Author Topic: Cavalla update 3/22/09  (Read 5482 times)

Offline Lance Dean

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Cavalla update 3/22/09
« on: March 24, 2009, 03:43:30 PM »
I copied this from Rontini's BBS:

Submitted by: Ron Harter - Cavalla Hist Foundation PIO on 3/22/2009


Here is a summary of the recovery work down at Seawolf Park.

The restoration, maintenance and recovery efforts are being done by the Cavalla Historical Foundation which is a nonprofit charitable 501c3 organization.

The USS Stewart has been righted. She is in the progress of being cleaned inside.  FEMA has allowed only temporary connections and services.

John McMichaels has run a temporary electrical line and temporary water line so volunteers can get aboard and start cleaning.  FEMA wants the ship to undergo mold remediation so john is in the process of soliciting bids for that. With temp power we are in the process of getting out server back up and our website moved back to the server.  She needs a good paint job on the sides where she got hit by debris from the storm surge.

The Cavalla interior is getting cleaned up by volunteer efforts.  The tile in the aft torpedo room was removed because of the water that entered and new tile needs to be installed.  Volunteers led by John and Mike Pullen (Cavalla Base commander and retired NUKE electrician) have been working on getting the electrical system back into shape.

The air conditioning needs to be replaced, the condensers flooded during the storm surge.  The boat should be reopened to public in the next 2-4 weeks.

She needs a good coat of paint outside; a portion of the hull hasn't seen daylight in 39 years.  The paint is lead based that the Navy uses (or at least used to use), I can remember painting the Andrew Jackson with red lead when she was undergoing an extended refit in Holy Lock.  In order to get her sand blasted and repainted it would involve having the ship tented during the sand blasting.

The bow area around the shutter doors on both sides was heavily damaged by the storm surge and needs to be rebuilt.  This involves some sand blasting and applying primer to the area before cutting away all the bad steel and rebuilding the bow.

John is in the process of getting bids to do the work.  The superstructure around the aft torpedo tubes that was buried in the ground needs to be replaced due to the extent of the corrosion.  The good thing is she looks much more impressive sitting 5 feet higher then she used to sit.  All torpedo tubes (both the bow and the stern) are now visible.

A torpedo fell into the trench created by the Cavalla when she floated and the port stern plane hit and damaged the aft torpedo body. The aft section of the fish sits at approximately a 30 degree angle to the rest of the torpedo.

John is not sure what to do with this torpedo, it has been suggested that the damaged portion be removed and one of the outer doors opened on a stern tube and the torpedo slid partially into the tube.  It would appear as if she had just fired a fish from the stern tube.

The Tautog sail has been righted and placed back on its slab.  A good coat of paint and it will be good as new.

The Carp conning tower has been moved to permanent location at near the bow of the Cavalla and next to the Tautog sail.  Power needs to run to that area.  Once that is done restoration on the interior can continue, although the Stewart and Cavalla will remain the top priority for the immediate future.

The memorial plaza that has a plaque for the 52 lost boats and both USS Thresher and USS Scorpion need to be refurbished.  The cement benches need to be reworked since the water and debris from the storm surge shipped and gouged the concrete.  The plaza itself needs to be fixed since the edges near both the Cavalla and Stewart caved into the trenches made when they floated.  The USS Scorpion plaque was bent by debris and should be replaced.

Light poles and lights in the military exhibit need to be replaced along with the flagpoles. A new fence is being put in around the military exhibit; it will resemble a fence around a military establishment when it is finished.

The contractors are in the process of restoring the road area in the military exhibit.  The weather permitting that should be done in another week or so.  A new slab was poured for the souvenir stand; I haven't got any timeframe yet on when the stand will be rebuilt.

The ticket booth and public restroom building will be rebuilt by the Galveston Park Board. The last I checked with John they are working on getting plans from an architect.  No time frame when this will be done.

As you can see a lot has been accomplished and there is a lot more to do.

If volunteers want to come and help, the second weekend of every month is a work weekend.

Donations will also help the recovery and get both ships reopened.  A $100.00 donation will get the donor membership into the Cavalla Historical Foundation, a t-shirt and a flag that has flown over the military exhibit.

A $25.00 donation gets the donor membership in the CHF.