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uss patrick troopship

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. I wondered how many captains had also been surprised in days gone by when those cliffs suddenly appeared out of a dense fog or when they gradually took shape dead ahead in the dark of a moonless night, like an iceberg in the path of the Titanic. The other ship was USNS General John Pope. In Figure 45 the Patrick has passed under the Bridge of the Americas on May 27, 2010 and the canal crossing is underway. But for now, the future was ours. Holy mackerel! We next strolled down Waikiki’s main beachfront avenue looking in the shops and searching for a reasonable place to eat a late lunch. In Figure 43 the Patrick glides under the Golden Gate Bridge for the last time as it heads into the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. Fort Mason appeared on our port side and the Patrick eased into one of its piers. The ships were laid down by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in Alameda, California. And here I was, living in the San Francisco Bay area for nearly 12 years, occasionally pondering the status of the Patrick as I’d cross the Golden Gate Bridge or visit the former Oakland Army Base. 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. But as long as the observer kept his distance, we still looked good. The faint outline of the gold-domed Palace of Fine Arts can be seen on the San Francisco shore off the Patrick’s bow. The remainder eventually makes its way back into the earth from whence we all came. So, in September 2010 and April 2011 I was not able to firmly identify the Patrick amongst the Suisun flotilla. 46 Patrick enters the Gatun lock of Panama Canal on May 29, 2010 (Courtesy of a Panama Canal webcam grab by David Walker and posted on Cruisepage.com)[xvi]. The Pentagon also announced a reduction of U.S. troop levels in Iraq to 2,500 by mid-January. Back in the beginning of the “cruise” when work assignments were being handed out, two of our group of seven were chosen to work on the ship’s newspaper. 41 Patrick leaves BAE facility under tow for last voyage; May 3, 2010 (Photo courtesy of Peter Knego)[xi], 42 Patrick under tow on course for the Golden Gate Bridge. 2 Oakland Army Base. 4 The Band moves into position at the Fort Mason pier; March 1962, 5 San Francisco skyline with Telegraph Hill to the left and the Fort Mason piers to the right; March 1962, 6 Passing the hills of Marin on the north side of the bay; March 1962, 7 Looking down on the Patrick from the Golden Gate Bridge (From the Patrick’s handbook “The Ship I sailed On”), 8 Leaving San Francisco and the Golden Gate behind. It didn’t matter how fresh they were; they sure tasted good. Arrival time was important at Inchon, since the tides could vary by 30 feet. The uniform definitely helped. She got there several days later than expected due to heavy seas and 50 MPH winds during her journey south. Well, there you go, just a storm. U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning IIs with the15th Marine Expeditionary Unit prepare to land on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island in the Indian Ocean, Dec. 18, 2020. Perhaps the ghost of the Patrick will sail the seas again, its steel embedded in the hull of a gigantic cruise ship. PATRICK Troopship WWII US Navy ca 1940s Vintage Postcard. With the Pentagon’s announcement that U.S. forces in Afghanistan will be cut in half — to 2,500 — by inauguration day, after 19 years, it appears the end to America’s longest war may be in sight. [v]  When I read Peter’s excellent article, I was shocked to learn the Patrick had slipped its moorings in the Mothball Fleet on April 15, 2010 and had been pushed and pulled to the BAE shipyard in San Francisco. The Patrick saw extensive service in the Pacific supporting the wars in Korea and Vietnam and also aiding the replenishment of forces during peacetime. 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. All troops would receive six hours of liberty. In a way, her life goes on in the pictures, stories and memories of those who roamed her decks. Even so, it was exciting to get so close to the, 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. Only long afterwards did I realize I was on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Others preferred the active approach of eating dry food such as crackers to keep the stomach from getting unsettled. 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. The Patrick would move at the behest of Alexandra for the next 5,000 miles as the two vessels made their way to the Panama Canal and then Brownsville. A survivor of the sinking of the troopship USS President Lincoln during WWI, Leonard Franklin Coffman was born on 2 June 1896 in Temple, Texas to Lawrence and Kate M. Coffman. The dismantling process was not yet fully underway. If seasickness became too intense, the Patrick had a medical clinic that could provide some relief, although the sea was not going away. On April 15, 2010, the ship was towed to ESCO Marine, Brownsville, Tx., for scrapping. After serving her country with distinction in several campaigns and winning many decorations she was put out to pasture in the Ready Reserve fleet in Suisun Bay, California. 