sable and Wolverine were lost during the war due to accidents– as of course they were slow, small and unforgiving platforms filled with (by nature) fledging and unsure aviation hopefuls. By Navy records, at a minimum, the losses included: 41 TBM/TBF Avengers, one F4U Corsair, 38 SBD Dauntless dive bombers, four F6F Hellcats, 17 SNJ Texans, two SB2U Vindicators, 37 FM/F4F Wildcats and three experimental TDNs.

Many of these have been located over the years, providing fodder for aviation museums around the world as they airframes are in generally good condition due to fresh water immersion if the zebra mussels haven’t gotten to them. Many of the aircraft have been found in good condition with, for instance, “tires inflated, parachutes preserved, leather seats maintained, and engine crankcases full of oil. Often paint schemes are well preserved, allowing for easier identification.”

One such F4F-3 (BuNo 4039) lost from Wolverine and recovered in 1991 is on display in a “Sunken Treasures” scene in Pensacola as she would appear on the bottom of the Lakes.

In December 2012, a WWII aircraft, FM-2 Wildcat 57039 was discovered and salvaged in Lake Michigan. She had been lost by Ensign William Forbes on 28 December 1944 as he flew from Sable. She is being restored by the Air Zoo Museum in Kalamazoo, Michigan (Photo: Michigan Tech)

As for Bush’s tie-in with the Sable and his Great Lakes area flight training, the Naval Air & Space Museum also has a restored N2S Stearman Kaydet, BuNo 05369, that he logged flights on from NAS Minneapolis.

The name “Sable” has not graced another U.S. Navy ship.

Specs:
Displacement 6,584 t.
Length 535 ft.
Beam 58 ft.
Propulsion
two compound reciprocating engines
Scotch boilers
Ship’s Service Generators
two turbo-drive 75Kw 120V D.C.
three turbo-drive 100Kw 120V D.C.
two sidewheels
Complement: 300 crew when in civilian service
Armament: none

If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO), Publishers of Warship International

They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find. http://www.warship.org/membership.htm

The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.

With more than 50 years of scholarship, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.

PRINT still has its place. If you LOVE warships you should belong.

I’m a member, so should you be!

USPS gives a salute to Mighty Mo

Next year, this will be my go-to Forever stamp:

And they did it in Measure MS-32/22D camo!

The USS Missouri (BB 63) stamp will celebrate the nation’s “*Last Battleship.”

The release will coincide with the 75th anniversary of Missouri’s 11 June 1944, commissioning. The stamp art depicts Missouri in the disruptive camouflage she wore from her commissioning until a refit in early 1945. Missouri earned numerous combat awards and citations during her decades of service, which include World War II, the Korean War and Operation Desert Storm. She played a momentous role when she hosted the ceremony marking Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II. Designed by art director Greg Breeding, the stamp features a digital illustration by Dan Cosgrove.

How about a closer look at her late-WWII scheme for comparison?

Looks like Cosgrove did a great job. For reference: The U.S. Navy Iowa-class battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) during battle practice in Chesapeake Bay on 1 August 1944. She is wearing Camouflage Measure 32 Design 22D. (U.S. Navy photo 80-G-453331)

*Last Battleship: Wisconsin (BB-64), while ordered later than BB-63, commissioned 16 April 1944, two months before Missouri, while both follow-on sisterships USS Illinois (BB-65) and USS Kentucky (BB-66) never made it into the fleet. Further, Missouri decommissioned 1 March 1992, after all of her sisters went cold in 1990-91. In result, “Mighty Mo” was the final battleship to be completed by or operated for the United States, though not the last dreadnought built overall as the RNs short-lived HMS Vanguard commissioned post-war on 12 May 1946.

Warship Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018: The spaghetti boats of Mar del Plata

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places.- Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018: The spaghetti boats of Mar del Plata

Colorized by my friend, Diego Mar, of Postales Navales

Here we see the fine Italian-made Santa Fe (Cavallini)-class submarine ARA Santa Fe (S1) of the Argentine Navy sailing past Castello Aragonese in Taranto in 1933.

