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USS Medusa (AR-1), 1934, Panama Canal Zone


USS Medusa (AR-1), 1934, Panama Canal Zone

USS Medusa (AR-1) was a fleet repair ship designed to carry out major repairs that were beyond the capacity of an individual warship, but that needed carrying out far from a naval base. She was commissioned in 1924 and served in the Pacific for her entire career. She was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked, and was kept busy repairing damaged warships well into 1942. She later moved closer to the war zone, where she remained to the end of the war.


USS Medusa (AR-1), 1934, Panama Canal Zone - History

Balboa Harbor, Panama Canal Zone

Aerial photograph taken 23 April 1934, with U.S. Fleet cruisers and destroyers moored together.
Ships present include ( left to right in lower left ):
USS Elliot (DD-146)
USS Roper (DD-147)
USS Hale (DD-133)
USS Dorsey (DD-117)
USS Lea (DD-118)
USS Rathburne (DD-113)
USS Talbot (DD-114)
USS Waters (DD-115)
USS Dent (DD-116)
USS Aaron Ward (DD-132)
USS Buchanan (DD-131)
USS Crowninshield (DD-134)
USS Preble (DD-345) and
USS William B. Preston (DD-344).

( left to right in center ):
USS Yarnall (DD-143)
USS Sands (DD-243)
USS Lawrence (DD-250)
(unidentified destroyer)
USS Detroit (CL-8), Flagship, Destroyers Battle Force
USS Fox (DD-234)
USS Greer (DD-145)
USS Barney (DD-149)
USS Tarbell (DD-142) and

USS Chicago (CA-29), Flagship, Cruisers Scouting Force.

( left to right across the top ):
USS Southard (DD-207)
USS Chandler (DD-206)
USS Farenholt (DD-332)
USS Perry (DD-340)
USS Wasmuth (DD-338)
USS Trever (DD-339)
USS Melville (AD-2)
USS Truxtun (DD-229)
USS McCormick (DD-223)
USS MacLeish (DD-220)
USS Simpson (DD-221)
USS Hovey (DD-208)
USS Long (DD-209)
USS Litchfield (DD-336)

USS Tracy (DD-214)
USS Dahlgren (DD-187)
USS Medusa (AR-1)
USS Raleigh (CL-7), Flagship, Destroyers Scouting Force
USS Pruitt (DD-347) and
USS J. Fred Talbott (DD-156)
USS Dallas (DD-199)

(four unidentified destroyers)
and
USS Indianapolis (CA-35), Flagship, Cruisers Scouting Force.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

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Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

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By NHHC

USS Jupiter off Mare Island Navy Yard, Calif., Oct. 1913. The future USS Langley (CV-1) would be the first U.S. Navy ship to transit the Panama Canal west to east on Oct. 12, 1914. NHHC photo

By Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

The Navy tradition of the Order of the Ditch may be getting as rare as hen’s teeth these days since opportunities to transit the Panama Canal have become fewer and fewer.

Unofficial Order of the Ditch (crossing Panama Canal) certificate by Tiffany Publishing

That wasn’t the case 100 years ago once U.S. naval ships started transiting the 51-mile-long mechanical marvel of locks linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

The first U.S. Navy ship to go through the locks was USS Jupiter, then a collier, on Oct. 12, 1914, taking nearly two days to complete the passage. The ship spent a day floating in the fresh lake water of the locks so they could kill their saltwater barnacles before slipping into the Atlantic Ocean.

It was just another series of firsts for the collier built at Mare Island Navy Yard in California and commissioned April 1913 as fuel ship #3. She was the first surface ship propelled by electric motors, yet would spend much of her life hauling coal to fuel other ships.

After her historic crossing (and barnacle-relieving) trip through the Canal, USS Jupiter supplied coal to combat and logistical forces on both sides of the Atlantic through World War I.

Langley being converted from a collier to an aircraft carrier at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in 1921.

In March 1920, Jupiter began her conversion to an aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV 1). By November 1922, the “Old Covered Wagon” had successfully launched recovered and catapulted aircraft off her deck.

She remained operational as an aircraft carrier until 1936 when she was converted yet again into a seaplane tender (AV-3). During World War II, while transporting Army fighters to the Netherland East Indies, USS Langley was bombed by Japanese fighters. She was so damaged she was scuttled by her escorts Feb. 27, 1942.

Naval Air Station, North Island, San Diego, California, with a Douglas DT-2 airplane taking off from her flight deck. 1925.
NHHC

Like many firsts, there can be more than one, depending on your perspective. For instance, the first ship to officially go through the locks was the American steamer SS Ancon, as part of the ceremony opening the canal Aug. 15, 1914. Ancon was later purchased by the Navy in 1918, USS Ancon (ID 1467) was used to bring U.S. troops home after World War I.

SS Ancon transiting the Panama Canal during opening ceremonies Aug. 15, 1914. Photo courtesy of canalmuseum.org

The first combatant Navy ships passed through the locks in July 1915 when battleships USS Missouri (BB 11), Ohio (BB 12) and Wisconsin (BB 9) transited the canal.

Powered by Roosevelt

For years the need for a shortcut between the two oceans had been debated. Naval theorist Adm. Alfred Thayer Mahan wrote in his 1890 book The Influence of Sea Power upon History that a canal in Central America was vital to the defense of the United States. During the Spanish-American War eight years later, USS Oregon (BB 3) further proved his point by taking 67 days to travel from San Francisco to Florida via Cape Horn to assist the Atlantic Squadron in fighting the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Santiago at Cuba.

The defeat of the Spanish gave the United States territories in the Pacific, and a need to be able to get ships and soldiers from one hemisphere to another.

While there was a consensus about the need for a canal, it was much less so about where. The Panama Railroad was built in 1849. From 1857 until 1880, there was much talk about where to put the canal and effort into surveying different locations, but in 1880, the French started an effort to build a lockless, sea-level waterway that would cost $132 million and take 12 years to complete.

By 1888, the project had chewed up twice the amount of money and had covered only a third of the distance, with 16,500 deaths, mostly to yellow fever. By the time the designer realized he would have to go to a lock system in the canal, the project ran out of money in 1889.

Then Theodore Roosevelt became president. After being convinced the best route was along the Isthmus of Panama in the Panama province of Colombia, Roosevelt got both Houses of Congress to first pass the Spooner Act in June 1902 and then the 1903 Hay-Herran Treaty, which offered Colombia $10 million in gold with annual payments of $250,000.

The Colombians, however, wanted to stall the passage of any treaties until 1904 when the land used by the French project would revert back to Colombia. They wanted $10 million from the French and $15 million from the United States.

The Panama province, which had already tried to overthrow Colombia’s rule 53 times in 57 years, threatened to riot – again — if Colombia failed to pass the treaty. But this time Panama had the power of the United States protecting its back along with its own self-interest. When Panama declared its independence Nov. 3, 1903, Roosevelt made sure the U.S. Navy had warships parked in the harbor. Colombia failed to respond to the uprising and the United States was quick to recognize Panama as its own nation.

President Theodore Roosevelt visiting construction at the Panama Canal in Nov. 1906. New York Times archival photo

After that bit of gunboat diplomacy, work began on creating the canal. Roosevelt was the first sitting president to travel outside of the United States when he visited the canal zone in 1909.

When it officially opened for business Aug. 15, 1914, it came in at $326 million dollars, $144 million more than originally planned by the French. It opened to civilian and commercial traffic on July 12, 1920 at the cost of $53 million more, hampered by landslides in 1915-16, strikes in 1916-17 and the years of World War I. All told it cost $375 million, which included $10 million paid to Panama and $40 million to the French. During the American construction, 5,609 deaths were recorded, to be added to the more than 20,000 hospital-recorded deaths during the French construction era.

Secretary of State Henry Stimson declared the Panama Canal “the one spot external to our shores that nature has decreed to be most vital to our national safety, not to mention our prosperity.”

