Crew rigging on deck.




17 JANUARY 1950

At 0910 Roger, 17 January 1950 ComCruLant received a request by telephone from CinC LantFlt Operations for information concerning a report that had been received that the U. S. S. MISSOURI (BB 63) was aground. Information was immediately obtained from the Norfolk Naval Base Port Director that the MISSOURI had requested assistance, and all available tugs had been dispatched to her aid. By this time (0925) it was determined that the MISSOURI was aground in 5 fathoms of water, 1.7 miles bearing 266 degrees true from Thimble Shoals Light, after attempting passage over a newly planted range. MISSOURI also reported that the mean draft was 36 ft. 3 inches prior to grounding and that no major damage had been noted. ComNavBase Norfolk sent Senior Pilot Treakle to report to the Commanding Officer of the MISSOURI to assist in the control of the tugs. The U. S. S. KIOWA was dispatched to furnish water for the MISSOURI's fire main. By 0930 voice radio communications had been established with the MISSOURI through the communication facilities of the FIFTH Naval District. By this time it was apparent the MISSOURI could not be pulled off by tugs alone and a salvage operation would be required. At 1130 ComCruLant conferred with ComServLant concerning possible salvage methods and assistance available. At 1300 U. S. S. CHEMUNG went alongside the MISSOURI to receive fuel. At 1500 ComNavBase was requested to locate and obtain services of the district Army dredge. At 1630 ComCruLant boarded the MISSOURI to take charge of the salvage operations. His party included the Chief of Staff, Assistant Chiefs of Staff for Operations and Material, and the Flag Lieutenant. At 1725 KITTIWAKE came alongside to relieve KIOWA and supply fire main pressure. This service was continued by ASR's without major interruption until MISSOURI was refloated. That evening the initial salvage plan was discussed in conference with the Commanding Officer of the MISSOURI, Senior Pilot Treakle, and the Commanding Officer of the U. S. S. KITTIWAKE. At this time the CHEMUNG was still removing fuel oil, the PAWCATUCK was standing by, ATF's KIOWA, ALSEA and PAPAGO were assisting, MOSOPELEA was enroute, HOIST was preparing to depart from New York, and the SALVAGER and WINDLASS, in New York, with heavy beaching gear, had been ordered to assist. Because of previous arrangements, made by the MISSOURI's Commanding Officer, a pull off attempt was again made at evening high tide with 14 tugs pulling full power. At 2025 as no movement had been obtained, the pulling effort was secured. At 2152 the AMPHION was ordered by ComServLant to report for operational control. The day closed with plans well under way for a major salvage effort.

18 JANUARY 1950

Early in the morning Colonel Derby, Army Engineer Corps, and Mr. Rice, Head of the Rivers and Harbors Dredging Section, came aboard to discuss dredging. The Army dredge COMBER arrived and commenced dredging about 0820. The KITTIWAKE buoyed the channel to be dredged astern of the MISSOURI. The CHEMUNG cast off, and the PAWCATUCK came alongside. At 1100 ComCruLant held a conference with CO MISSOURI, CO PAWCATUCK, CO KITTIWAKE, Mr. Rice and Mr. Harden of the COMBER. The plan decided upon was to dredge a channel in the sand 9 feet wide and 9 feet deep around the ship and an exit channel astern.. The channel astern was to be 150 feet wide and to a depth of 34 feet at mean low water. Estimated time of completion was the morning of 20 January. The KITTIWAKE was to lance and tunnel starting at frame 148 starboard side. At 1145 Captain Zabilsky, BuShips Salvage Officer and LCDR Lees from the Office of Supervisor of Salvage, THIRD Naval District, reported aboard. Mr. Peterson and Mr. Dexter of Merritt, Chapman and Scott Company came aboard and discussed salvage plans. At 1300 tug requirements were discussed with Senior Pilot Treakle and LCDR Boone. They were set at 2 YTB's on a 24 hour basis until 20 January. At 1700 Rear Admiral Wallin, ComNorvaNavShipYd, came aboard to discuss salvage operations. Points of discussion were methods, weights, stability, and other factors. The establishment of depth gauges was recommended. That night the COMBER completed dredging on the port side and commenced dredging the exit channel. The KITTIWAKE shifted to the port quarter and commenced underwater inspection and tunneling operations. Commanding Officer, KITTIWAKE reported that divers had found all propellers clear of the bottom and undamaged except for slight nicks.


19 JANUARY 1950

Fuel oil transfer to the PAWCATUCK was completed at 0600R. The JONQUIL USCG Cutter placed lighted buoys astern to mark the channel, and also a lighted range buoy ahead. The HOIST, SALVAGER, WINDLASS, AMPHION and CHANTICLEER reported for duty. At 0810 the COMBER reported they had dredged 28,277 cubic yards of sand in the previous 24 hours. Rear Admiral Wallin reported aboard. A conference was held with Mr. Rice and Mr. Harden and the COMBER commenced dredging on the starboard side. The JONQUIL placed a second lighted range buoy ahead. At 1400 CHANTICLEER commenced inspection and tunneling on the port side at frames 60 to 120. That afternoon LCDR Brown and LCDR Doyle of the Staff of ComCruLant reported aboard for duty. A conference was held concerning utilization of all tugs and assisting ships scheduled for a pull off attempt the morning of 20 January at high tide. The positions of tugs, order of taking position, assistance to be furnished, and communications were discussed in connection with the overall pull off plan. Both anchors, 300 fathoms of anchor chain, and boats and skids were unloaded. Corn Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron ONE reported to ComCruLant for operational control. At 2000 the KITTIWAKE shifted to the starboard quarter and resumed tunneling operations. In the evening the COMBER stopped dredging along the starboard side and commenced dredging in the exit channel astern.

