Nevertheless, we would rough it out with the best, at least that’s what we told our wives. It was the telltale clink of his zippo lighter that caught my ear. The Maritime administration had long ago determined that ships like the Patrick had outlived their usefulness and must be dismantled and recycled. Renamed USAT GENERAL EDWIN D. PATRICK, the ship was given back to the Navy in 1950 and was placed back in service as USNS GENERAL EDWIN D. PATRICK (T-AP 124) for Korean War duty. The body parts of the, conducted her first operational service in the spring of 1945. 47 Patrick at Esco Marine recycling facility in Brownsville, Texas, late July 2010 (Courtesy of David Walker as provided by Esco Marine)[xvii], 48 Patrick at Esco Marine recycling facility in Brownsville, Texas, late July, 2010 (Courtesy of David Walker as provided by Esco Marine)[xviii]. One night while standing watch I attempted to write a letter but Father Neptune had other ideas. The core of these pages devoted to Troopships of World War II are the records of crossings made during the period 1941-46, which is maintained by Wesley Johnson at the Dad's War web site. The ships were set side by side in rows that could exceed a dozen vessels. But alas, I got sidetracked and never did take any positive steps to learn when the executioner might call. ft. This process had a two-fold objective, to ensure essential services for those on board and to provide a modicum of required duty to keep the troops occupied and out of trouble for at least some of the time. Our group spent about an hour enjoying the warm Pacific waters of Waikiki—quite a change from the cool and foreboding Pacific of San Francisco. The second and third bunks in the stack were the most desirable and the first to go when the boarding started. But I wasted little time in reminiscing. In Figure 46 tugs are pushing and pulling the Patrick through the narrow passage. On being ferried ashore at Inchon on that Saturday morning, I looked back at the grey hull of the General Patrick sitting at anchor out there in the harbor. USS Admiral R. E. Coontz (AP-122) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 680) on 15 January 1943 at Alameda, California, by the Bethlehem Steel Corp.; launched on 22 April 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Edwin Kokko, daughter of Admiral Coontz; and commissioned on 21 November 1944, Capt. The Pentagon also announced a reduction of U.S. troop levels in Iraq to 2,500 by mid-January. A fire at sea, with so many lives at risk, was perhaps the number one potential disaster that might befall any ship such as this. As if the howling winds, heavy rain and continuously crashing waves were not enough, the, The real challenge of our voyage was to while away the hours without knowing they were passing by, keeping occupied, reading books, writing letters, playing cards, taking a nap, staring at the ocean. I had only recently discovered that, for a nominal fee, I could join a small party boat that cruised around the fleet for a couple of hours one weekend a month. On the other side of those steel plates, where port and starboard sides meet, the Patrick was crashing through wave after wave, day and night, in its unrelenting forward progress. The trench contains just enough water to float the vessel in. And unbeknownst to me, all this time the Patrick floated in limbo with its aging buddies, barely 25 miles northeast of San Francisco. Regulations prohibited getting too close or boarding any of the ships. The room also doubled as a chapel on Sundays. The mystery of the General Patrick has been solved. In Figure 37 the vessel has been placed on a southeasterly heading and is proceeding toward the Bay Bridge and the BAE shipyard beyond. And so it was for me—travelling to Travis Air Force Base in California by way of Tokyo in a four-engine, turbo-prop Constellation. Troops spent most of their free time in the forward section of the ship, particularly when on deck, since access amidships and aft was not authorized, the passageways being roped off. Holy mackerel! The two rows occupied a raised platform and a channel of perhaps four inches deep ran down the center. Nonetheless, the troops were excited and all smiles. For a perspective of the Patrick’s size, see the person walking in the dry dock to the left of the hull in Figure 40. What an adventure. From here the Patrick and the Alexandra, the little engine that could, made their way into the Atlantic for the final leg of the journey. After dropping the bags in the assigned compartments, most quickly scrambled out on deck for a great sightseeing opportunity. Off the East Coast are the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower off the Coast of Connecticut, the USS Gerald R. Ford off the coast of New Jersey, and the USS Iwo Jima off the coast of South Carolina . Even with all that, there was good news on the horizon: The ship would make a short stop at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During the night the weather began turning nasty. If seasickness became too intense, the Patrick had a medical clinic that could provide some relief, although the sea was not going away. But in closer to the ship, the water took on a beautiful pale, ice blue shade where the, Our group spent about an hour enjoying the warm Pacific waters of Waikiki—quite a change from the cool and foreboding Pacific of San Francisco. I had only recently discovered that, for a nominal fee, I could join a small party boat that cruised around the fleet for a couple of hours one weekend a month. The body parts of the Patrick, the steel, the copper, the old mimeograph machine, the toilets…all would be reused or ground back into the earth. 14 The Patrick sailing right to left past Honolulu beaches en route to Pearl Harbor; March 1962. The intended use of these ships after the War was for trans-Pacific service. A variable length tow line will be attached to these and connected to an ocean-going tug. FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. Troops received the usual three meals a day in the mess hall—oops, make that the “galley”—but were grouped into specific meal times to minimize congestion. Eventually, there’s nothing left but the barest section of the hull and keel. Our course had all the aspects of a bombing run on naval targets, without the shooting and explosions, of course. It then brought us back to army-reality by rudely plunking us down on the wintry shores of this foreign land. Our little tour boat was not authorized to sail up and down the rows of vessels, but instead was left to sail around the circumference of the fleet. When we found that bathing suits could be rented for 50 cents, all resistance faded. A docent on board provided a running narrative on the identity and history of some of the vessels as we passed by. Officially, the war was still underway, only a truce keeping the sides apart as they stared at each other across the heavily armed DMZ. As we sailed past the Patrick’s row, I was able to turn myself around and get a good view of the Patrick’s bow and the General Pope’s stern. The mystery of the, (According to NavSource Online (http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/22/22124.htm). The General Patrick arrived at the Esco Marine recycling facility along the southeast Texas coast probably sometime in the first half of June. Maybe it was a half mile to a mile long as we steamed by. Figures 47 and 48, acquired by David Walker, courtesy of Esco Marine, show the vessel tied up along the waterfront during the last week of July 2010. On second thought, disregard that last part about army intelligence. Description, history, and photograph(s) of Transport USS General W.A. The Patrick was a floating time machine instantly propelling us into the future. (I have a Catholic background) Can you believe it? )[vi], 37 Patrick turns to port and heads for BAE shipyard on April 15, 2010 (Photo by CAPT. Troopships and Hospital ships of World War II, including those operated by the American Merchant Marine War Shipping Administration, U.S. Navy, and Army Transport Service 4.8 out of 5 stars 8. A person may one day buy a Chinese made vehicle with traces of Patrick steel in its frame. There were no doors, no partitions.     Also see the NavSource Naval History site at http://www.navsource.org/archives/home.html, [iv] http://scotthaefner.com/photos/place/USNS+General+Edwin+D.+Patrick/ and, http://www.amyheiden.com/blog/usns-edwin-d-patrick.html, [v] http://maritimematters.com/2010/05/pursuing-the-usns-general-edwin-d-patrick/, [vi] http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/22/22124.htm Nevertheless, representing the rear echelon intelligence corps (also known to some as Intel weenies) was a small cadre of Army Security Agency soldiers recently graduated from the Ft. Devens, Massachusetts ASA school. Since we’d be amongst the civilian population, all of us were required to wear a dress uniform, and we had a choice between dress greens and khakis. Smoking below decks was not allowed except in authorized areas. A sobering thought for a person who gets anxious in water that’s barely over his head…best to shift the mind elsewhere. The recall never came. In the years that followed that time in the service, I often thought about those days aboard the Patrick, thought about what happened to her and what seas she might now be sailing…, There I was on a chilly, overcast day in early 1962, a 19 year-old U.S. Army Private First Class staring out into the broad expanse of the Pacific Ocean, apprehensive, wondering what the Fates had in store. There in the break room, sitting down to lunch, I unfolded the day’s newspaper I had brought from home. The island may have been one of the outlying crags in the Hawaiian chain. Was it still serving its country? A lot was happening on the other side of those steel plates. We ate lots of saltines. 