Prosperity indeed. By the beginning of World War II, the United States’ income increased by four percent due to the Panama Canal lopping off weeks in the transportation of cargo. It took approximately 10 hours to make the 50-mile journey through six locks to the tune of $200,000 to $400,000.

Prior to World War II, the United States relied heavily on the Panama Canal to cut short the distance by nearly 8,000 miles as they brought ships back and forth from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Circumstances changed, however, after the Naval Expansion Act of 1940 that allowed the United States to ramp up its ship-building program as a show of force to Germany and Japan. With an influx of new vessels and the passage of the Destroyers for Bases Act, the Navy could support a two-ocean fleet, keeping ships in both theaters rather than moving them back and forth.

Still, the canal was essential during World War II as the U.S. transited ships from its Atlantic Fleet to augment its decimated Pacific Fleet and to bring new ships to the theater as they came out of east coast shipyards. At the time, Essex-class aircraft carriers, built between 1941-50, could only squeeze through the locks after they took down the lamp posts lining the locks.

USS Missouri (BB-63) in the Miraflores Locks, Panama Canal, Oct. 13, 1945, while en route from the Pacific to New York City to take part in Navy Day celebrations. Note the close fit of the ship in the locks. The beam of battleships of this era was determined by Panama Canal lock dimensions. Specifically, the locks are 110 feet wide, and the beam of the vessels are 108 feet and some inches, leaving about 8 inches of clearance, per side. US Navy photo

By the end of World War II, however, the Panama Canal had lost some of its luster for the U.S. Navy. Strategically, the war established the need for the United States to maintain fleets on both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, so there was less pressing need to quickly get ships from one side of Central America to the other. The canal’s importance remains, however, particularly with training exercises that have been held with maritime partners, such as PANAMAX 2014, an exercise on how to defend the canal held in August at Mayport, Fla., with 320 military and civilian personnel from 15 countries participating.

MAYPORT, Fla. (Aug. 10, 2014) Operations officer Lt. j.g Daniel Minter, left, Operations Specialist 1st Class Gavin Hawthorne, Chilean navy Capt. Allan Nettle, Commander of Command Task Force, and Peruvian Capt. Christian Ponce, all members of Command Task Force 801, discuss high value target locations during PANAMAX 2014 at Naval Station Mayport. PANAMAX is an annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored Exercise series that focuses on ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre N. McIntyre/Released)

More recently, many of the Navy’s newest classes of ships are too large to fit through the locks, so earning an Order of the Ditch, commonplace last century, has been rare for the 21 st Century Sailor.

The Panama Canal, which made the Civil Engineering Seven Wonders of the World list in 1994, is currently undergoing a $5.25 billion expansion to make it more relevant for naval transit in the decades to come. The upgrade, at 80 percent complete now, is slated to open in the spring of 2016 and will be able to handle supertankers known as post-Panamax ships, and today’s aircraft carriers. The lanes will accommodate 50-foot drafts, up from 39.5 vessels 1,200-feet long compared to 965-feet, and 160-feet wide, compared to 106.

Vice President Joseph Biden, visiting the new construction at the Panama Canal, spoke Nov. 19, 2013, expressing to Panamanians that the canal “is a reminder that our futures, the United States and Panama and this hemisphere, are inextricably linked.” займ без отказа


USS Medusa (AR-1), 1934, Panama Canal Zone - History

This page features views of USS Melville (Destroyer Tender # 2, later AD-2) in close company with other ships.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

USS Melville (Destroyer Tender # 2)

Tending U.S. Navy destroyers at Queenstown, Ireland, 1917.
The destroyers present include (from left to right):
USS Jacob Jones (Destroyer # 61)
USS Ericsson (Destroyer # 56)
USS Wadsworth (Destroyer # 60)
and an unidentified ship.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 77KB 740 x 510 pixels

USS Melville (Destroyer Tender # 2), at left

At Queenstown, Ireland, with three destroyers alongside in 1918, during the British First Sea Lord's visit to the American forces.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 97KB 740 x 575 pixels

USS Melville (Destroyer Tender # 2)

Tending destroyers and submarine chasers at Queenstown, Ireland, in 1918.
Flying at the peak of her mainmast is the three-star flag of Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 130KB 740 x 595 pixels

USS McLanahan (Destroyer # 264)

Tied up alongside USS Melville (Destroyer Tender # 2) at San Diego, California, 1919.
The bow of USS Reno (DD-303) is visible in the right distance.


Griffyclan007's Blog

USS Wasmuth DD-338 (original configeration) Clemson-Class Destroyer

USS Wasmuth (DD-338/MDS-15) was a Clemson-class destroyer built at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, launched on September 15th, 1920, and commissioned on December 16th, 1921, Cmdr. W.P. Gaddis in command.

Early Service

Laid down at the Mare Island Navy Yard in August 1919, the USS Wasmuth commissioned into US Navy service in December 1921 as the 146th member of the Clemson Class of Destroyers. Entering service with the US Pacific Fleet after her shakedown cruise, the Wasmuth and her crew spent the spring of 1922 engaged in fleet maneuvers and exercises off San Diego before she was called to port and ordered to decommission in June 1922, and decommissioned on July 26th, 1922. A victim of treaty limitations and defense budget cuts following the First World War, after only six months of routine service.

In reserve at San Diego for the next eight years, the Wasmuth’s almost-new condition found her selected for recommissioning on March 11th, 1930, whereupon she rejoined the US Pacific Fleet. Wasmuth operated as a destroyer for the next decade, participating in an intensive slate of tactical exercises and maneuvers being undertaken by the US Navy in the Pacific.

The Wasmuth made her only departure from the Pacific Ocean in 1934 when she joined Destroyer Flotilla 2 in the Caribbean Sea for exercises aimed at defending the Panama Canal.

USS Wasmuth DMS-15 (after conversion, 1942), converted to high-speed minesweeper (DMS)

With global events in a steady march towards war as the late 1930’s wore on, the United States embarked on a building program aimed at upgrading its Destroyer Force, with newer, more heavily armed and far-ranging destroyers. Which saw the Wasmuth and many of her sisters made obsolete in their designed role as Fleet Destroyers.

Nevertheless, the sheer number of older, but still serviceable Clemson Class Destroyers (flush-deckers) saw many of them, including Wasmuth chosen for conversion to other types of vessels which could benefit from their speed and range. Entering the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard in November 1940, the Wasmuth underwent a major overhaul and conversion into a Chandler Class High-Speed Minesweeper, which saw among other things the removal of her torpedo battery and the upgrade and relocation of her four-gun main battery and an antiaircraft battery of .50-caliber machine guns. In place of her torpedoes, the Wasmuth shipped the winches, paravanes and wiring of her new minesweeping gear. Her conversion completed in April of 1941, the Wasmuth put to sea for training and excercises wearing the hull designation DMS-15 to signify her new role in the Fleet.

World War II

Conducting type training and patrols as a member of Mine Division (MineDiv) 4 through the remainder of the year, the Wasmuth and her crew maintained an increasingly tenuous neutrality patrol assignment around the Hawaiian Islands, as relations between the United States and the Empire of Japan deteriorated. Anchored in a nest with her MineDiv 4 sistership in the North Loch of Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7th, 1941, the Wasmuth and her crew entered the Second World War with the rest of the US Pacific Fleet as they came under massive aerial surprise attack. Going to general quarters, gunners on the Wasmuth sent up over 6000 rounds of .50 Cal fire at their attackers during the raid, and were credited with the downing of one Aichi D3A-1 “Val” before their ship was able to get underway and clear the harbor. Spending several nervous days actively patrolling the area around Oahu for anemy contacts, the Wasmuth and her sisters operated around the Hawaiian chain and between Johnston Island and Pearl Harbor conducting patrols and escorting convoys into the spring of 1942.