With the recent tragic loss of ARA San Juan, it should be remembered that the blue and white banner of the Armada de la República Argentina has been waving proudly over submarines for almost a century, with the fleet’s Comando de la Fuerza de Submarinos being established some 85 years ago and Santa Fe and her twin sisterships, known in Argentina as the “Tarantinos” due to their origin, started it all.

The Italians had started building submarines as far back as 1892 when the Delfino took to the water. Although they don’t get a lot of press, the Regina Marina put to sea with a formidable submarine force in both World Wars and the Spanish Civil War, which was used to good effect. In WWII, for instance, domestically made Italian subs working briefly in the Atlantic claimed 109 Allied ships, amounting to almost 600,000 tons. Further, Buenos Ares and Rome had a prior relationship stretching back to the 19th Century when it came to ordering naval vessels, so the two were natural partners when the Latin American country wanted in on submersibles.

Contracted with Cantieri navali Tosi on 15 October 1927, the Argentine government arranged for three submarines to be constructed at Taranto to a design of the Cavallini type derived from the Italian Navy’s Settembrini-class boats. At just over 1,100-tons when submerged and some 227-feet long, these were not big boats by any means, but they a modern and efficient design.

Argentina submarines Sumergibles Salta, Santa Fe y Santiago del Estero. Año under construction in 1929. Astillero Franco Tosti. Tarento. Italia.

Equipped with Tosi diesels and electric motors, they could make 17.5-knots surfaced and about half that while submerged, which was pretty good for a 1920s era submarine. Using a saddle-tank hull design with five compartments, they could make an impressive 7,100 nm at 8 knots surfaced, allowing them to deploy from Italy to their new homeland non-stop when completed and complete 30-day patrols. With a crush depth of 300~ feet, they mounted a 4-inch gun on deck and eight 21-inch torpedo tubes, making them capable of sinking a battleship with a single salvo. The Italians later developed the design into their Archimedes-class submarines.

ARA Santa Fe (S1) was class leader followed by ARA Santiago del Estero (S2) and then ARA Salta (S3), all completed by early 1933, all named after Argentine provinces, a tradition in the Armada. After a shakedown in the Med with Italian-trained crews and a short work-up cruise to the Canary Islands, they were on their way to Argentina.

Inspected by national leaders to include President Agustín Pedro Justo upon their arrival at their new homeland, they were given their naval ensigns in October 1933, scarcely six years after they were ordered.

The submarines were tended by the old (Italian-made) protected cruiser ARA General Belgrano until the latter was stricken in 1947, and then her place was taken by the coastal battleship ARA Independencia.

Argentine Santa Fe class submarines, Mar del Plata, circa 1947. Submarinos Tarantinos with coastal battleship ARA Independencia

Operating from their base at Mar del Plata, the class would train and exercise regularly, and stand to (uneventful) service in WWII to protect Argentina’s neutrality and later (on paper) join the effort against Germany after the country declared war on 27 March 1945.

Famously, the last two German U-boats to surrender, U-530 and U-977, did so to Argentine military forces on 10 July and 17 August 1945 at Mar del Plata, respectively and were briefly in the custody of the country’s submarine flotilla until transferred to the U.S. Navy.

U-977 lies in in Mar del Plata, Argentina; rusty and weather-beaten after 108 days at sea – Photograph courtesy of Carlos J. Mey – Administrator of the Historia y Arqueologia Marítima website http://www.histarmar.com.ar/ via U-boat Archive

Post-war service continued with more of the same and the Santa Fe-class subs, growing long in the teeth and being hard to repair due to their 1920s Italian parts, often made by companies no longer in business after 1945, meant their timeline was limited. Santa Fe was stricken in Sept. 1956, followed by Santiago del Estero in April 1959.

Salta would outlast them all, making her 1,000th dive in 1960 before striking on 3 August. The last of the Tarantinos was sold for scrap the following April. Salta‘s flag, as well as several artifacts from her days in the Armada, are on display at the Museo de la Fuerza de Submarinos in Mar del Plata but that is not the end of her legacy.

