Hudson River Reserve Fleet
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This memorial commemorates the Hudson River National Defense Reserve fleet moored at this point in the river from April 1946 to April 1971.
At peak of activity, 189 WW II cargo and passenger ships were anchored here. These ships after heroic WW II service were retained here
for possible further need. During years of grain surplus they acted as floating silos. Many were called upon again to carry food, fuel and
other essential supplies to aid our overseas friends and to support our armed forces abroad. They served their country well. Historical Markers
The memorial is located on west side of river, as marked in photo above. Click plaque for larger image.
  

The Hudson River National Defense Fleet established by an act of Congress in 1946, was first located off Tarrytown, one of eight anchorages in the United States to provide a sizable group of merchant ships to support the military effort at the outset of any war. On April 30, 1946, the Hudson River fleet was moved further north to Jones Point (at one time known as Caldwell's Landing) at the foot of Dunderberg Mountain. Here the anchorage remained until the last two ships were towed away on July 8, 1971, to be
sold for scrap to Spain. The fleet was at its peak with 189 ships in July of 1965. Anchored in ten rows, it extended from the fleet office at the Jones Point dock several miles to the south — to the Boulderberg House at Tomkins Cove.

Several viewing points were established along Route 9W for the hundreds of motorists who stopped daily to look at the ships. During the Korean War, a total of 130 ships was taken from the Hudson River fleet leaving only 39 ships. During the Suez crises in 1956, 35 ships were put back into service when British and French ships were diverted from trade routes to supply their nations' armed forces. The Vietnam War required more than 40 ships. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1953 needed storage space for large volumes of governmentowned wheat, it turned to the Hudson River Reserve fleet. During the following ten years more than 53,563,948 bushels of wheat were loaded into 231 ships.

A ventilation system had been installed in the ships, making it possible to maintain the quality of the wheat for long periods of storage. This saved the U.S. government some five million dollars on commercial storage estimates. The ships were kept in condition on a year-'round basis by a crew of 86 men under the supervision of Charles R. Gindroz of Pearl River, fleet superintendent and one-time chief engineer on the George Washington. The reserve fleet ships, valued at over $255 million, had their machinery turned over periodically and their internal surfaces sprayed with a coat of preservative oil on a regular basis. Ships not sold for scrap from the Hudson River fleet were transferred to the James River fleet. Wikipedia



From the "LIVELY MORGUE"
"After victory in World War II, the United States Navy initiated a complex process to migrate portions of its massive armada into inactive status. This 1945 documentary explains the proper methodology for preparing a warship for the Reserve Fleet. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photographic Section, UM-20."  See Video



One ship
SS JOLIET VICTORY

was moored here!

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Go To: RESERVE FLEETS MAP