USS Wasmuth DMS-15 (after conversion, 1942) Stern View

Later Service

After a brief stopover in the mainland US while escorting a convoy back and forth to Hawaii in mid-1942, the Wasmuth stood out of Pearl Harbor for Northern Waters in August 1942, arriving in her new operating area of Alaska where she joined Task Force 8 at Kodiak. Once again assigned to patrol, escort and minesweeping duties, the Wasmuth and her crew operated in their inhospitable new theatre through the fall and into the winter of 1942, supporting US Forces operating across the far-flung Aleutian Islands. After forming up with a Westbound merchant convoy at Dutch Harbor around Christmas Day 1942, the Wasmuth put to sea escorting the force around midday on December 26th, bound for Adak. Less than a day after the convoy set out, the Bering Sea began to lash the force with increasing winds and seas as it passed North of Atka, slowing the entire convoy as it labored through the storm. Forced to take the seas from its Starboard Bow, the entire convoy was rolled and tossed about by the wind-driven waves, with the smaller escorts like the Wasmuth having the hardest time of it.

Several hours of heavy rolls and blue water crashing over her deck and superstructure began to take their toll on the Wasmuth’s topside fittings, and with her entire complement ordered below decks for safety there was likely no notice that the heavy seas were wrenching the gates of her stern-mounted depth charge racks loose. Shortly before midday on December 27th one of the gates failed and allowed two of the armed ready charges to roll off the rack and into the sea, where they began their descent to their set detonation depth. With the speed of the convoy barely enough to make headway against the swell, the Wasmuth was essentially still on top of the two depth charges when they went off, sending a shockwave to the surface with lifted the Stern of the 1,215 ton ship clear out of the water before it came crashing back down with enough force to wrench her entire fantail free of the ship. With her watertight doors secured and the ship in essentially battle-ready condition due to the severity of the storm, the Wasmuth was likely spared rapid flooding and sinking from the massive damage sustained by the ship, however with no rudders and damaged propellers and shafts she was no longer controllable and at the mercy of the storm. Fortunately for her crew, the ship turned bow-into the wind and swell which allowed damage control parties aboard her to set up her emergency pumps and secure any areas where she was taking on water.

For three hours the Wasmuth’s crew fought to save their vessel in a full gale in the Bering Sea, however it became clear the pumps were not holding out against the inrushing water. All non-essential crew were ordered off the foundering Wasmuth and were transferred by highline to the US Navy Tanker USS Ramapo (AO-12), which in itself was an incredibly dangerous undertaking. Roughly three and a half hours after the explosion of her depth charges, the Wasmuth’s Stern was completely submerged and allowing water to enter her internals through deck fittings and portholes. With the ship in imminent danger of rolling or sinking in the Gale, Wasmuth’s Captain passed the order abandon ship and was the last man pulled off the stricken ship onto the Ramapo. After musters revealed that her entire crew and two passengers were safely aboard the Ramapo, the tanker departed the area and left the Wasmuth to her fate.

The following morning the still-floating Wasmuth was sighted by a patrolling aircraft with her decks awash and only her bow superstructure and portions of her midship still above the surface. When a midday patrol was conducted in the same area, only an oil slick remained on the surface, indicating the Wasmuth had lost her battle with the sea in this general area on December 29th, 1942.

For her actions in the Second World War, USS Wasmuth received one battle star.

About Wasmuth

While I have the last name Griffin, from my father, his mother’s maiden name was Wasmuth. The ship was named after Henry Wasmuth, a 19th century ancestor on her side of the family.

Henry Wasmuth – was a United States Marine during the American Civil War. Born in Germany in 1840, but later a naturalized American citizen – enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on June 11th, 1861. Ultimately attached to the Marine detachment of the sidewheeler Powhatan, Wasmuth took part in the assault on Fort Fisher, N.C., on January 21st, 1865.

During the battle, Ensign Robley D. Evans, AKA: “Fighting Bob” Evans fell wounded from a Confederate sharpshooter’s bullet. Private Wasmuth picked up the seriously wounded young officer and carried him to a place of comparative safety – a shell hole on the beach. The private stayed with the future admiral, ignoring the latter’s urgings to take cover, until a sharpshooter’s bullet pierced Wasmuth’s neck, cutting the jugular vein. Within a few minutes, Wasmuth dropped in the edge of the surf and died. He died at the age of 24 or 25 years old. Evans later wrote: “He was an honor to his uniform”.

According to http://4mermarine.com/USMC/CWMarines.html and several other webpages, Henry Wasmuth held the rank of Corporal (2 chevrons), which is the rank above private (one chevron). There were many Corporals on the front lines, during the Civil War.

USS Wasmuth (DD-338) was named for him.

Construction of the USS Wasmuth

California Governor W. D. Stephens speaks at the keel laying of the USS Wasmuth on 12 August 1919 at Mare Island Naval Yard. Honorary keel layers were Miss E. V. Avison and Miss G. E. Bean (riveters), Miss M. G. Young (holder on), and Miss J. M. Kramer & Miss E. Barton (rivet passers). All the keel layers were draftsmen at Mare Island Navy Yard.

Photo of California Governor W. D. Stephens at the keel laying of the USS Wasmuth at Mare Island Navy Yard 12 August 1919.

Workmen are seen placing the keel of USS Wasmuth on 12 August 1919 at Mare Island Navy Yard immediately after the launching of USS Litchfield from the same building ways.

Bow view of the USS Trever and USS Wasmuth on the building ways at Mare Island Navy Yard on 2 August 1920.

Bow view of the USS Trever and USS Wasmuth on the building ways at Mare Island Navy Yard on 2 August 1920.

Miss Gertrude E. Bennet (Sponsor) is shown christening the USS Wasmuth on 16 Sept 1920 at Mare Island Navy Yard.

At sea circa 1930. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.

Balboa Harbor, Panama Canal Zone. Aerial photograph taken 23 April 1934, with U.S. Fleet cruisers and destroyers moored together. Ships present include (left to right in lower left): USS Elliot (DD-146) USS Roper (DD-147) USS Hale (DD-133) USS Dorsey (DD-117) USS Lea (DD-118) USS Rathburne (DD-113) USS Talbot (DD-114) USS Waters (DD-115) USS Dent (DD-116) USS Aaron Ward (DD-132) USS Buchanan (DD-131) USS Crowninshield (DD-134) USS Preble (DD-345) and USS William B. Preston (DD-344). (left to right in center): USS Yarnall (DD-143) USS Sands (DD-243) USS Lawrence (DD-250) (unidentified destroyer) USS Detroit (CL-8), Flagship, Destroyers Battle Force USS Fox (DD-234) USS Greer (DD-145) USS Barney (DD-149) USS Tarbell (DD-142) and USS Chicago (CA-29), Flagship, Cruisers Scouting Force. (left to right across the top): USS Southard (DD-207) USS Chandler (DD-206) USS Farenholt (DD-332) USS Perry (DD-340) USS Wasmuth (DD-338) USS Trever (DD-339) USS Melville (AD-2) USS Truxtun (DD-229) USS McCormick (DD-223) USS MacLeish (DD-220) USS Simpson (DD-221) USS Hovey (DD-208) USS Long (DD-209) USS Litchfield (DD-336) USS Tracy (DD-214) USS Dahlgren (DD-187) USS Medusa (AR-1) USS Raleigh (CL-7), Flagship, Destroyers Scouting Force USS Pruitt (DD-347) and USS J. Fred Talbott (DD-156) USS Dallas (DD-199) (four unidentified destroyers) and USS Indianapolis (CA-35), Flagship, Cruisers Scouting Force. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Wreck of USS WASMUTH

USS WASMUTH was a Clemson-class destroyer, and a total of 156 destroyers of this class were constructed. One of her sister ships, the USS CORRY DD-334, was another destroyer of the Clemson-class, and her current condition, is an indicator, as to the current condition of the wreck of the USS WASMUTH DMS-15 (FKA DD-338). Research as to her location turned up the following:

Wreck of USS CORRY
Longitude & Latitude for USS CORRY (DD-334): 38°10′0.47″N 122°17′14.87″W

Wreck of USS CORRY DD-334 ACME Mapper 2.0 – 7.5 km NxNW of Vallejo CA

Accessing satellite imagery, using the Longitude and Latitude (information that pertains to the location of USS CORRY DD-334), results in obtaining this high-resolution satellite image of the USS CORRY (DD-334).