On 1 April 1960 the US and Argentine Navy signed an agreement to transfer two Balao-class submarines, USS Macabi (SS-375) and USS Lamprey (SS-372) who went on to be renamed ARA Santa Fe (S-11) and ARA Santiago del Estero (S-12), respectively, and were manned in large part by veteran submariners who cut their teeth on the Italian-built boats. Serving until 1971, they were in turn replaced by two other GUPPY-modified Balaos, USS Chivo (SS-341) and USS Catfish (SS-339) who served as (wait for it) ARA Santiago del Estero (S-22) and ARA Santa Fe (S-21). The latter, a Warship Wednesday Alumni, had somewhat spectacularly bad luck in the Falklands, becoming the first submarine taken out of service by a helicopter-fired missile.

Speaking of the Falklands, in 1971, Argentina ordered a pair of new Type 209/1200 submarines from Germany, named ARA Salta (S-31) and ARA San Luis (S-32), the latter was more or less active in the Falklands but faced the double-edged sword of not being sunk although an entire British task force (including modern SSNs) were looking for her but in turn not being able to make a hit with her malfunctioning torpedoes.

ARA Salta S31, a Type 209 SSK now some 45 years young and still on active duty

Salta is still on active duty although San Luis has since been decommissioned. With the recent loss of San Juan, Salta and one remaining TR-1700 type U-boat, ARA Santa Cruz (S-41), are the only operational Argentine subs.

Argentine submarine classes in a nutshell from 1933 to current. Between the 11 boats, only six names were used.

For more information on the boat and her class, see the dedicated memorial group for them at Los Tarantinos Argentina 1933 -1960 (Historia de submarinos) and the articles on the class at ElSnorkel (Spanish) and Histarmar.

Specs:

USN Submarine Sighting Guide ONI 31-2A June 1958 with Salta compared when she was likely one of the last 1920s-ordered submarines on active duty anywhere

Displacement: 755 tons (1155 submerged)
Length: 227 (oa) ft.
Beam: 21.91 ft.
Draft: 16.56 ft.
Diving depth: 80m operational
Engines: 2 Tosi diesels, 3,000hp. One electric motor, 1,043kW
Speed: 17.5 knots on the surface, 9 submerged
Range: 7,100nm at 8 knots surfaced on 90 tons of fuel oil, 80nm at 4kts submerged
Crew: 40
Armament:
1x 4″/40 Odero-Terni deck gun
2x machine guns
8x 21-inch torpedo tubes (4 forward, 4 aft)
1x 40mm/60cal Bofors single added in 1944 for WWII service

If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO), Publishers of Warship International

They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find. http://www.warship.org/membership.htm

The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.

With more than 50 years of scholarship, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.

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Warship Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018: The Quilt City Slugger

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places.- Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018: The Quilt City Slugger

Bain News Service Collection, Library of Congress photo LC-B2-11-14

Here we see the Dubuque-class gunboat USS Paducah (Gunboat No. 18) of the U.S. Navy on a sunny Spring day, 28 May 1912, while assigned to the Caribbean Squadron. This humble 200-feet of rock and roll served Uncle in both World Wars and kept on chugging post-1945.

Designed at the turn of the century as a slow (12 knot) but decently-armed (2 4-inch, 4 6-pounders, 2 1-pounders) steel-hulled gunboat capable of floating in two fathoms of brackish water, the Dubuque-class gunboats were both built at the Gas Engine and Power Co. and Charles L. Seabury Co., Morris Heights, N.Y.

Both class leader Dubuque and sister Paducah were the first U.S. Navy warships named after those mid-sized river cities, which seems appropriate as the ships themselves could be used in rivers, bays, and lakes otherwise off-limits to larger men-of-war of the day. Still, they were handsome ships with a pair of tall stacks, twin masts, and a raked bow, and fast enough for what they were intended for.

With their armament pumped up while under construction from a pair of 4″/40cals as designed to a full set of six of these guns (rivalling light cruisers of the day) and augmented by a Colt M1895 Potato-Digger machine gun for landing duties, they were well-suited to wave the flag in far-off climes on the cheap and patrol out-of-the-way backwater ports in Latin America, West Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean.