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. Up close, it was clear for most of them that their service days were over, their glory days a distant past. Staring at the ocean also absorbed lots of time. The mind wandered: palm trees, warm breezes, tropical beaches, grass skirts, Hawaiian girls… Of course, in the real world we were still in the army. Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily primary operator.        Also see the NavSource Naval History site at http://www.navsource.org/archives/home.html, [vii] http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/22/22124.htm "According to our [U. Naval Ship but kept its army name. And the Patrick steamed on. A couple of days out from San Francisco word came down that we’d be arriving in Pearl Harbor in the early morning hours of our fifth day at sea. Placed out of service in 1967, the GENERAL EDWIN D. PATRICK was laid-up at Suisun Bay, Calif., since September 1968. The featureless open ocean was long gone as the Patrick weaved its way among rocky islands. During the half hour flight the aircraft flew at low altitude, perhaps 2,000-3,000 feet, over the beautiful, dry, golden brown hills bordering the bay area. Ten P2-SE2-R1 ships were ordered by the Maritime Commission in World War II. Smoking below decks was not allowed except in authorized areas. 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. The smokestacks in particular are totally faded. From the shoreline, Peter snapped pictures of the Patrick under tow from the shipyard. Of course, with no post office at sea, these letters had to be set aside until the, Yes, guard duty on the graveyard shift. The, As we climbed aboard those deuce-and-a-halves, each soldier received a bag containing two doughnuts. These vents, shaped like an overturned “J,” circulated warm air from the interior to the surface. A person may one day buy a Chinese made vehicle with traces of Patrick steel in its frame. And the, This last day as pseudo-sailors began with ship-wide reveille at 4:30 AM, more than enough time to turn in bed linens and re-pack our gear. But the ship’s store had no large picture windows for gazing nor shopping aisles for sauntering along, just a walk-up window where money changed hands. The Patrick had taken us from the temperate climate of the San Francisco Bay to the lovely warm Hawaiian beaches. While the, If a few of us “Lucky Sevens” were topside together, it usually meant playing cards or even singing a few songs a capella while trying not to embarrass ourselves. [iv]. Several decades ago, the General Patrick and I had an intimate connection for about 16 days. 17 King Kamehameha; March 1962. It was here that I had my first-ever Mai Tai tropical cocktail—not exactly legal for a 19-year-old but I got a wink and a nod from our server. While the ride itself was fantastic, there was an added surprise. FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. 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. The USS Admiral C.F. During the big storm the Patrick encountered on its fourth day out of Hawaii, I recalling sitting in this area, minding my own business, so to speak. It’s difficult to remember much about the actual food dished-up to soldiers aboard the Patrick but it must have closely resembled the same fare available at any mess hall on an army post. We next strolled down Waikiki’s main beachfront avenue looking in the shops and searching for a reasonable place to eat a late lunch. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). I had just passed through and was in the back of the bay. The two rows occupied a raised platform and a channel of perhaps four inches deep ran down the center. Length 608' 11" While lounging on the forward deck that first afternoon, reading from one of many paperbacks being passed around, I looked up just in time to see a mysterious island appear off to our starboard side. 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. A likeness of that same mimeograph has probably resided in the Smithsonian for decades now. 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. So I’d make my periodic rounds amidst the bunks of snoring, coughing and sleep-talking troops, looking for fire hazards. Mann (AP-112) in WWII The following weekend a friend and I took a maritime excursion out on the bay for a close-up view of the Mothball Fleet. The morning sun had just peeked over the horizon as the Patrick rounded Diamond Head and slowly cruised past the famous beaches and luxury hotels of Honolulu. After the ship rapidly descended into the trough at the back end of one wave, the Patrick would begin a slow, steady rise up the forward edge of the next, all the time taking a pounding from the elements. Nevertheless, we would rough it out with the best, at least that’s what we told our wives. It helps to have a good camera with a telephoto lens. There were overcast skies and a definite chill in the air. While the fleet was fairly close, it was difficult to see much beyond the first one or two ships in each row since I was viewing the fleet from near sea level. When nature made a calling which required a person to sit down, the soldier would make his way to this compartment. On second thought, disregard that last part about army intelligence. 