After being decommissioned, at the Mare Island Navy Yard, USS CORRY DD-334 was stripped and sold for salvage on October 18th, 1930 in accordance with the terms of the London Treaty for the limitation of naval armament. The partially dismantled USS Corry’s remains, consisting of most of her hull and a small portion of her superstructure, were sold. Taken about a mile from the Mare Island Navy Yard, she sunk in shallow water in the Napa River, about a mile from the Mare Island Navy Yard, she was later abandoned at that location.

The USS CORRY DD-334 has been partially submerged, for approximately 5 decades.
Most, if not all of the wreck, is now composed of rust. The ship is partially flooded, and areas of the ships outer skin have curroded away. This is the process, in which a wreck is or has converted into an iron ore deposit.

USS WASMUTH DMS-15 (FKA D-338) had been sunk in deep water near Alaska, since 1942, and the damage that sunk her, broke off part of the aft section. She broke in two pieces, and the primary portion of the ship stayed afloat, much longer than the aft, which sunk when it broke off. The aft section that broke off, could be miles apart from the wreckage of the main ship. The USS WASMUTH DMS-15 (DD-338) has been on the ocean surface, in deep water (high tonnage per square inch) for nearly 70 years. The metal would be half as thick as when it sank in 1942, and would be all rust.

The decay rate, the process of rusting, to become an iron ore deposit, would be much more rapid for USS WASMUTH, as it sunk in deep water, while the USS CURRY (D-334) was only partially sunk, in shallow water. The outer skin of USS WASMUTH would now be gone. What is viewable would be severely rusted-out.

The anchor from U.S.S. Wasmuth had been recovered by the US Navy at some point in the past, and is on display at M.I.T., although I don’t know when it was recovered. But it appears to be in great shape.

Anchor from U.S.S. Wasmuth is at M.I.T.

U.S.S. Wasmuth Dedication Plaque at M.I.T.

Clemson-Class Destroyer

The Clemson-class was a series of 156 destroyers which served with the United States Navy from after World War I through World War II.

Rear Admiral Robley Dunglison Evans,

the Great White Fleet

USS Wisconsin (battleship #8)

USS Wisconsin, Fourth Divisional Flagship, Great White Fleet (1901).

The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from December 16th, 1907 to February 22, 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with various escorts. Roosevelt sought to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water navy capability.

There is a lot of historic information, and since it is another subject matter, that pertains to the historic importance of the Great White Fleet, and Rear Admiral Rodley D. Evans role in that historical event. As previously mentioned, Henry Wasmuth (an ancester of mine), was born in Germany, naturalized as a U.S. citizen, joined the Marine Corps in 1861, saved the life of then Ensign Rodley D. Evans (nicknamed “Fighting Bob Evans”) during the Civil War during the Assault on Fort Fisher, at the cost of the life of Henry Wasmuth, Henry Wasmuth was shot in the jugular vein, by a confederate sharpshooter.

For more information regarding the Great White Fleet, click on the link below:


Lifestyle of residents [ edit | edit source ]

"Gold" roll and "silver" roll [ edit | edit source ]

From its first days, the labor force in the Canal Zone (which was almost entirely publicly employed) was divided into a "gold" roll, upon which an employee's name was enrolled, and a "silver" roll. The origins of this system are unclear, but it was the practice on the 19th-century Panama Railroad to pay Americans in US gold and local workers in silver coin. ⎝] Although some Canal Zone officials compared the gold roll to military officers and the silver roll to enlisted men, the characteristic that determined on which roll an employee was placed was race. With very few exceptions, American and Northern European whites were placed on the gold roll, and blacks and southern European whites on the silver roll. American blacks were generally not hired black employees were from the Caribbean, often from Barbados. American whites seeking work as laborers, which were almost entirely silver roll positions, were discouraged from applying. ⎞] In the early days of the system, bosses could promote exceptional workers from silver to gold, but this practice soon ceased as race came to be the determining factor. ⎟] As a result of the initial policy, there were several hundred skilled blacks and southern Europeans on the gold roll. ⎠] In November 1906, Chief Engineer John Stevens ordered that most blacks on the gold roll be placed on the silver roll instead (a few remained in such roles as teachers and postmasters) the following month, the Canal Commission reported that the 3,700 gold roll employees were "almost all white Americans" and the 13,000 silver roll workers were "mostly aliens". ⎞] On February 8, 1908, President Roosevelt ordered that no further non-Americans be placed on the gold roll. After Panamanians objected, the gold roll was reopened to them in December 1908 however, efforts to remove blacks and non-Americans from the gold roll continued. ⎡]

Until 1918, when all employees began to be paid in US dollars, gold roll employees were paid in gold, in American currency, while their silver roll counterparts were paid in silver coin, initially Colombian pesos. Through the years of canal construction, silver roll workers were paid with coins from various nations in several years, coin was imported from the United States because of local shortages. Even after 1918, both the designations and the disparity in privileges lingered. ⎠]

"Diasporization" in the Panama Canal Zone [ edit | edit source ]

Until the end of World War II in 1945, the Panama Canal Zone operated under a Jim Crow society, where the category of “gold” represented white, U.S. workers and the title “silver” represented the non-white, non-U.S. workers on the Zone. After the strike of 1920, the Afro diasporic workers were banned from unionizing by the U.S. Canal officials. As a result, the Panama Canal West Indian Employees Association (PCWIEA) was created in 1924 to fill this vacuum of representation. ⎢] The PCWIEA did not garner too much support on the Canal Zone because of its restrictive membership policies and the haunting of the 1920 strike and its damaging consequences. However, in 1946, the PCWIEA summoned the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) for representation and the establishment of a local union. In July of that year, the West Indian and Panamanian workers received a charter for Local 713 of the United Public Workers of America (UPWA)-CIO. ⎣] Together, with the assistance of U.S. representatives for the Local, these Afro-diasporic workers came together to secure material benefits in their livelihoods. They organized together in order to pose a serious threat to the Jim Crow system which resulted, however, only in minimal gains. The imperial system of the U.S. and its segregationist policies persisted as it related to housing and schooling. ⎤] In the end, ties to communism destroyed the UPWA and as a result Local 713 collapsed. ⎥] Nevertheless, it is important to see this as a moment of what Frank Gurridy describes as diasporization, “diaspora in action, or the ways Afro-diasporic linkages were made in practice”. ⎦] In the case of the Panama Canal Zone, these linkages were made not only by the West Indian and Panamanian communities, but also between the Afro descended workers on the Zone and African Americans, on the mainland of the U.S., through the transnational struggle to dismantle the system of Jim Crow.

Community [ edit | edit source ]

Housing and goods [ edit | edit source ]

Canal Zone housing was constructed in the early days of construction, as part of Stevens' plans. Housing constructed for couples and families consisted of structures containing four two-story apartments. The units had corrugated-iron roofs, and were uniformly painted gray with white trim. Constructed of pine clapboard, they had long windows and high ceilings, allowing for air movement. Better-paid employees were entitled to more square feet of housing, the unit in which allowances were expressed. Initially, employees received one square foot per dollar of monthly salary. Stevens from the first encouraged gold roll employees to send for their wives and children to encourage them to do so, wives were granted a housing allowance equal to their husband's, even if they were not employees. Bachelors mostly resided in hotel-like structures. The structures all had screened verandas and up-to-date plumbing. The government furnished power, water, coal for cooking, ice for iceboxes, lawn care, groundskeeping, garbage disposal, and, for bachelors only, maid service. ⎧]

In the first days of the Canal Zone, the ICC provided no food, and workers had to fend for themselves, obtaining poor-quality food at inflated prices from Panamanian merchants. When Stevens arrived in 1905, he ordered food to be provided at cost, leading to the establishment of the Canal Zone Commissary. The functions of the Commissary quickly grew, generally against the will of the Panamanian government, which saw more and more goods and services provided in the Zone rather than in Panama. Merchants could not compete with the commissary's prices or quality for example, it boasted that the meat it sold had been refrigerated every moment from the Chicago slaughterhouse to the moment it was passed to the consumer. By 1913, it consisted of 22 general stores, 7 cigar stores, 22 hostels, 2 hotels, and a mail-order division. It served high-quality meals at small expense to workers and more expensive meals to upper-echelon canal employees and others able to afford it. ⎨]

The commissary was a source of friction between the Canal Zone and Panama for several other reasons. The commissary dominated sales of supplies to passing ships, and Panamanian merchants could make no sales within Canal Zone waters. ⎩] The commissary was off limits to Panamanians who were not resident in the Canal Zone or employed there, a restriction nominally for the benefit of Panamanian storekeepers, who feared the loss of trade. Panama had laws restricting imports from the Canal Zone, which were indifferently enforced. Goods from the commissary would sometimes show up in Panamanian stores and in vendor displays, where Comisariato goods were deemed of high quality. ⎪]


Will CVNs fit through new Panama Canal?