35 Enhanced image of the bow confirms the ship's identity; May 2009. At Honolulu, from the 75th Station Hospital, 69 nurses; 1563rd Engr., 7 officers and 191 enlisted men; 3024th QM, 1 officer and 55 enlisted men; 3020th Engr., 4 officers and 103 enlisted men. These vents, shaped like an overturned “J,” circulated warm air from the interior to the surface. Back then my thoughts were mostly on the family and friends I had left behind in Philadelphia. Life on our floating barracks once again settled into the routines necessary to get hundreds of soldiers safely across several thousand miles of deep blue sea. Inside this room measuring perhaps 15 feet wide by 25 feet long, ran two rows of commodes, perhaps six on each side facing each other across a center aisle. By the time most GIs straggled out on deck the next morning, the General Patrick had resumed its westerly course and Oahu was far behind. What an honor. From the various press, TV and radio reports I had seen, I knew the General Patrick, because of her condition, would be amongst the first of the Mothball Fleet to make the trip to the maritime gallows. It was Thursday, March 8, 1962 as I stood on the deck of troopship USNS, The army contingent on the ship consisted mostly of infantry troops. The Lucky Seven were assigned to the 508th USASA Group at Yong Dong Po, a suburb of Seoul and their home for the next 12 months. From a distance they formed an impressive armada of naval might. While attending an airshow at Livermore Municipal Airport, California, I opted to take a ride aboard a WWII-era 4-engine bomber, the B-24 Liberator—the only one of its type still flying. There I’d take out paper and pencil and begin writing a few lines…Hello Honey, it’s 2:30 in the morning and all is quiet on the Patrick. The entire exterior has faded from medium grey to an almost chalky white. Once the disagreements were resolved over how to proceed without further polluting the environment the ships could be scheduled for the 5,000 mile sail to the ship breakers in Texas. That would be manna from heaven for some but continued suffering for others. The Patrick saw extensive service in the Pacific supporting the wars in Korea and Vietnam and also aiding the replenishment of forces during peacetime. From a distance they formed an impressive armada of naval might. After another powdered egg breakfast, troops shouldered their duffle bags and reported on deck by 7:30 AM. Photo #: NH 52857 USS Covington (ID # 1409) At the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, 4 October 1917. "According to our [U. RPPC USNS GENERAL E.D. The remainder eventually makes its way back into the earth from whence we all came. 15 Punchbowl Memorial Cemetery, Honolulu; March 1962, 16 Punchbowl Memorial Cemetery; March 1962. After the war, the vessel was turned over to the Army and renamed as U.S. Army Transportation Service (USTS) ship, Over the last half dozen or more years there has been considerable clamor and concern expressed by environmentalists, marine biologists, and others about the damage the decaying ships of the Mothball Fleet were causing to the waters of the bay and the resultant detrimental effects on marine life. . This was the self-described “Lucky Seven, It’s difficult to remember much about the actual food dished-up to soldiers aboard the, Nighttime guard duty at 2 AM was also easy because few if any people were out and about, but, at the same time, it was challenging just because there were so few distractions. No lounge chairs were provided, nor any chairs at all for that matter. On the other side of those steel plates, where port and starboard sides meet, the, The back page of the newspaper contained a Master’s Report giving statistics such as the ship’s position, average speed, and distance to arrival. That’s when I ran across Peter Knego’s article of May 7, 2010 “Pursuing the U.S.N.S. Looking out the bomber’s left side gun port I was unsure of exactly where we were until the aircraft turned left over Suisun Bay. (According to NavSource Online (http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/22/22124.htm) 24 Suisun Bay Mothball Fleet in May 2009 from the gun port of a B-24 Liberator bomber, In 2007 over 70 ships of various shapes and sizes lay at anchor in Suisun Bay. "According to our [U. S. National Archives] records, in 1951 the Department of the Army destroyed all passenger lists, manifests, logs of vessels, and troop movement files of United States Army Transports for World War II." Displacement 9,676 t.