|A Place Called YORKSHIP
The Last Survivors of New York Shipbuilding Co.
|Last Revised: 23 July, 2009|
CVL-28 Cabot being scrapped in Brownsville, TX
The roster of surviving vessels built by New York Shipbuilding continues to shrink, with AO-147 Truckee the most recent to go to the torch. On the positive side, NS Savannah has been recalled from the James River Reserve Fleet to receive a $1 million clean-up at Colonna's Shipyard, Norfolk, with removal of her nuclear components to follow. This could pave the way for her to once again become a museum ship, befitting her status as a National Historic Landmark.
Of the 15 known remaining ships, the immediate future of only five can be considered reasonably secure: the three museum ships, the Savannah, and the only vessel whose screws are still turning, Observation Island. Kitty Hawk is now laid up in inactive reserve, with final disposition (museum or torch) likely some years away. One deteriorating lightship is in private hands in New Jersey, one destroyer escort is in pieces in Colombia, and one Navy auxiliary is being scrapped in Virginia. The remaining seven vessels are in the custody of MARAD, with six flagged for disposal and the seventh on loan to the Coast Guard for fire training.
It's possible that one or more of the unpowered minor vessels (car floats and cargo barges) is still in use along a river waterfront or quietly rusting away in something like the Staten Island boat graveyard. It's even possible that somewhere an LCT or LCI lumbers on as an island ferry or delivery truck. But if so, it would not appreciably slow the inexorable march toward industrial extinction, nor mitigate the history already lost: every submarine, every cruiser, every battleship, every destroyer, every light carrier.
June 2009 Update: Two additions to the list, in the form of a pair of 125-foot Coast Guard cutters built in 1927. The Morris, formerly WSC-147, is in the hands of the Sea Scouts in Stockton CA. The Ewing, now known as Pacific Hunter, is in Seattle and up for sale. It's also come to our attention that the Alert, formerly WSC-127, sailed from San Francisco to Portland OR in 2006 under Captain (and new owner) Michael Stone. However, the ship was cut loose by vandals in March 2007, holed, and reported "in danger of sinking." An update on its status is sought.
July 2009 Update: Two more apparent survivors have surfaced, though identification of them is still incomplete. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock's 1957 vessel Jessie is either the drilling tender launched as Howard S. Cole Jr., or the water barge launched as I.W. Alcorn. Bay Coast Railroad's 1948 car float Nandua appears to be one of six car floats launched that year for the Pennsylvania Railroad and Erie Railroad. Further inquiries are pending.
The following list is organized by date of launch.
|Launched||Designation/Name||Status (links are to ship or facility Web sites)|
|1904||LV-79 Cape Lookout Shoal (aka Barnegat)||Contract 23. Lightship. Oldest surviving Yorkship vessel. From mid-1970s to mid-1990s, on exhibition at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, PA. Currently moored at Pyne Poynt Marina in Camden, NJ, and reportedly in poor condition.|
|1904||LV-83 Relief (aka Swiftsure)||Contract 26. Lightship. Since 1967, on exhibition at the Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center, Seattle, WA.|
||Contract 47. Lightship. Since 1968, on exhibition at the South Street Seaport Museum, New York, NY.|
|1926||WSC-129 Bonham||Contract 324. Coast Guard cutter (Active-class). Registered as Mindy B, she is reportedly a towboat on the Columbia River for Mark Bernert Marine Services of Warren OR. Provisional listing.|
|1927||WSC-137 Ewing||Contract 332. Coast Guard cutter (Active-class). Carrying the name Pacific Hunter, she is currently berthed in Seattle, WA, and has been for sale, with the most recent price tag $124,000.|
|1927||WSC-146 McLane||Contract 339. Coast Guard cutter. Since 1993, preserved as a museum ship at Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum, Muskegon, MI.|
|1927||WSC-147 Morris||Contract 341. Coast Guard cutter. Since 1971, property of the Sea Scouts. At time of transfer, was the largest vessel owned and operated by the Sea Scouts. Currently homeported at Stockton, CA, and reportedly recently completed a $1.5 million refit..|
|1940-12/14||AR-5 Vulcan||Contract 422. Repair vessel. Last surviving vessel from NYSB's World War II production. Transferred to the Maritime Administrations NDRF, Feb 1999 and placed in the James River Reserve. Disposition contract awarded to Bay Bridge Enterprises 9 Nov 2006. Towed to Bay Bridge Enterprises, Chesapeake, VA, for scrapping 19 Dec 2006. Naval Vessel Register reports scrapping completed 11 Nov 2007, though this photo purportedly dated Feb 2008 shows her still largely intact.|
|1943-04/04||CVL-28 Cabot||Contract 434. Light carrier. Purchased at US Marshal's auction Sept. 9, 1999 by Sabe Marine Salvage. An 11th-hour effort by ECOSAT to save her from the torches failed, and she was scrapped in Brownsville, Texas. The island tower, CIC, and Ready Room were purchased by the Texas Air Museum, and are to be displayed as part of a Light Carrier Memorial.|
|1951-01/09||State of Maine
||Contract 487. Cargo vessel. Ex-President Hayes, ex-T-AP-198 Upshur. From 1973-1997, training vessel, Maine Maritime Academy. As of November 30, 2007, on loan from MARAD to US Coast Guard's Fire & Safety Test Detachment on Little Sand Island, Mobile AL, for fire-fighting research. Photo at left shows her condition in March, 2009.|