The overhang width was an issue with the Essex class carriers.

As built they were supposed to be able to use the locks (and the port deck-edge elevator could "fold up" to facilitate use*), but they had to have some peripheral equipment removed*, and the light-stands along the lock sides removed in order to transit - and one clipped and damaged a building along a lock.

With the angle-deck modification the problem was worse - while the new starboard deck-edge elevator also "folded", the port deck-edge now extended as wide as the elevator when not "folded", so there was even more interference, and the angle-deck Essex never used the Panama Canal.

Note the history of CV-9 USS Essex: In July 1955 ESSEX entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for repairs and extensive alterations, including installation of an angled flight deck. Modernization completed, she rejoined the Pacific Fleet in March 1956. For the next 14 months the carrier operated off the west coast, except for a six-months cruise with the 7th Fleet in the Far East. Ordered to join the Atlantic Fleet for the first time in her long career, she sailed from San Diego on 21 June 1957, rounded Cape Horn, and arrived in Mayport, Fla., on 1 August.

She sailed around the southern tip of South America because she couldn't pass through the Panama Canal!


* this can be seen in the photo below. Here is a link to a video of the un-modernized USS Tarawa CV-40 transiting the Canal in

** In 1944-45 seven outboard quad 40-mm mounts were added, five on the starboard hull and two on the port hull. These tubs were attached directly to the hull rather than on the catwalk and could be removed to allow passage through the Panama Canal.


July 11, 1943 Gatun Locks, Panama Canal Zone
U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-10) squeeze through the locks of the Panama Canal on her way to the Pacific to join the fleet. On the 6th of July she departed Norfolk heading for her final "shakedown" in the Caribbean where a German U-Boat torpedo was narrowly evaded. Flying 275 sorties the air group on deck will be part of the August 31st attack on Marcus Island helping to wipe out Japanese airfields and installations. The men of the Yorktown will take their place in history aboard their "Fighting Lady".
Stan Piet Collection U.S. Navy National Archives. (80-GK-15334)
This is the Gatun Locks and the photo is taken from the Control House.


Early 1939, the smaller USS Enterprise CV-6 in the Panama Canal:

Apr 15, 2015 #7 2015-04-15T06:06

Here's an article about the Panama Canal and how it has affected the design of US warships:

The article ends by stating that no CVN will fit into the new locks.

Apr 17, 2015 #8 2015-04-17T23:42

Apr 17, 2015 #9 2015-04-17T23:50

bager1968 wrote: The overhang width was an issue with the Essex class carriers.

As built they were supposed to be able to use the locks (and the port deck-edge elevator could "fold up" to facilitate use*), but they had to have some peripheral equipment removed*, and the light-stands along the lock sides removed in order to transit - and one clipped and damaged a building along a lock.

With the angle-deck modification the problem was worse - while the new starboard deck-edge elevator also "folded", the port deck-edge now extended as wide as the elevator when not "folded", so there was even more interference, and the angle-deck Essex never used the Panama Canal.

Note the history of CV-9 USS Essex: In July 1955 ESSEX entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for repairs and extensive alterations, including installation of an angled flight deck. Modernization completed, she rejoined the Pacific Fleet in March 1956. For the next 14 months the carrier operated off the west coast, except for a six-months cruise with the 7th Fleet in the Far East. Ordered to join the Atlantic Fleet for the first time in her long career, she sailed from San Diego on 21 June 1957, rounded Cape Horn, and arrived in Mayport, Fla., on 1 August.

She sailed around the southern tip of South America because she couldn't pass through the Panama Canal!


* this can be seen in the photo below. Here is a link to a video of the un-modernized USS Tarawa CV-40 transiting the Canal in

** In 1944-45 seven outboard quad 40-mm mounts were added, five on the starboard hull and two on the port hull. These tubs were attached directly to the hull rather than on the catwalk and could be removed to allow passage through the Panama Canal.


July 11, 1943 Gatun Locks, Panama Canal Zone
U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-10) squeeze through the locks of the Panama Canal on her way to the Pacific to join the fleet. On the 6th of July she departed Norfolk heading for her final "shakedown" in the Caribbean where a German U-Boat torpedo was narrowly evaded. Flying 275 sorties the air group on deck will be part of the August 31st attack on Marcus Island helping to wipe out Japanese airfields and installations. The men of the Yorktown will take their place in history aboard their "Fighting Lady".
Stan Piet Collection U.S. Navy National Archives. (80-GK-15334)
This is the Gatun Locks and the photo is taken from the Control House.


Early 1939, the smaller USS Enterprise CV-6 in the Panama Canal:


0 Comments

Walter Guy Brown Jr.

In March, 1926, Rosendahl was assigned as Executive Officer of USS Los Angeles, and was given command of the ship two months later. Rosendahl was a dynamic and energetic commander who was filled with enthusiasm for his ship and its mission. During the next three years, under Rosendahl’s leadership, USS Los Angeles logged over 1,400 flight hours during more than 100 flights, including an almost 40-hour nonstop flight to the Panama Canal Zone and a 52-hour nonstop return, and multiple moorings to the support ship Patoka.

Joe Wood

The photograph was taken from the Prado in Balboa, looking toward Sosa Hill. The building is a 4-family residence for employees of the Panama Canal and the palm trees are Royal Palms planted by the Canal organization along the entire length of the Prado (1,000 feet long – that simulated the length of one of the Canal’s lock chambers).

Ray Crucet

Yes, it appears to be similar to the Navy’s USS Los Angeles. But, I believe the USS Los Angeles perished in the 1930’s with all hands aboard. I suspect this is a similar class visiting Albrock Air Base or Rodman Naval Air Station just beyond the pictured Sosa hill. The photo was taken in Balboa CZ near the Elementary School side of the Prado. Judging the size of the palm trees on the Prado perimiter, my guess is 1940’s during WW II.

Nina Brown Kosik

Ray — it was the Akron that perished in a violent storm New Jersey with all but three. Jake Baker’s dad was a crew member, but he was on leave in the CZ when it happened in April 1933 My source: Jake Baker. Akron’s life & loss are covered in http://www.airships.net/us-navy-rigid-airships/uss-akron-macon/uss-akron – Nina

Nina Brown Kosik

Luis Celerier

From location of engines his has to be the USS Los Angeles.. The USS Shenandoa also had outboard engines, but it never came to Panama. Shenandoah destryed by storm 3 Sep 1925 over Ohio with 14 killed , 11 survived. More Modern USS Akron was destryed by storm off coast of New England 3 April 1933 with 73 dead and 3 survivors. USS Macon, sister of Akron, destroey by storn off coast of California with all but one of her planes on board on 12 Feb.1935.with 2 dead and 74 survivors. No US airship ever burned. Ironically, the Los Angeles, German built as reparations for WW I, survived in hangar until WW II when it was dismantled for the metal. Los Angeles visited Panama CZ sometime during Feb. 16-20, 1931, as part of the “White Fleet” defending the Canal. The Akron visited Panama CZ without landing in Jan. 1933. I cannot find evidence that Macon ever visited Panama CZ.
Luis Celerier

Luis Celerier

I should have checked my spelling before sending!
Luis Celerier

Jorge

Airship Akron is flying Balboa, Panama Canal Zone in March 1933.