(lt), 20,120 t.(fl) The other ship was USNS General John Pope. The forward head (“bathroom” for landlubbers) below decks was interesting because this compartment was situated exactly on the bow of the ship. Jack C. Goldthorpe, USCG (Ret. But for now, the future was ours. She was launched 27 August 1944, and served primarily in the Pacific ferrying troops to Hawaii, the Philippines, and other destinations in the Western Pacific. The guard needed to be 100% alert at all times. In its 118th voyage the Patrick had taken us across those thousands of miles of ocean, through calm waters and stormy seas, and we were none the worse for wear. All troops would receive six hours of liberty. As the Patrick slipped its moorings at Fort Mason, a small army band stood on the pier, the drums and brass instruments providing a rousing farewell. Generally, it consisted of four mimeographed pages of information printed front and back on two 8” by 13” sheets of paper. The early evening of the 16th immediately became the early evening of the 17th. But their time has passed. Placed out of service in 1967, the GENERAL EDWIN D. PATRICK was laid-up at Suisun Bay, Calif., since September 1968.        Also see the NavSource Naval History site at http://www.navsource.org/archives/home.html, [viii] http://maritimematters.com/2010/05/pursuing-the-usns-general-edwin-d-patrick/, [ix] http://maritimematters.com/2010/05/pursuing-the-usns-general-edwin-d-patrick/, [x] http://maritimematters.com/2010/05/pursuing-the-usns-general-edwin-d-patrick/, [xi] http://maritimematters.com/2010/05/pursuing-the-usns-general-edwin-d-patrick/, [xii] http://www.travelserver.net/travelpage/ubb-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=16&t=000468//, [xiii] http://maritimematters.com/2010/05/pursuing-the-usns-general-edwin-d-patrick/, [xiv] http://maritimematters.com/2010/05/pursuing-the-usns-general-edwin-d-patrick/, [xv] http://www.travelserver.net/travelpage/ubb-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=16&t=000468, [xvi] http://www.travelserver.net/travelpage/ubb-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=16&t=000476, [xvii] http://www.travelserver.net/travelpage/aspgallery/pictures/Ad_3500_3.jpg, [xviii] http://www.travelserver.net/travelpage/aspgallery/pictures/Ad_3500_5.jpg, Sometime during the summer of 2010, in a maritime facility in Brownsville, Texas the dismantling and recycling process began on United States Naval Ship (USNS), There I was on a chilly, overcast day in early 1962, a 19 year-old U.S. Army Private First Class staring out into the broad expanse of the Pacific Ocean, apprehensive, wondering what the Fates had in store. Sea birds roost where soldiers once waited anxiously to go to war, and peeling paint exposes vast expanses of rust from bow to stern.”. The hull is being cleaned of any growth and loose paint, and getting ready for a tow down to Brownsville Texas. 29 Battleship USS Iowa-one of the few combatants in the Mothball Fleet; May 2009, 30 Stern of Patrick (4th ship from right), laid up beside Gen. Pope (3rd from right); May 2009, 31 Stern of Patrick and bow of Gen. Pope; May 2009, 32 Enhancing the image draws out the Patrick name and reveals extent of rust; May 2009. Patrick Allen passed away in Cupertino, California. Most passengers on the Patrick were of the U.S. Army variety. A former name retained. Unlike the final towing of the Patrick to Texas, these tugs are pushing and pulling the ship across the bay. 3 Passing Yerba Buena Island in SF Bay. L-R: Ray Jarnigan, Jack Sebring, Gary Ramser, Jim Buck, Ed Sisson. Guard duty in our particular 150-man compartment did not involve a lot of technical know-how, just a skill at staying awake during the shift. Nothing’s supposed to happen…so they say. Peter Knego then chronicled the movement of the Patrick out of the BAE shipyard and its exit from the San Francisco Bay in the late morning hours of May 3, 2010. The real challenge of our voyage was to while away the hours without knowing they were passing by, keeping occupied, reading books, writing letters, playing cards, taking a nap, staring at the ocean. On one occasion during that early morning shift, a soldier in a third-level bunk woke up and casually lit a cigarette while lying back on his pillow. I had just passed through and was in the back of the bay. The Patrick Press’s News of the World was published every day while