Yes, they were the Littoral Combat Ships of 1905!

USS DUBUQUE (PG-17). NH 54576

Commissioned 2 September 1905, Paducah was soon dispatched to the Caribbean Squadron “to protect American lives and interests through patrols and port calls to the Caribbean and Central and South American cities.”

Patrolling Mexican waters in the aftermath of the Vera Cruz incident through the summer of 1914, she then returned to her Caribbean operations, performing surveys from time to time.

At the Portsmouth Navy Yard, New Hampshire, prior to World War I. NH 42990

Group portrait of ship’s baseball team, prior to World War I. Description: Courtesy of Mr. Jacoby. Catalog #: NH 42993

In dry dock at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, New Hampshire, prior to World War I. Description: Courtesy of Mr. Jacoby. Catalog #: NH 42991

In dry dock at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, New Hampshire, prior to World War I. Gunboat astern is either MARIETTA or WHEELING. Description: Courtesy of Mr. Jacoby. Catalog #: NH 42992

In dry dock at the Portsmouth Navy Yard New Hampshire, September 1916. On left is USS EAGLE, 1898-1920. Description: Courtesy of John G. Krieger, 1967 Catalog #: NH 43475

When the U.S. entered WWI in 1917, Paducah was tapped to perform overseas escort and coastal patrol duties in Europe, reaching Gibraltar 27 October. Based from there, the plucky gunboat escorted convoys to North Africa, Italy, the Azores, and Madeira.

She logged an attack on an unidentified U-boat 9 September 1918 after it had sunk one of her convoys, and was credited with possibly damaging the submarine, although this was not confirmed by post-war audits. Her sister Dubuque spent the Great War investigating isolated harbors and inlets in the Caribbean and on the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia to prevent their use by German submarines, an ideal tasking for such a vessel.

After post-WWI survey duty in the Caribbean, Paducah was re-engined with twin 623.5ihp vertical triple-expansion engines, and her armament reduced. She then transferred to Duluth, Minn in May 1922, to serve as a training ship for Naval Reserve forces in the 9th District. Sister Dubuque likewise pulled the same service, taking Reservists on cruises from her home port of Detroit into Lakes Superior and Michigan every summer, and icing in for the winter. Good duty if you can get it.

Photographed during the 1930s, while serving as a training ship for Naval Reserves on the Great Lakes. NH 76516

When WWII came, both Paducah and her sister returned to the East Coast in early 1941, and, based at Little Creek, Va. throughout the conflict, trained Armed Guard gunners in Chesapeake Bay for details on merchant vessels. Some 144,970 Armed Guards served during the war, trained at three bases, with over 1,800 killed or missing in the conflict. Witnessing a staggering 1,966 air attacks and 1,024 submarine attacks, 467 guard crews participated in destroying enemy planes in addition to engaging surface raiders and submarines.

USS Dubuque, 12 December 1941 Norfolk, VA Photo caption: “Looking down from the crow’s nest toward the bow of the U.S.S. Dubuque, which is now being used to train gun crews for U.S. Armed Merchant ships. In the foreground, is a rangefinder, while crews move about two slim, deadly looking guns similar to those being used on merchantmen.” International News Sound photo via Navsource http://www.navsource.org/archives/12/09017.htm

Decommissioning 7 September 1945, both transferred to the Maritime Commission 19 December 1946 and Paducah was sold the same day to one Maria Angelo, Miami, Fla. Then came a second career for Paducah as Dubuque was sent to the breakers.

Purchased for a song by the Israeli group Haganah and renamed Geulah (Hebrew: Redemption) a scratch crew of mostly-American volunteers sailed her first to France and then Bulgaria, taking aboard an amazing 2,644 Ma’apilim refugees for passage to Palestine through the British blockade.

Fitting out as a Palestine immigrant blockade runner, probably at a Florida port on 5 March 1947. She was renamed GEULAH for that role. Courtesy of Paul H. Silverstone, 1983 Catalog #: NH 94973

The British trailed her off Palestine and raided the vessel in Haifa harbor, impounding the ship among others used by the Israelis until the new government formed. (See fellow Warship Wednesday alumni Gresham).