Luis Celerier

Jorge: I would love to see a photo of Akron in Balboa. I seem to recall seeing a photo of Akron close to the tarmack someplace in the CZ, but I can’t recall where, or if I am dreaming. Luis Celerier


History of the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal history dates back to the early explorers of the Americas. The narrow land bridge between North and South America offered a unique opportunity to create a waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The first settlers of Central America recognized the potential of this waterway and has since repeatedly construction plans were outlined.

At the end of the 1800s serious beginning construction, due to the enormous technological advances and the insistence of investors were given. France was the first to take the initiative to build a sea-level canal, but failed, even after making a lot of excavations. The United States took advantage of this French effort which resulted in the present Panama Canal opened in 1914. The Republic of Panama established its independence, by its separation from Colombia in 1903. Today the Panama Canal remains a profitable business enterprise and also maintains its fundamental performance of maritime connection. The strategic location of the Panama Canal and its short distance between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, has caused for many centuries other attempts to copy the marketing route between the two oceans. Although initial plans between a land route linking the ports between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans was afoot, speculation about a possible channel back to the first European explorations in Panama.

In 1514, Vasco Nunez de Balboa led Europeans to discover the eastern Pacific, and built a simple way that he used to haul their ships from Santa Maria La Antigua del Darién on the Atlantic coast of Panama to the Bay of San Miguel and the South Sea (Pacific). This road was about 300 to 400 miles (645 km) long, but was soon abandoned.

In November 1529, Captain Antonio Tello de Guzmán discovered a road that crossed the isthmus from the Gulf of Panama to Portobelo, past the site of Nombre de Dios. This road had been used by indigenous peoples for centuries, and was well designed. It was improved and paved by the Spaniards, and became El Camino Real. This road was used to haul looted gold to the warehouse in Portobelo for transportation to Spain, and was the largest first cargo crossing the Isthmus of Panama [1] <> template is obsolete, see the new system references..

In 1526, Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and king of Spain, suggested that cutting a piece of land somewhere in Panama, traveling from Ecuador and Peru would be shorter facts and allow faster travel and less risky return to Spain for ships carrying goods, especially gold. An inspection of the Isthmus and a work plan for a canal were developed in 1560. The imperialist political situation and the level of technology at the time made it possible.

The road from Portobelo to the Pacific had its problems, and in the year 1553, Mr. Gaspar de Espinosa recommended to the king that a new road was not built. His plan was to build a road from the city of Panama, which was the terminal in the Pacific El Camino Real, to the city of Cruces, on the banks of the Chagres River and about 20 miles (35 kilometers) from El Paraguay. Once in the Chagres River, boats would transport cargo to the Caribbean. This road was built, and was known as El Camino de Cruces. At the mouth of the Chagres, the small town of Chagres was fortified, and the strength of San Lorenzo was built on a hill overlooking the area. From Chagres, treasures and goods were transported to the warehouse of the king in Portobelo, to be stored until the treasure fleet left for Spain.

This journey lasted many years, and was used even in the 1840s by prospectors infected with gold fever running through California.

Main article: The Darien scheme

In July 1668, Mark Duke built five ships, leaving Leith, Scotland, in an attempt to establish a colony in Darien, as the basis for a trade route to China and Japan by land and sea. The settlers landed on the shores of Darien, in November, and declared as Colonia New Caledonia. However, the expedition was poorly organized for the hostile conditions poorly led and ridden by disease, the colonists finally abandoned New Edinburgh, leaving behind 400 graves.

Unfortunately, a rescue expedition had already left Scotland coming to the colony in November 1699, but faced the same difficulties as well as the site and the Spanish defense. Finally, on April 12, 1700, Caledonia was abandoned for the last time, ending this venture desastrosa.1 blabla

Since the Camino Real, and later the trail of Las Cruces, served communication across the isthmus for over three centuries, by the 19th century it was clear that a cheaper and faster alternative was needed. Given the difficulty of building a canal with available technology, a railway seemed an excellent opportunity.

The studies were carried out to the end as early as 1827 Several plans were proposed, and foundered for lack of capital. However, by mid-century, several factors turned in favor of a connection: the acquisition of Alta California by the United States in 1848, and the increasing movement of settlers to the West Coast, creating a demand for a fast track between the oceans, which was further fueled by the discovery of gold in California.

Panama Railway was built across the isthmus from 1850 to 1855, covering 47 miles (76 km) Colon, on the Atlantic coast, to the city of Panama in the Pacific. The project was an engineering marvel of its time, which was held in brutally difficult conditions. Although there is no way of knowing the exact number of workers who died during construction, it is estimated from 6,000 up to 12,000 dead, many of them from cholera and malaria.

Until the opening of the Panama Canal, the railroad transported the increased freight volume per unit length of any railroad in the world. The existence of the railroad was instrumental in the selection of Panama as the site of the channel.

1888 German map of the Panama Canal (includes alternative route for Nicaragua)

The idea of building a canal through Central America was suggested again by the German scientist Alexander von Humboldt, which led to a resurgence of interest in the early 19th century In 1819, the Spanish government authorized the construction of a canal and the creation of a company to build it. The project was halted for some time, but a series of surveys were conducted between 1850 and 1875. The conclusion was that the two most favorable routes were through Panama (then part of Colombia) and through Nicaragua, with a route across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico as a third option. Nicaragua route was considered seriously and respondents.

After the successful completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, the French were inspired to address the apparently similar project to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and hoped that this could be accomplished with little difficulty. In 1876, an international company, La Société internationale du Canal interocéanique, was created to do the job, two years later, he obtained a concession from the Colombian government, which then controlled the land, to dig a canal across the isthmus. Ferdinand de Lesseps, who was in charge of the construction of the Suez Canal, is the key figure of the regime. His enthusiastic leadership, along with his reputation as the man who had brought the project of Suez to a successful conclusion, he convinced speculators and ordinary citizens to invest in the plan, ultimately, to the tune of almost $ 400 million. However, de Lesseps, despite his earlier success was not an engineer. The construction of the Suez Canal, essentially a trench dug by a flat, sandy desert, presents some challenges, but Panama would be a very different story. The mountainous backbone of Central America is a low point in Panama, but still rises to a height of 110 meters (360.9 feet) above sea level at the lowest crossing point. A sea-level canal, as proposed by De Lesseps, would require a prodigious excavation, and through various hardnesses of the rock instead of sand easy Suez. The task of cataloging the goods was immense, but it took several weeks simply an index card equipment available. 2,148 buildings had been acquired, [citation needed] many of which were completely uninhabitable, and housing was originally a major problem. Panama Railroad is in a serious state of decay. However, there was much that was meaningful use many locomotives, dredgers and other pieces of floating equipment were put to good use by Americans in all their construction effort. John Findley Wallace was elected chief engineer of the canal on May 6, 1904, and immediately was forced to “fly to the earth.” However, excessively bureaucratic oversight Washington drowned initial efforts to get large forces of heavy machinery in place quickly, and caused a lot of friction between Wallace and the Commission. Both Wallace and chief medical officer, William C. Gorgas, determined to make great progress as quickly as possible, they were frustrated by delays and bureaucracy at all times and, finally, in 1905, Wallace resigned.

This elevation map of the Panama Canal, prepared in 1923, shows the topology of the region through which the canal was cut.

A less obvious barrier was presented by the rivers crossing the channel, particularly the Chagres River, which flows very strongly in the rainy season. This water could not simply be poured into the channel as it could represent an extreme danger to navigation, and so require a sea level canal to divert the river, which cuts across the canal route.