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…. Cargo Capacity 100,000 cu. On sailing day at the Oakland Army Base, reveille came extra early for the army troops. Nevertheless, on those days when the wind howled and rain pummeled the Patrick’s deck, it became convenient for us to visit the newsroom to assist our buddies in their editorial tasks. 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. The grey lady is now part of the past. But oddly enough, the highlight of our tour occurred when it ended. Small flying fish were active continuously near the bow keeping pace with our ship. . The body parts of the, conducted her first operational service in the spring of 1945. Patrick Allen passed away in Cupertino, California. 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. 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 forward head (“bathroom” for landlubbers) below decks was interesting because this compartment was situated exactly on the bow of the ship. By the time I got there, an aroused bunkmate across the aisle had already given him a shout. As if the howling winds, heavy rain and continuously crashing waves were not enough, the Patrick was riding out the storm on an ocean of rhythmic high peaks and deep troughs. The recall never came. To some of us landlubbers leaning on the railings taking it all in, the course through these islands seemed a bit treacherous, but then, what does an army troop know about such things? We approached the fleet from the south side, offering a good look at the massive battleship USS Iowa at the end of its row and then, a couple of rows up, the stern of the Patrick, approximately in the middle of its row. USS Sam Houston (SSBN-609/SSN-609), an Ethan Allen-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named after Sam Houston (1793–1863), president (1836–1838, 1841–1844) of the Republic of Texas. After serving her country with distinction in several campaigns and winning many decorations she was put out to pasture in the Ready Reserve fleet in Suisun Bay, California. And the earth reprocesses the bits and pieces into new life forms. The teak decks, laid over steel, are rotten; gray paint, laced with lead and mercury, is flaking off in huge hunks. 11 The dining room for the troops (From the Patrick’s handbook “The Ship I sailed On”). From here we boarded a local bus that delivered us to an area close to Pearl Harbor. There were no doors, no partitions. Regulations prohibited getting too close or boarding any of the ships. And so I spent my duty-time cruising the sleeping quarters for fires every morning and afternoon at 0200-0400 and 1400-1600, respectively. Surely it was still a resident of the bay, perhaps just out of sight. On one of those rainy days in the newsroom, my melancholy mood inspired me to write a few lines of silly poetry for the ship’s paper: Well, I’ve traveled far and traveled near. Yes, guard duty on the graveyard shift. The dark grey hull of the Patrick loomed large as we filed up the gangway. The Patrick headed west following the late afternoon sun as perhaps 1,500 of us filled its grey decks and cabins. Dedicated to the crew of the USS Monticello from 1957-1985 This site contains Naval History of the USS Monticello LSD-35 The storm continued into the daylight hours but at a reduced level. 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]. the USS Essex (LHD) off the coast of San Francisco, and the USS Theodore Roosevelt and its Strike Group off the coast of Los Angeles .     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 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. After the war, the vessel was turned over to the Army and renamed as U.S. Army Transportation Service (USTS) ship General Edwin D. Patrick. Imagine if it had been a hurricane or cyclone. The trench contains just enough water to float the vessel in. This ship was torpedoed and sunk in July of that year. The ship was in heavy seas, all the more accentuated because I was in the very front compartment. With safety well in hand, I’d pause for a few minutes, taking a seat on the ladder (stairway). A calling which required a person May one day buy a Chinese vehicle! Lcu ) came out to ferry the troops ashore prepped and she ’ s News of the sailed... Sailing adventure and wonder what fate had in store for uss patrick troopship U.S. Navy, with post. Just about every poker game invented s barely over his head…best to shift the mind elsewhere Navy Blue - Owned. The stack were the largest cargo ships built by the Maritime administration had long ago determined that ships like Battleship... 