This was Andy's last duty station.
Read his account BELOW!
Hall was born in 1846 at Ashfield, Mass. Hall founded the
"American Journal of Psychology" in 1887
ONE HISTORY TWO
Granville S. Hall (YAG-40), a
Liberty ship, operated as a general
merchant cargo vessel until entering the National
Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Calif., June
1952. The ship was
fitted out with scientific instruments of all kinds, including
nuclear detection and measurement devices. These
enabled her to explore fallout areas and carry out ship
decontamination tests. Granville S. Hall was also equipped with remote control
devices which allowed her to be operated by a small crew in a sealed
hold, and thus making
her able to explore fallout areas of heavy concentration
Cargo Vessel Type EC2-S-C1 (LIBERTY SHIP) MCE Hull 2325
Laid down, 16 September 1944 at J.A. Jones Construction co., Inc.,
Panama City, FL
Being laid up in the NDRF, Suisun Bay,
CA; she was acquired by the US Navy May 1953, designated YAG-40 and
served in the Pacific until 1957.
On reactivation in 1962 she was Commissioned USS Granville S. Hall YAG-40. She
was decommissioned in 1971, struck from record in 1972 disposed of as
target off the Hawaiian Islands in 1972.
Length: 441 ft. 6 in. Beam:
56 ft 10.75 in. Draft: 27 ft. 9.25 in.
Propulsion: Two oil-fired
boilers - 3 cylinder triple-expansion steam
engine single screw, 1,950 hp.
Speed: 10 knots -
Range: 20,000 nmi
Complement: 8–15 Armament: None
The photo at top of page is AG-40
off the coast of Oahu, HI., 8 November 1965.
the big pie plate shape on
her forward mast which was a Nuclear Fallout Sampling platform.
|AG-40 was part of
Shipboard Hazard and Defense [SHAD]
To evaluate the
effectiveness of shipboard detection and
against biological/chemical warfare
agents and to determine
the distance released agents could
Contamination on Johnston Atoll was one.
The adjoining photos are from that time in 1963-64
About the Granny's last time underway as a USN ship. This happened in
August 1970. I can't remember exact dates.
ago I was in the Navy and was serving as an officer on the Granville S.
(YAG-40). The Granville Hall was home ported at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Granny as we called her not the kind of ship that you picture as a
vessel. She looked like a tramp freighter. She was a Liberty ship and
her life as a freighter during WW2.
We were operating
south of the equator about 2000 miles east of New Zealand and 3000
of Hawaii. There is a lot of ocean at that spot on the Earth and not
but a few tiny islands.
I was the Officer of the Deck watch the skipper came on the bridge
the navigator and began looking at our navigation chart which showed
were and then they marked another point on the chart drew a line
two points and then the skipper said, “Andy, change course,” and he
gave me the
new course. That began Granville Hall’s search for “La Balsa.”
the name of a 1970 expedition to sail a balsa raft from South America
Australia across the Pacific Ocean. The 8600 mile voyage was, at that
longest know raft voyage in history. They began their voyage on the
Ecuador and ended it at Mooloolaba, Australia.
lasted 160 days, starting May 29, 1970 and ending on November 5. The
about 46 feet long and 14 feet wide and was made of seven balsa wood
steered with the use of short planks between the logs.
This was mid
August. They had been underway for almost three months. La Balsa had a
powered radio transmitter and a limited amount of gasoline for their
La Balsa Memorial - Location Not
They had grossly
overestimated the speed of the currents they were riding and expecting
complete their voyage by the end of August and were very low on food
Appraising their situation they had decided to send a distress signal.
radio signal was picked up in Mexico City by the Mexican Navy
relayed it to the U.S. Navy who in turn radioed us with our
instructions and La
Balsa’s daily position.
navigator was using the same primitive navigation instruments that
American sailors would have used 500 years ago. We had the most modern
navigation system available at the time. It was capable of determining
position within 50 feet on the earth’s surface.
Daily we would
mark La Balsa’s position on our chart and change our course by a degree
Hour by hour we drew closer. After four days and 1000 miles of ocean
navigator came to the bridge in the afternoon and marked La Balsa’s
and our position. I again had the watch and was told that we should
visually sight La Balsa at a certain compass bearing. La Balsa was low
water and wooden so our radar wasn’t expected to pick it up first.
minutes of our predicted sighting time one of our lookouts yelled,
is!” And sure enough about six miles straight ahead of us we could see
of La Balsa. The needle in the haystack had been found!
La Balsa had
found us and there was much rejoicing. The cooks had been preparing a
and a cake for those fellows who had been living quite a Spartan
the raft. The entire ship’s company had a party and we all met La
We soon drew close and sent a small boat to Balsa. The crew of
aboard for about six hours eating, showering, and replenishing water,
food, and other supplies.
and refreshed they left our ship, returned to La Balsa, hoisted their
headed west towards Australia at the mercy of the winds and the
read years later that they attempted and completed the same voyage in
that time there were four balsa rafts instead of one.
We soon returned
to Pearl Harbor and the Granville Hall never went to sea under her own
again. She was decommissioned in May 1971 and sold for scrap shortly
A book was
written about La Balsa's voyage by the leader of the expedition ,
Asar, and is available on line.
Thought you might find
it of interest. Andy Bullions, Lieutenant USN -
Andy also served on USS Kawishiwi AO-146