SS GEULAH, ex-USS PADUCAH (PG-18) Arriving off Palestine with Jewish immigrants on 2 October 1947, being intercepted by HMS Mermaid. Courtesy of Paul H. Silverstone, 1983 Catalog #: NH 94972

Geulah being boarded by British troops after she had been towed into the port of Haifa, during the night of 2 October 1947. Photo from “The Jews’ Secret Fleet” by Murray S. Greenfield and Joseph M. Hochstein, Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem, and New York Via Navsource http://www.navsource.org/archives/12/09018.htm

Later the Israeli Navy was able to reclaim Paducah/Geulah in 1948 after independence, but following inspection, the desperate organization realized they were not that desperate, and, after a brief stint as a tramp steamer, sold her for scrap in Naples in 1951.

The only other Paducah commissioned in the Navy was the 109-foot large harbor tug, YTB-758. Built at the Southern Shipbuilding Corp., Slidell, La., she joined the fleet in 1961 and was decommissioned 1970. Struck from the Naval Register, 25 June 1999, she is in commercial service today in Connecticut as Patricia Ann, berthed at New London.

The large harbor tug USS PADUCAH (YTB-758) nudges the attack carrier USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CVA-67) toward pier 12, Naval Operating Base, Norfolk, Virginia. Catalog #: K-61228 National Archive. Photo by JOI TOM Walton Wed, Oct 30, 1968

The silver punch bowl from the old gunboat Paducah, donated to the Quilt City in 1946 by the Navy, is on display at the city’s Market House Museum.

Specs:

USS DUBUQUE (PG-17) and USS PADUCAH (PG-18) Drawing by F. Muller, circa 1902 NH 54575

Displacement 1,237 t.
Length 200′ 5
Length between perpendiculars 174′
Beam 35′
Draft 12′ 3″
Propulsion: Two 235psi Babcock and Wilcox boilers, two 500ihp Gas Engine Power Co. vertical triple-expansion engines, two shafts, 200 tons coal
1921 – Two 630ihp vertical triple-expansion engines.
Speed 12 kts, as designed
1921 – 12.9 kts.
Complement 162, as designed
1914 – 172
1921 – 161
Armament:
(1905)
Six 4″ (102/40) Mk VII mounts (replaced by newer 4″/50s in 1911)
Four Driggs-Schroeder Mk II 57mm 6-pounders
Two 1-pounders
One .30-06 cal. Colt machine gun
(1921) Four 4″/50 rapid fire mounts and one 3″/23 mount
(1940)
One 5″/38 dual-purpose mount
Two 4″/50 gun mounts
One 3″/50 dual-purpose mount

If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO), Publishers of Warship International

They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find. http://www.warship.org/membership.htm

The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.

With more than 50 years of scholarship, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.

PRINT still has its place. If you LOVE warships you should belong.

I’m a member, so should you be!

Warship Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018: The first steamer-on-steamer scrap

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all of their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places.- Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018: The first steamer-on-steamer scrap

“Battle of the steam-frigate Vladimir with the Turkish steam frigate Pervaz-i Bahri on November 5, 1853, by Alexey Petrovich Bogolyubov. 1850s Canvas, oil. via wiki commons.

Here we see the British-built steam frigate Vladimir of the Russian Imperial Navy who, 165 years ago this week, won the first naval battle between two steamships.

While steam-powered warships started to appear in numbers on all sides during the Crimean War and then became standard in the U.S. Civil War, they had an earlier start when the floating steam-powered battery Demologos was built in the U.S. during the War of 1812 to defend New York City. The Royal Navy commissioned the early paddle sloop HMS Medea in 1833. Not to be outdone, the Tsar ordered the 28-gun paddle frigate Bogatyr in 1836 (predating the U.S. Navy’s own inaugural paddle gunboat USS Fulton by a year) and over the next 20 years Russia picked up almost two dozen more of these early steamships before moving on to screw-driven vessels.