The most serious problem of all, however, were tropical diseases, malaria and yellow fever in particular. Since it was not known at the time how are you contracted diseases, all precautions against these were doomed to failure. For example, the legs of hospital beds were placed in metal boxes of water to prevent insects from climbing in, but these containers with standing water were ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, the carriers of these diseases, which worsened the problem. From the beginning, the project was plagued by lack of engineering experience. In May 1879, an international engineering congress was held in Paris, with Ferdinand de Lesseps to the head of the 136 delegates, however, only 42 were engineers, others were built by speculators, political and personal friends Lesseps.

De Lesseps was convinced that a sea level canal, dug through the rocky mountain chain and Central America, could be completed as easily as, or even more easily than the Suez Canal. The engineering congress estimated the project cost at $ 214 million, 14 February 1880, a commission of engineering revised this estimate to 168, $ 600,000. De Lesseps twice reduced this estimate, with no apparent justification, on 20 February to $ 131.6 million, and again on March 1 to $ 120 million. The engineering congress estimated seven to eight years as the time required to complete the work, de Lesseps reduced the time to six years, compared with the ten years required for the Suez Canal.

The channel level proposed would have a uniform depth of 9 meters (29.5 feet), a width of 22 meters depth (72.2 feet), and a width at water level of about 27.5 meters (90 , 2 feet), and involved an estimated 120 million m3 (157 million cubic yards) excavation. It was proposed that a dam was built in Gamboa to control flooding of the Chagres River, along with canals to carry water away from the canal. However, the Gamboa Dam was found later to be impracticable, and Chagres River problem was left unresolved.

Construction of the canal began on January 1, 1882, although the excavations in the snake cut did not start until 22 January 1882. In 1888 contract a huge workforce of 20,000 people, nine-tenths of this group were from workers West Indies. French ingenerieros were well paid and prestige of the project attracted the best school of French engineers, but the huge number of deaths from diseases hampered their working withholding returned after a short time served or died. It was estimated that the total number of deaths between 1881 and 1889 was greater than 22,000. Exactly at the beginning of 1885, it was clear to many that the sea-level canal was impractical and that an elevated canal with locks was the best alternative however, de Lesseps was persistent, and it was not until October 1887 that the sluice channel plan was adopted. By this time, however, the financial amount, engineering and problems of mortality, along with frequent floods and mudslide were making clear that the project was in serious trouble. The work was driven under the new plan until May 1889, when the company came to be bankrupt, and the work was finally suspended on 15 May 1889. After eight years, two-fifth of the work was completed, and about $ 234, 795,000 had been spent.

Canal Frances Action 1888, with lottery included

The collapse of the company was a huge scandal in France, and the role of two Jewish speculators in the scandalous business allowed Edouard Drumont, an anti-Semite, seize the issue. 104 legislators were found involved in corruption and Jean Jaures was commissioned by the French parliament to lead the new company Panamá.2 channel

It soon became clear that the only way to save something for shareholders was to continue the project. A new award was obtained by Colombia, and in 1894 the Nouvelle du Canal de Panama company was created to complete construction. In order to abide by the terms of the concession, immediately he began the work in excavations Culebra- cut which would be required under any possible plant while a team of competent engineers began a comprehensive study of the project. The plan was possibly established for the base channel exclusas two levels. The new effort never really gained momentum the main reason for this was speculation the United States of America on the construction of a canal through Nicaragua, which become useless Panama Canal. The largest number of men employed in the new project was 3,600 in 1896 this minimum workforce was employed first to agree the terms of the concession and digging and keep existing equipment in a condition vendible- the company had already started looking for a buyer, with a tagged price of $ 109 million.

Even to this date, no decision had been made about whether the channel should be a lock canal or a channel excavation level framework that was under the road would be useful in any case. In late 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt sent a team of engineers to Panama to investigate the relative merits of both projects and as related to cost and time requirements. The engineers decided in favor of sea-level canal, by a vote of eight to five but the commission of the channel and the same Stevens, opposed this project, and the Stevens report Roosevelt was essential to convince the president of the merit of the project based sluices. The Senate and House representative ratified the project based on sluices, and the work was formally free to continue under this plan. In November 1906, Roosevelt visited Panama to inspect the progress of the channel. This was the first trip abroad for a president in charge. Another controversy this time was whether the work of the canal must be carried out by contractors or by the government of the United States. Opinions were sharply divided but Stevens eventually came to favor the direct approach and this was finally adopted by Roosevelt. However, Roosevelt also decided that armed force engineers should carry out the work and appointed George Washington Goethals greater as the chief engineer under the leadership of Stevens in February 1907.

Meanwhile, in the US, the eighth channel commission established in 1899 to analyze the possibilities of a Central American canal and to recommend a route. In November 1901, the commission reported that a US channel should be built through nicaraguas unless the French were willing to accept 40, 000,000. This recommendation it became a law on June 28, 1902, and the New Panama Canal was virtually forced to sell for that amount or not to perform the construction.

Although the French effort was largely doomed from the start because of the indisposition without resolving the issue, and insufficient appreciation of the difficulties of engineering, its work was, however, not totally useless. Among the new and old companies, the French dug in total 59, 747, 638 m3 (78, 146, 960 cu yd) of material, the end of which 14 255.890 m3 (18, 646,000 cu yd) were removed from the Court Snake. The former company excavated from Panama Balboa Bay to the port also the channel dug in the Atlantic, better known as French channel, which found it useful to extract sand and stone to block specific leaks in Gatun.

Studies and detailed surveys, particularly those carried out by the new company were of great help to the American effort, with significant machinery, including rail equipment and vehicles, were a great help in the early years of the American project.

In short, it was estimated that 22 713.396 m3 (29, 708,000 cu yd) of the excavation were direct use by the Americans, valued at $ 25, 389.240, together with the team and surveys valued at $ 17, 410.586.

The discovery of gold in California in 1848 and the rate of future mining stimulus the US interest in creating a channel between the oceans. In 1887, a US regiment step to study the possibility of a canal in Nicaragua. In 1889, The Maritime Canal Company began to create a channel in the area, chose Nicaraguas. The company lost its funding in 1893 as a result of a common panic, the works were suspended in Nicaragua. In both 1897 and 1899, Congress Canal charge a commission to study the possible construction, and Nicaragua was chosen as the place twice.

The Nicaraguan Canal proposal was finally dismissed by the seizure of the French on the Panama Canal project. However, the rise of modern shipping, and increasing sizes of ships, have revived interest in the project new proposals for a modern canal in Nicaragua transport layers of post-Panamax ships or rail link to transport containers between ports on both coast.

Theodore Roosevelt President of the United States in 1901, thought that a channel travez Central America controlled by the United States, would be of vital strategic importance. The idea became more important after the destruction in Cuba warship USS Maine on February 15, 1898. The warship USS Oregon was anchored in San Francisco, came to take the place of the USS Maine, and the trip delayed 67 days around Cape Horn. Although the warship USS Oregon arrived in time to participate in the Battle of Santiago Bay, Cuba, the trip had taken just three weeks by way of Panama.

Roosevelt was able to reverse a previous decision of the Walker Commission was in favor of a canal through Nicaragua. Roosevelt pressed on the issue of the acquisition of the French Panama Canal efforts. George S. Morrison remained alone in the Walker Commission putting pressure on the construction of the Panama canal and maintained his argument for this change. Panama still belonged to Colombia so Roosevelt began negotiations with the Republic of Colombia to obtain the necessary building rights in the Panama Canal. In early 1903 the Treaty was signed Herran-Hay between the United States and Colombia Colombia but the Senate failed to ratify this treaty.

In a controversial move, Roosevelt implied to Panamanian rebels that if they revolted, the US Navy help their cause for independence. Panama proceeded to proclaim its independence on November 3, 1903, and the USS Nashville in local waters impeded any interference from Colombia (see gunboat diplomacy).

