the Mississippi River
near Baton Rouge, LA. in 1945.
By Roy Hockett
First Landing of the 1090
1090 sped down the Mississippi at floodtide, the fastest the ship was ever to
travel perhaps. She was on the way
from Ambridge Ship Yard, near Pittsburgh, PA, to Algiers Naval Station across
the river from New Orleans. The
trip had been fairly uneventful except for close encounters with bridges due to
the flood level of the river. The
mast was lashed to the main deck, and a wooden structure had been added to the
Conn for the River Pilot. It was
even necessary that we remove this structure at one point in order to navigate
under one bridge, and it was close at that.
I believe we were past Baton Rouge, or in that vicinity, when I started out of the port hatch from the passageway between Officers Country and the Galley.I was nearly run down by a couple of shipmates trying to escape tree limbs. I could see large trees through the hatch.
were a number of minor jolts and finally an abrupt shop.
We had suffered a steering casualty.
I have learned lately that the Coast Guard Pilot used an electric switch
control for steering - and that it failed.
were well into the timber, practically from bow to stern, and limbs and debris
was on the deck but, fortunately, there were no major injuries - perhaps a few
bumps and scratches from limbs. There
was enough free area toward the stern on the port side to launch a LCVP.
The stern anchor was towed out into midstream, and the old gal managed to
pull herself out of the trees. Steering
was repaired, and we continued on to New Orleans.
Hockett, RDM 3rd, 1945 - 1946