NEW LONDON RESERVE FLEETIn 1868, the State of Connecticut gave the Navy 112 acres (0.5 km²) of land along the Thames River to build a Naval Station. Due to a lack of federal funding, it was not until 1872 that two brick buildings and a "T" shaped pier were constructed and officially declared a Navy Yard. This yard was used as a coaling station by Atlantic Fleet small craft. It is located in the towns of Groton and Ledyard. A large expansion of Submarine Base New London occurred during World War II, when it grew from 112 acres to 497 acres. The Submarine Force leaped in size, and the Base accommodated thousands of men to service the growing combat fleet. Immediately after WWII the Submarine Force was significantly reduced and many famous submarines were sent into storage. Most of the fleet was sold for scrap metal during the early 1960s. Wikipedia
In order to help preserve equipment on the reserve submarines, sailors encased guns and other deck items in plastic sheeting. Source: Google Books
TenderTaleAfter World War Two - once again the notion that peace meant that the military should be stood down became popular - and indeed huge numbers of military assets were dismantled and disposed. The Navy decided that it didn't want to scrap it's submarine fleet - at least not right away. But what do you do then with 50+ submarines? New London was overwhelmed. No place to dock them - inadequate facilities to handle that many boats. Solution? Sure - instant sub base - the tender. Four of them at first - though that was reduced to three by February 1946. - The "New London Group" of the16th Reserve Fleet was headed up by the tender USS Apollo (AS 25) with assistance from USS Anthedon (AS 24) and later USS Proteus (AS 19). These tenders processed the submarines for storage - cleaning, sealing with preservatives- making sure that the boats could withstand being stored "on the water" without being ravaged too severely. This process took a couple of years. By the end of the 50's - most boats had indeed been scrapped - as the technology of the newer boats soon made them obsolete. View several images at TenderTale
The aerial image above was photographed in July 1947. It shows four boundaries of the base. Once the Dampier property was purchased, the northern boundary moved past the golf course to the north gate. State Route 12, right, secured the eastern boundary, and Crystal Lake Road was the southern boundary. In this image, the reserve submarine fleet numbers 46 boats. (Courtesy of SFL&M)
Redfin (SS-272) with the Grampus (SS-523) and other subs alongside Orion (AS-18) was taken between 1953-55. The "Nodding idiot" on Redfin was converted to the electronic version in 1956. The other 3 boats are from outboard in Migraine II Requin (SS-481) and Migraine I Burrfish (SS-312) and Tigrone (SS-419). The order of the last 2 might be reversed. Text contributed by Larry Derouin. Photographed and contributed by John Hummel, USN (Retired).USS Balao SS-285 WIKIPEDIA
Bow view of the Balao (SS-285) and a unknown friend together for the movie "Operation Petticoat" in 1959 while the boat was in Key West, Fla. Photo courtesy of Tommy Trampp.
The image right is a 2013
Google Earth photo.
The insert displays that
the area was called Mamacoke.
Then there is the
USS Nautilus Museum
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