||Contract 494. Missile tracking ship. Ex-Empire State Mariner. From 1956-1979, missile test ship (YAG-57/EAG-154/AG-154) for Polaris test and evaluation. Modified to missile tracking ship 1979-81 and redesignated T-AGM-23. Assigned to the Pacific Fleet and used to monitor Russian missile launches. Currently operated by Military Sealift Command, Special Mission Support, with a civilian crew.|
|1954-06/12||AO-144 Mississinewa||Contract 500. Fleet oiler. Transferred to the Maritime Administrations NDRF, May 1999. Scrapping was contracted 27 Sep 2006 and was completed in Brownsville, TX, on 11 Feb 2008.|
||Contract 501. Fleet oiler. Transferred to the Maritime Administrations NDRF, May 1999 and placed in Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, CA. As of 30 April 2009, on MARAD's "Non-Retention - Tanker" list with status Disposal.|
|1954-12/11||AO-146 Kawishiwi||Contract 502. Fleet oiler. Transferred to the Maritime Administrations NDRF, May 1999 and placed in Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, CA. As of 30 April 2009, on MARAD's "Non-Retention - Tanker" list with status Disposal.|
|1955-03/10||AO-147 Truckee||Contract 503. Fleet oiler. Transferred to the Maritime Administrations NDRF, May 1999 and placed in James River Reserve Fleet, James River, VA. Sold to Bay Bridge Enterprises of Chesapeake, VA, for scrapping, Jul 2008, and removed from its James River mooring 6 Aug 2008.|
|Contract 504. Fleet oiler. Transferred to the Maritime Administrations NDRF, May 1999. As of November 30, 2007, in Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, CA. As of 30 April 2009, on MARAD's "Non-Retention - Tanker" list with status Disposal.|
||Contract 512. Destroyer escort. Sold to Colombia in 1972 and redesignated DE-16 Boyaca. Stricken in 1994 after ending its career as a stationary headquarters ship. According to the Newport Dealeys web site, Boyaca was disassembled for transport to Guatape, Colombia, where it was to become a museum. However, the estimated $4.5 million cost of .reassembly and restoration left the project in limbo.|
|1958-08/28||Atlas||Contract 519. Delivered 28 Aug 1958 to Tankers & Tramps Corp. of Philadelphia. Later Connecticut (1966) for Connecticut Transport, Inc. Acquired by MARAD 19 Oct 1983 and placed in Suisun Bay, CA, Reserve Fleet. Sent to ISL in Brownsville for scrapping under contract, 25 Oct 2005. Scrapping complete 18 Aug 2006.|
|1959-07/21||N.S. Savannah||Contract 529. Nuclear-powered demonstration cargo-passenger liner (P2-N1-MA40a). Laid up and defueled, 1972. From 1981 to 1994 was a museum ship at Patriot's Point, South Carolina. From 1994 to 2006, was berthed in the James River Reserve Fleet, VA. In late 2006 was withdrawn from JRRF to receive $1 million in repairs and maintenance at Colonna's Shipyard in Norfolk in preparation for removal of its nuclear components. As of 8 May 2008, at Vane Brothers shipyard in Baltimore for removal of reactor. Listed on National Register of Historic Places, and may eventually become a museum ship again.|
|1960-04/23||Export Ambassador||Contract 530. Cargo ship, C3-S-38a class. Placed in NDRF in 1981 as Ambassador, and located in Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, California. As of 31 March 2009, on Marad's "Non-Retention - Break Bulk" list with status Historic Review.|
|1960-05/21||CVA-63 Kitty Hawk||Contract 514. Aircraft carrier. Departed Japan after 10 years of forward deployment on 28 May 2008. Legacy decommissioning 31 Jan 2009. Inactivated and decommissioned 12 May 2009. Laid up in reserve in Bremerton, WA.|
|1960-06/04||DDG-5 Claude V. Ricketts||Contract 527. Guided-missile destroyer. Stricken and sold for scrap to a breaker in Baltimore in 1994, but contractor defaulted. Navy cancelled contract 10/01/96 and repossessed vessel. Placed in NISMF at Philadelphia, 2nd Street Wharf, Berth 6. Finally scrapped by Metro Machine, with work completed 8 November 2002.|
|1960-07/09||Export Adventurer||Contract 531. Cargo ship, C3-S-38a class. NYSB's final civilian vessel. Placed in NDRF in 1981 as Adventurer, and located in Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, California. As of 31 March 2009, on Marad's "Non-Retention - Break Bulk" list with status Historic Review.|
|1960-12/10||DDG-6 Barney||Contract 528. Guided-missile destroyer, Adams-class. Stricken 1992 and sold for scrap 1994;. Survived another 5 years in Philadelphia NISMF due to default by scrapper. Resold in 1999 and scrapped by Metro Machine at a cost of $25 million; work competed 22 Feb 2006.|
|1961-07/21||DDG-15 Berkeley||Contract 536. Guided-missile destroyer. Transferred in 1992 to the Greek Navy, where it served as DDG-221 Themistokles, a Kimon-class air defense destroyer. Decommissioned 18 February 2002, and sold for scrap 19 February 2004.|
|1961-12/09||DDG-16 Joseph Strauss||Contract 537. Guided-missile destroyer. Transferred in 1992 to the Greek Navy, where it served as DDG-220 Formion, a Kimon-class air defense destroyer. Decommissioned 18 February 2002 and sold for scrap 19 February 2004.|
|1965-05/29||AOE-2 Camden||Contract 542. Served as a fast support ship assigned to Pacific Fleet, homeported in Bremerton, WA. Decommissioned October 14, 2005 at Kitsap Bay. Sold for scrap April 13, 2007. Made final transit of Panama Canal in August, 2007, en route to Brownsville, TX. Scrapped at ESCO Marine, with work completed 18 May 2008.|
For more details about any particular vessel, go the Ships List.
to Yorkship Main Page
your Yorkship memories to Michael Kube-McDowell, Class of '68