Very sad story, it was widely known the Penn. shipyard was not capable of finishing them. When they were sent off to Tampa that was a faint hope too. One of them broke the tow going south and wound up on a beach. I was Port Capt then and was watching the events unfold. The one that beached went in stern first, props were pushed inboard. broke shaft seals and flooded the engineroom. Real good for an automated plant.
When they were to be towed to Florida, the original yard removed all the tags on the wiring. All the wires were in place; you just couldn't find what one went where. It would all have to have been torn apart. The 94% and 87% complete (or whatever it was) is perhaps correct by weight, but the ships would have to have been stripped down to empty hulls and virtually all internals renewed. They were snakebit from the start.
Too bad. Henry Eckford deserved to have a really great ship named for him. His 1812 efforts won the battle of the lakes for us and his designs for 74 gun ships were beautiful. He was building a 100 gun ship of the line in the G Lakes (USS NEW ORLEANS).
The 187's have proved to be very good ships. Hard to imagine them as old now. They have power take off units on the prop shafts that are generators. You can power them with the regular generators and run the ship slow with the mains shut down. A friend had one of them alongside a carrier and they lost the main engine. He motorized the PTU, dumped generator power to it and helped the remaining engine keep the ship safely alongside while the emergency breakaway was going on.
was slated to be the commissioning master of the USNS Walter S. DIEHL T-AO-193
and spend a year in the
shipyard finishing her. It was an honor. She was our second
the Pac fleet. I turned it down to stay with HASS and take her through
her last INSURV, which she passed with flying colors. I went on
Capt after that and did a baby-sitting job on the DIEHL later.
out of SF in the bay and out the bar channel myself at 20 knots.
could do 22 so I didn't have her flat out and we were the only ship
the SF area. Felt pretty good.