The victorious Panamanians returned the favor to Roosevelt by allowing the control of the United States of the Panama Canal Zone on February 23, 1904, in the amount of 10 million US dollars (as stipulated in the Hay-Bunau-Varilla signed on November 18, 1903).

The United States formally took over the French property on the channel on May 4, 1904, when Lieutenant Jatara Oneel the United States Army received the keys, there was a small ceremony. The recent creation of the Control Zone Panama Canal was under the control of the Isthmian Canal Commission during construction of the canal.

Americans had bought the channel essentially as an ongoing operation, and indeed the first step was to place all workers in the canal in the use of the new administration. However, this was not so useful for the project as noted, since the operation was at that point to be maintained essentially the minimum force in order to comply with its license and keep the plant operating conditions.

Americans, on the other hand inherited a small work force, but to turn a big jumble of buildings, infrastructure and equipment, many of whom had been the victim of fifteen years of neglect in the harsh environment of the rainforest. There was virtually no facilities in place for a large workforce, and infrastructure is crumbling. The early years of American jobs on the other hand produced little in terms of real progress, but in many ways the most crucial and most difficult project.


USS Medusa (AR-1), 1934, Panama Canal Zone - History

(FFG-20: dp. 3,600 1. 445'0" b. 45'0" dr. 24'6" s. 29 k. cpl. 164 a. 1 mis. in., Standard missile, Harpoon, I 76mm., 6 15.5" tt., LAMPS cl. Oliver Hazard Perry)

The second Antrim (FFG-20) was laid down on 21 June 1978 at Seattle, Wash., by the Seattle Division of Todd Shipyards Corp. launched on 27 March 1979 sponsored by Mrs. Richard N. . Antrim, the widow of the late Rear Admiral Antrim and commissioned at Seattle on 26 September 1981, Comdr. William H. Wright, IV, in command.

On 1 October, Antrim departed Seattle en route to Mayport, Fla., her home port. She made stops at Mazatlan and Manzanillo before arriving in the Canal Zone on the 25th. The guided-missile frigate transited the Panama Canal on Navy Day, 27 October 1981, and continued on to Mayport where she arrived on 2 November. Antrim conducted independent ship's exercises out of May ort on an intermittent daily basis until 20 November when he set sail for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The warship carried out shakedown training in the West Indies until 12 December. After a port visit to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., she tested and calibrated her sound equipment in the Bahamas before returning to Mayport on the 20th to commence holiday standdown.

The holiday leave and upkeep period ended on 11 January 1982 with her return to sea to conduct combat systems qualifications and trials. With that event, the guided-missile frigate resumed a normal schedule of operations out of Mayport in the local operating area and in the West Indies as well. On 26 April, Antrim departed Mayport bound ultimately for Bath, Maine, and postshakedown availability at the Bath Iron Works. Along the way, she stopped at Yorktown, Va., to unload ordnance and at Portsmouth, N.H., for a port visit. The warship arrived in Bath on 7 May and commenced a repair period that lasted 16 weeks. She embarked upon the voyage back to Mayport on 27 August, made a series of stops en route, and entered Mayport again on 11 September. Antrim stayed in port for almost a month, putting to sea again on 8 October to carry out post-repair refresher training in the vicinity of Guantanamo Bay. The guided-missile frigate completed that mission at the beginning of November, made a brief call at Key West, and then executed advanced ASW drills in the Bahamas. She reentered May ort on 12 November and remained there through the end of the year.

Antrim ended holiday standdown early in January 1983, returning to sea to begin training on the 4th. At the beginning of February, she sailed north to Norfolk whence she conducted weapons testing and training. On 10 February, while she was engaged in those evolutions, a target drone skipped off the surface and struck Antrim causing a fire in the wardroom and in her electronics spaces. The accident killed a civilian instructor embarked in the warship. Antrim returned to Mayport and passed the rest of February engaged in repairs. The warship completed her weapons training and testing during March and spent most of A pri1 preparing to deploy to the Mediterranean Sea and in the Milddle East. On 29 April, the guided-missile frig ate, stood out of Mayport on her way to the Strait of Gibraltar.

She entered the Mediterranean on 9 May and joined the 6th Fleet. Antrim carried out normal 6th Fleet training operations until the second week in June. On 11 June, the warship transited the legendary Straits of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles and entered the Black Sea. For eight days, she conducted operations in the Black Sea and, during that time, also paid a four-day visit to Constanta, Romania. Antrim renegotiated the famous Straits of antiquity again on 19 June and resumed her operational schedule as a unit of the 6th Fleet. On 1 August, the guided-missile frigate passed through the Suez Canal and shaped a course for the Persian Gulf. Following a brief stop at Djibouti on 3 August, she began duty as a radar picket ship on the 4th. Except for a port call at Karachi, Pakistan, from 27 September to 4 October, Antrim served in the Persian Gulf for almost three months. She carried out turnover formalities with her relief at Djibouti in October, transited the Suez Canal on 4 November, and laid in a course for Rota, Spain. After stopping at Rota briefly on the 10th, Antrim set out across the Atlantic. She arrived in Mayport on 21 November and stood down for the last weeks of the year.

The relative inactivity of the final month of 1983 carried over into and through the first month of 1984. Antrim did not put to sea again until the first week in February. On the 3d, the warship got underway for the coast of Central America. After a call at Puerto de Cortez, Honduras, on the 6th and 7th, she transited the Panama Canal on the 10th. For almost seven weeks, Antrim conducted operations off the western shores of Central America from the base at Rodman in the Canal Zone. On 28 March, she travelled back through the canal and set her course for Mayport. The guided-missile frigate stood into her home port on 2 April. She passed the bulk of the month en aged in repairs, completing ost-repair sea trials on the 26th and 27th. On 28 April, Antrim headed north for port visits at Newport, R.I., and Portsmouth, N.H., followed by plane guard duty for Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69).

The warship returned to Mayport on 11 May and resumed local operations 10 days later. At the end of June, she headed for Guantanamo Bay whence she carried out refresher training until the end of July. After visiting Charleston at the end of the first week in August, Antrim arrived back in Mayport on the 11th. On 20 August, the guided-missile frigate began a two-month restricted availability at Mayport. She wrapped up the repair period with sea trials on 22 and 23 October and a stop at Charleston on the 24th to load ordnance material. Back in Mayport on 26 October, Antrim executed training missions in the local operating area until early in December when she began preparations for overseas movement.

Holiday routine interrupted those preparations late in December, but the pace quickened in January 1985 as her February departure date drew near. On 4 February, Antrim stood out of Mayport on her way across the Atlantic. She made a short call at Rota, Spain, for fuel on St. Valentine's Day 1985 before passing through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean Sea. The warship made an expeditious transit of the Mediterranean, stopping only at Palma de Mallorca and Augusta Bay, Sicily, before negotiating the Suez Canal on 27 February. Steaming hence through the Red Sea and around the Arabian Peninsula, Antrim passed through the Strait of Hormuz on 9 March and entered the Persian Gulf. While cruising on radar picket station in the Persian Gulf, Antrim received a distress call from the Liberian-flag motor vessel, Caribbean Breeze, that had suffered an Iranian missile attack to her bridge. The guided-missile frigate and her embarked helicopter detachment-HSL-36, Det. Irendered assistance to the stricken vessel. Antrim then continued her surveillance patrols of the troubled waters of the Persian Gulf until the end of the third week in April.

At that time, she departed the gulf for a little more than a week to make a port call at Karachi, Pakistan. Back on station in the Persian Gulf at the end of April, Antrim responded to another call for help on 2 May after the Iranians attacked another motor vessel, Nordic Trader, with missiles. Again, the warship and her helicopter detachment evacuated casualties. Her remaining two months of surveillance patrols in the Persian Gulf provided no further untoward incidents. She turned her responsibilities over to Klakring (FFG-42) and Reid (FFG-30) on 5 July and shaped a course via Djibouti and the Red Sea to the Suez Canal. Through the canal on the 14th, she made a single stop-at Valencia, Spain-on her voyage across the Mediterranean.


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