Red Ink and Rewrites Too

Duplicates online comments, to keep track.

NOAA goes diving for U-boats

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My grandfather’s brother, Master Mariner Leman Chapman Urquhart, was captain of the “City of Atlanta” torpedoed in Jan. 1942 nearby by U-123. The ship had left Manhattan, NY for Savannah, Georgia where he, originally of Castalia, Grand Manan Island, N.B., Canada but a naturalized US citizen, was also a harbor pilot. The large side-wheeler (according to a photo shown to me in the library of the National Maritime Historical Society in Peekskill, NY) built in West Chester, PA in 1904 only had three survivors of the 47 on board, the captain not one of them. I see that it has been or was marked as a hazard to shipping, the intent of its sinking. A high school school chum, an investigative journalist, Lou Young, interviewed the U-123 captain, Reinhard Hardegen, one of the survivors of the “Battle of the Atlantic”. Of course these submarine wrecks with torpedoes in them should be seen as very hazardous to the diving public and I am glad there is an assessment of the risks being conducted. (Source: chapter 9, “Where Is the Navy?” in “Operation Drumbeat” (1990) by Michael Gannon. Comment at Topix forum Archaeology)

I worked in part with the NOAA archaeologists in Cold Spring, NY who also had input into the creation of the design for remediation of the nickel-cadmium contamination in the waters and marsh around Cold Spring, NY. I worked on the actual survey, in a number of magnetometer surveys, on marsh and on the water, and on the reconstruction of bathymetry from modern and historic data for comparisons to try to ascertain changes from the early days until the present to aid the preservation of the landscape if need be incorporated into the remediation designs. However, it was not well stated that over 1 million explosive shells and 20,000 gun carriages had also been made there. Fortunately, the best metal often includes previous forged metal added to it, and only two large caliber empty shells were encountered during the archaeology phase, though I would have liked to have known! It was not in the “Health and Safety Plan”!


Written by georgejmyersjr

07/22/2008 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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