CLAMAGORE entered Charleston Naval Shipyard in May, 1962, for conversion to a GUPPY III type submarine. During this conversion, the ship was cut in half and a 15 foot, 55 ton section was added. The latest and most sophisticated electronics and fire control system were also installed.
CLAMAGORE decommissioned 12 June 1975 and was struck from the Navy List on 27 June 1975 and now serves as a Musuem Ship at Patriot's Point, Charleston, South Carolina.
The Tidewater from a news clipping. Here she is shown just before her launch in June 1945. The tender cost $10 million to build and was paid for by bond-buying Charleston Naval Shipyard workers. The construction took 15 months. At the time she was the largest ship ever built at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. Her sister ship, the USS Bryce Canyon, was launched only 15 days later - a lot of ship-building activity for Charleston during the ending months of World War II. (Official USNavy Photo)
Clipping courtesy George Lisee, USS Tidewater AD31
The Early Years
All clippings above... courtesy George Lisee, USS Tidewater AD31
About the Lithograph:
Through the gates of the Shipyard would go workers and Navy personnel who not only would build upspecial loyalties to the Navy but who would build up special friendships. These friendships would spill over into civilian life outside the Shipyard, and the Shipyard would become part of the family fabric of Charleston.
For the many of us who have worked at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, we can remember driving through the MacMillan Street Gate, finding our parking area and reporting for work. Many of us recall getting out of our cars in the big lots outside the fence and walking through the gates into the Shipyard to put in a full day. We can remember the rainstorms that we ran through during these walks, and we can remember the Old Powerhouse standing vigil and committed to the mission of the Charleston Naval Shipyard. We remember the sounds of the twelve o'clock noon hour and the lunch breaks that were but small respites from the hours of work that we had just completed and still faced.
As one recalls the days of the Shipyard, each of us can remember the sounds, the sights, the smells, and the feelings which made up our years at the Charleston Naval Shipyard.
With the announcement of the closure of the Charleston Naval Shipyard and base, we can see the fabric of our past being torn apart and the spirit of what once was, disappearing.
(Woodrow Wilson SSBN624 under the Golden Gate Bridge enroute to new homeport of Charleston SC via the Panama Canal, January 1964)
Photo of an A3 DASO launch from Woodrow Wilson which failed. The missile fell back into the water, landed on the missile deck.The 1st stage rocket motor ignited and cartwheeled across the missile deck, exiting aft over the side and exploded. Minimal damage to the boat, but the crew needed a special "laundry call" upon returning to port).
(Photo from Inactivation ceremonies at Charleston, SC. in 1993)
What A Ride! I'd be hanging on to that rope too.
Charleston Naval Base Aerial Shot 1967
World War II Enlistment Poster
Having a not so great day. Typhoon driven wind and surf put her on the beach (thought to have happened sometime during the 1930s). She was re-floated and went on to serve her country proudly in some of this countries darkest moments...
USS Canopus AS 9 (Submarine Tender)
Picture thanks to Rich Vander Woude
USS Canopus with her squadron of subs
On 7 December 1941, Canopus, aging but able, lay at Cavite Navy Yard, as tender to Submarine Squadron 20. In the anxious days that followed, her men worked day and night to repair ships damaged in the daily air raids as well as to keep her brood of submarines at sea. With the Army falling back on Manila, Canopus sailed to Mariveles Bay at the tip of Bataan on Christmas Day. On 29 December 1941 and 1 January 1942, she received direct bomb hits which resulted in substantial damage to the ship and injuries to 13 of her men. Working at fevered pace, her men continued to care for other ships while keeping their own afloat and in operation. To prevent further Japanese attack, smoke pots were placed around the ship and the appearance of an abandoned hulk was presented by day, while the ship hummed with activity by night.Just before the New Year, the last of the submarines left Canopus, but her activity continued as she cared for small craft and equipment of the Army and Navy, sent her men into battle in the improvised naval battalion which fought so gallantly on Bataan, and converted her own launches into miniature gunboats which attacked the Japanese moving south near the shore. But the overwhelming Japanese strength could not be held off forever, and upon the surrender of Bataan on 9 April, Canopus was ordered scuttled and sunk, to deny her use to the enemy. On 10 April, she was proudly backed off into deep water under her own power, and the brave veteran whom the Japanese could not sink ended a lifetime of service to the Navy when she was laid to rest by her own men.
Canopus received one battle star for service in World War II.
History from the Dictionary of American Fighting Ships.
Fog settles around USS Canopus and her brood when she was laid to rest by her own men.
After suffering through several years of the Great Depression, getting hired at the CNSY was good news for my Grandfather. Probably why he saved this for so long. He started right before all hell broke lose.
" Attack of Pearl Harbor" December 7, 1941.
Attack At Pearl Harbor, 1941
The surprise was complete. The attacking planes came in two waves; the first hit its target at 7:53 AM, the second at 8:55. By 9:55 it was all over. By 1:00 PM the carriers that launched the planes from 274 miles off the coast of Oahu were heading back to Japan.
Behind them they left chaos, 2,403 dead, 188 destroyed planes and a crippled Pacific Fleet that included 8 damaged or destroyed battleships. In one stroke the Japanese action silenced the debate that had divided Americans ever since the German defeat of France left England alone in the fight against the Nazi terror.
Typical wages for CNSY workers in 1946, this is per day not per hour.
Most of you will see some familiar names. I know I did, and I wasn't even born yet.
Is that Tommy and Arthur Woodward's, sister's birth announcement above ?
Is that our Broad Street Attorney Paul Uricchio Jr. to the left ?