Thursday, March 14, 2013

The USS Shaw-- Part 1: Floating Drydocks

Earlier this week, March 11th, I was writing about Clyde Moore from Wilmington, NC, who died aboard the USS Shaw at Pearl Harbor.  Here is a follow-up to the story.

From  the Time and Memory and Blood Blog.

The USS Shaw (DD-373) was in Floating Drydock YFD-2 when the attack came.  The drydock was also called New Orleans after where it had come from., Naval Station New Orleans.  It had arrived at Pearl Harbor August 23, 1940. 

Floating drydocks (the FD in YFD-2) were u-shaped drydocks that could be lowered by letting water into ballast tanks to allow the ship to enter while still afloat.  Then water in the ballast tanks would be pumped out and the ship would rise above the water.  These were very convenient as they could be towed anywhere.

Fortunately for the Shaw's crew, when the attack came, most were ashore as their services were not needed.

The first wave of Japanese planes concentrated primarily on the battleships, but the Shaw was hit in the second wave.  The first two bombs hit the machine gun platform, forecastle and main decks where they exploded in the crews' mess room.

More to Come.  --GreGen

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