Steam frigate Bogatyr by Russian maritime artist Vladimir Emyshev

Paddle frigate Gremyashchy built in 1849-1851 by Russian shipbuilder Ivan Afanasyevich Amosov at the Okhta shipyard

One of these was Vladimir, ordered from the private shipyard of Ditchburn & Mare’s, Blackwall, after a design of Mr. Burry & Co, Liverpool.

Some 179-feet long at the waterline, she was an iron-hulled paddle frigate capable of making 10.5-knots on her Rennie of London 1,200 ihp steam engine by design. She made a trials voyage from Plymouth covering 154 miles in just 13 hours, at a sustained rate of 11.75-knots, belching smoke from her twin stacks. It was all pretty impressive for the era.

Paddle frigate Vladimir by naval artist A.N. Ivanov

In fact, she was handier than some of the British Admiralty-built vessels in the RN, and at a cheaper price– a fact not lost on the Mechanic’s Magazine of 1848.

The 758-ton vessel mounted a 9.65-inch shell gun as well as four 24-pounder gunnades, although this was later upped to 13 guns including two 10-inch shell guns, three 68-pounders, six 24-pounders and a pair of 18-pound chase guns.

Sailing for the Russian Black Sea Fleet in 1848, the Vladimir became the flagship of VADM Vladimir Kornilov and, by 1853, the country was at war with their traditional enemy in the area, Turkey.

With LCDR Grigory Butakov in command of the Russian paddle frigate, she met the 10-gun Turko-Egyptian armed steamer Pervaz-i Bahri (Lord of the Seas) on 5 November. Spotting her around 8 in the morning at a distance, Butakov laid on the coal and closed by 10 a.m.

Butakov soon assessed that the Turk had no stern-firing guns and, after delivering an initial salvo broadside, moved to that exposed quarter. With her shell guns firing over the bowsprit, Vladimir soon disabled the steering of the enemy steamer, destroyed her observation deck, knocked away her stack, and then, closing with the wounded ship, started to rake her decks with canister.

The slaughter was kept up for two hours.

Her skipper killed along with 58 of her crew, Pervaz-i Bahri struck her colors by 1 p.m. and was taken as a prize by a Russian boarding party who renamed her Kornilov in honor of their admiral.

Butakov lost just two men in the action and was quickly promoted to Captain 2nd Rank, and knighted in the Order of St. George.

As for Vladimir, the Crimean War was her downfall, being trapped in the harbor at the siege of Sevastopol. Butakov did, however, according to Russian sources, try out a new tactic then of taking on ballast to one side, increasing the elevation of his guns to extend the range to hit British and French infantry outside of the besieged city.

As the Allies moved in, the steamer was scuttled 30 August 1855.

The destruction of Vladimir

Adm. Kornilov had already been killed on Malakhov Hill the previous October during the first bombardment of the city by Anglo-French troops.

Vladimir‘s cannons were later salvaged by divers and she was raised after the war in 1860 by an American firm, though found to be too damaged to repair and turned into a floating workshop for the naval base. In the end, she was sunk as a target ship for good in 1891.

As for Butakov, he later rose to admiral in 1878.

Butakov

A number of flags from the ship as well as caps and epaulets from Butakov and Kornilov’s telescope are maintained in the Central Naval Museum in St. Petersburg. It seems the Communists couldn’t bring themselves to get rid of them post-1917.

The battle, vessel, and her skipper have been commemorated in a series of models, stamps, and paintings.

Specs:

Displacement: 758-tons
Length: 200 ft oal, 179 wl
Beam: 35.9 ft.
Draft: 14.5 ft.
Machinery: Rennie, London four-boiler steam plant, 1,200 ihp, twin paddlewheels
Speed: 10.5 kts, 2,000-mile range at 8
Crew: 150
Armament:
(Designed)
9.65-inch shell gun
4x 24-pounder gunnades,
(1853)
2x 10-inch shell guns,
3x 68-pounders,
6x 24-pounders
2×18-pound chase guns.

If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO), Publishers of Warship International

They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find. http://www.warship.org/membership.htm

The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.

With more than 50 years of scholarship, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.

PRINT still has its place. If you LOVE warships you should belong.

I’m a member, so should you be!

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