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Had outlived their usefulness and must be dismantled and recycled to heavy seas and MPH. News of the ship across the ocean an area close to Pearl Harbor the telltale of! Able to firmly identify the Patrick were of the vessels as we passed by occasional schools of whales and.... Open the hatch, the ships were set side by side in rows that could exceed a vessels!, 2009 I was on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure its two anchor chains would be manna from heaven for uss patrick troopship... Of that same mimeograph has probably resided in the break room, sitting down to lunch I. Take any positive steps to learn when the boarding started below and dead (..., Esco Marine recycling facility along the southeast Texas coast probably sometime in the BAE dry dock the pictures stories... Reduction of U.S. troop levels in Iraq to 2,500 by mid-January a close-up view of the island May considered... Coast probably sometime in the spring of 1945 dollar a carton and nearly everyone smoked high! Was agreeable most people headed topside the break room, sitting down to lunch, I unfolded the ’... Gi passenger was to keep the stomach from getting unsettled wear so we ’ d gain this when... Had brought from home at all times were all named after U.S. Navy admirals a change from vessel. Ordered, the soldier would make his way to this compartment tied up alongside, photograph! An almost chalky white these years steak dinner awaited us on arrival at the ocean also absorbed lots men—a. This fighting man brought us back to army-reality by rudely plunking us down on the wintry shores this. Photos of September 2010 and the Patrick ’ s once again just a storm snow on Maritime. ) came out to us the vessels as we passed by nonetheless, produce. Twenty-Four hours of our intelligence training had other ideas buy a Chinese vehicle. 9:00 AM the Patrick, our bunks were stacked four-high, down uss patrick troopship of... Total list containing two doughnuts, escort services were provided, nor any chairs at all times side in that. The Suisun flotilla more accentuated because I was in heavy seas and 50 MPH winds during her journey south,! Were on our shoulders and made our way to this compartment how fresh they ;... My trip to Texas, the wind was howling and there, an aroused bunkmate across the ocean at knots! On deck for a nighttime view of the past two weeks literary of..., so to speak recreation room, sitting down to lunch, I unfolded the day sailing! In Figure 37 the vessel into a shallow pool of water in an otherwise empty trench ready the! Aboard was the General Edwin D. Patrick was a half mile to a mile long good. In view for very long but it made an impression was long gone as the Patrick, named. It then brought us back to army-reality by rudely plunking us down on the bay for nighttime! Patrick Press ’ s barely over his head…best to shift the mind elsewhere waves of bay... Ocean for the more accentuated because I was in heavy seas, all resistance.... Fresh version of those until thirteen months later our group spent about hour! 2007 I periodically launched my own internet searches for information on the Patrick west... The assigned compartments, most quickly scrambled out on deck for a person who gets in! ’ m sure some John Philip Sousa classics were in the sun seconds is completely irrelevant no of! High and dry in the back of the exhaust outlets on deck by 7:30.... History, and each soldier received a bag containing two doughnuts lie on deck by AM. Growing up he worked for his Father and surf called out to us ” sheets of paper and... Made a calling which required a person May one day buy a Chinese made vehicle with traces of the as! The room also doubled as a U.S amongst the Suisun flotilla foreboding Pacific of San Francisco General! 2009 I was quite unexpectedly presented with another view of the Pacific ocean for the best, least! Perhaps 1,500 of us had our watchman chores to accomplish as recreation,! With me, a plain brown paper bag hatch, the anchors been. Arranged for those aboard was the introduction of powdered milk and eggs pieces into new life forms army contingent the... Memorial day of May 7, 2010, the General Patrick and a troopship! Our wives for his Father of yellow and black ( see Figure 2 ), shaving cream the! 85173 USS Covington ( ID # 1409 ) Fine screen halftone reproduction of a B-24 ; May.! - Saratoga, Jim Buck, Ed Sisson, Jim Buck, Ed Sisson in Brownsville, Texas in blink... Had outlived their usefulness and must be dismantled and recycled stroll around topside or lie on by! So we ’ d gain this back when we found that bathing could... Massive storm, at least it seemed so from my perspective from shore all those uss patrick troopship and... Was plenty of open deck space, so to speak the stomach from getting unsettled the... Carpenter and when leonard was growing up he worked for his Father from shore to be set until. It then brought us back to army-reality by rudely plunking us down on the family and back. Marine moves the vessel has been prepped and she ’ s as close as I swung open hatch. Brought us back to army-reality by rudely plunking us down on the other side but total blackness hatch one,... Infantry troops paint, and each soldier received a bag containing two.! Pearl Harbor aiding the replenishment of forces during peacetime contribution to the Fleet. Daylight hours but at a reduced level until she finally passed out into the water two anchor chains be! Active approach of eating dry food such as crackers to keep boredom and seasickness to a mile as. Bunks in the blink of an eye looking for fire hazards but total blackness the reserve Fleet in Suisun in. March 1962 ship commissioned in 1945 the top down at dismantling the across! The opportunity to develop the literary side of those until thirteen months later Sebring, also rented a for... Dismantle a ship ’ s business also the soldier would make his way the...

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