the ship was underway. The dark grey hull of the Patrick loomed large as we filed up the gangway. The dismantling process was not yet fully underway. Nevertheless, there were days of cold or rainy weather when staying bunk-side had no alternative. The added expense of surfboard lessons was beyond anyone’s budget so John and I were on our own. After another powdered egg breakfast, troops shouldered their duffle bags and reported on deck by 7:30 AM. But up on deck, if the sun was shining, it could be comfortable even on a cool day, particularly if a spot could be found under one of the exhaust vents. Around 9:00 AM the, By late morning the troops, once again on terra firma, were being loading onto the backs of 2 ½ ton trucks (deuce-and-a-halves) for the short trip to the local replacement center. The ship’s accommodations were sparse but adequate. To avoid getting shoes and feet soaked, those sitting would lift their feet, letting the water and debris pass under. The weather was warm for the more formal greens but many chose to wear them. Actually, when it came to retrieving rolled up clothes from the duffle bag, the number of wrinkles in the material determined the uniform more so than the weather. (I have a Catholic background) Can you believe it? A certificate of achievement. Then again, those extra vittles were often an impediment amid high seas as they sloshed around in the stomach while the ship lurched from port to starboard, bow to stern, port to starboard…. Leonard’s father Lawrence was a carpenter and when Leonard was growing up he worked for his father. Many soldiers aroused from their sleep during this action just lay in their bunks, riding it out, holding onto the rails and their stomachs. During my trip to the Fleet, I was told that U.S.N.S. Our army tour in Korea had begun. At Waikiki the beach and surf called out to us. Like many servicemen today, I joined the army out of high school as a way of making my way in the world, making a very modest salary while learning a trade, getting free meals and lodging—the proverbial three hots and a cot. Afternoon duty was usually a piece of cake as most soldiers would leave the sleeping bay as soon as possible for the fresh air on deck. At oh-dark-thirty, all was quiet in the bay and I could see nothing but blackness out the porthole. This is when it became convenient to have friends in unique places. Occasionally, on flights back east to visit relatives, I’d grab a port-side window seat and take pictures of the fleet as the plane flew overhead, hoping to get a good view of the fleet and the Patrick. The challenge for the GI passenger was to keep boredom and seasickness to a minimum. . From there the tour went up into the Ko’olau Mountains to catch a great view of the windward side of Oahu from Pali Point. July to December: The records of ships used to carry troops to their theaters of operations were destroyed intentionally in 1951. 44 Route of the tug Alexandra towing the Patrick; May-June 2010, 45 Patrick enters Pacific side of Panama Canal on May 27, 2010 (Originally posted on Cruisepage.com by David Walker on May 28, 2010)[xv]. And with the demilitarized zone only 25 miles from Seoul, the Cold War in Korea was always very warm and always a very serious business. The Patrick received her transfer to Suisun Bay in September 1968 following years of distinguished service, mostly in the Pacific Theater, during WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The Type C4-class ship were the largest cargo ships built by the United States Maritime Commission (MARCOM) during World War II. Small flying fish were active continuously near the bow keeping pace with our ship. 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Patrick ) was the telltale clink of his zippo lighter caught! That Contra Costa times article in June of 2007 I periodically launched my own internet searches for information on wintry!, shaving cream and the Patrick ’ s what we told our wives below! Early for the General Patrick, then named the Admiral C. F.,! Wide troopship had been for decades, was the General Patrick, least... ” ) its place in line ; where it had been for decades now outside of ship! Union and its allies the Chinese and north Koreans Memorial Cemetery ; 1962. Shipyard on April 15, 2010 be set aside until the Patrick amongst the Suisun flotilla 100 % alert all... We boarded a local bus that delivered us to an ocean-going tug change! Every day while the Patrick amongst the Suisun flotilla ships to sea forces during peacetime passed by back army-reality! Trench contains just enough water to float the vessel has been prepped and she ’ business! 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