20 JANUARY 1950

This day was marked by another unsuccessful pull off attempt. At 0600 the COMBER stopped dredging the exit channel. The tugs were positioned at 0630. Shortly thereafter the SALVAGER reported she was unable to rig their gear, and the WINDLASS reported a wire fouled, and that she would be unable to pull. At 1000 the pull was started. At 1030 an attempt was made to sally ship. This was tried again at 1100 and 1130. At 1145 the attempted pull was stopped and the tugs were cast off. The KITTIWAKE and CHANTICLEER came alongside to inspect and tunnel. Mr. L. E. Bozarth, Chief of the Operations Division, Army Engineers, Norfolk area; Mr. G. M. Parker, Chief of the Rivers and Harbors Branch; Mr. Rice and Mr. Harden came aboard to discuss the schedule of employment of the COMBER. At 1200 a conference was held with the Commanding Officer of the MISSOURI, Senior Pilot Treakle, and Mr. McFarland of the Naval Base concerning plans for operations, and services required for the next pull-off attempt. The results of the conference were incorporated with the major aspects of the salvage plan schedule, appendix (A). In addition a Time-Space diagram was prepared to clarify the movements of ships alongside and to utilize to the utmost the critical "alongside space" factor. This diagram is included in the Narrative. The morale problems of the MISSOURI were also discussed. At 1600 unloading of dry stores and fresh provisions was commenced. A staff planning conference was held at 1700. In the meantime the COMBER had resumed dredging on the port side. The SALVAGER was directed to unload gear, refuel, and proceed to Bayonne, New Jersey to obtain and bring back additional salvage equipment. ENS R. A. Litke reported for duty.

21 JANUARY 1950

In the early morning the unloading of stores and provisions was completed. It was estimated that 350 tons had been removed from the MISSOURI by this operation. The HOIST was ordered to proceed to the Naval Base to prepare beach gear. At 1500 a staff planning conference was held to determine the scheduling of the major aspects of the salvage plan. The LUISENO was directed to proceed from Newport, R. I. to Boston Naval Shipyard to tow pontoons to Hampton Roads. At 1600 the Norfolk Dredging Company dredge Washington arrived and took station on the starboard quarter. Washington commenced dredging at 1900 at frame 200 starboard, working aft around the counter.

22 JANUARY 1950

At 0600 the COMBER reported having dredged 49,137 cubic yards (20 loads) in the last 36 hours. A little clay and some boulders were found at 40 feet. At 0800 the Washington reported 3,000 cubic yards removed. This dredge was making a channel 42 to 45 feet deep on the sides of the MISSOURI. It was encountering small boulders which slowed progress

considerably. At 1100 a staff conference was held concerning public relations. CDR Prout of the staff of ComCruLant reported aboard for duty, and LCDR Cottrell, First Lieutenant, Submarine Base, New London, Conn. was ordered to report to ComCruLant to direct operations of SubLant ships. At noon the COMBER shifted to the exit channel, the Washington to the port side, and KITTIWAKE and CHANTICLEER came alongside again and commenced inspecting and tunneling. These two ships commenced working a wire under the ship from the stern as a messenger for pontoon chains. Norfolk Naval Base Pilot Edwards reported aboard to direct YTB operations. At 1700 a staff progress conference was held. The schedule of operations was revised as outlined in the new schedule of that date. About this time the Washington commenced dredging astern and around the port counter.

23 JANUARY 1950

As the day began the Washington was dredging directly astern, the COMBER was working in the exit channel, and the KITTIWAKE and CHANTICLEER were tunneling on the starboard and port sides respectively. At 0700 the KITTIWAKE cleared the starboard side, and the COMBER began dredging there. At 0800 ComCruLant departed for a press conference at CinCLantFlt Headquarters. At 1000 the CHANTICLEER moved forward to frame 105. The HOIST came alongside the port quarter to deliver beach gear. Immediately after delivery, rigging and placement of the gear on the deck of the MISSOURI was begun. At 1100 LCDR Leonard, Staff ComCruLant reported on board for duty. At 1130 the U. S. S. PETREL reported for duty. At 1200 the Washington was at frame 215 port side. At 1200 a Staff Watch was established on MISSOURI bridge in order to handle the many details of ship movements, logistics and rapid communications. This watch was put on a 24 hour basis on 24 January and continued until 1 February. LCDR Cottrell reported for duty at 1300. At 1330 members of the press came aboard for a conference. At 1600 the Washington had progressed to frame 210 port side. At 1700 the KITTIWAKE came alongside to port aft of the CHANTICLEER, but divers were not sent down, and the KITTIWAKE was ordered clear at 1730 so as not to impede the progress of the Washington. At 1700 ComCruLant held a conference with his salvage staff. Minor changes were made in the schedule for 24 January. At 2000 the COMBER reported total yardage removed to date as follows:

Port Side 48,974 cubic yards
Starboard Side 20,966 cubic yards
Exit Area 57,993 cubic yards
Total 127,933 cubic yards

At 2030 CHANTICLEER reported that divers were in a tunnel into the keel at frame 105 on the port side. The Washington was making slow progress. She was at frame 189 at 2130 and frame 185 at 2330. As the day ended, the Commanding Officer of the CHANTICLEER reported divers could get under the keel at frame 100 to frame 90. This was confirmed by six divers. (Inspections were not made further forward).

24 JANUARY 1950

At 0200 the SALVAGER returned from Bayonne with beach gear and Salvage School personnel and moored at Pier 7 at the Naval Base. By 0400 the Washington had progressed to frame 180 on the port side, and at 0700 was at frame 169. At 0830 the KITTIWAKE reported completion of laying pontoon barge moorings. At 0900 the COMBER reported removal of 15,224 cubic yards of sand since the last report. At 0930 the PETREL came alongside to starboard to tunnel and investigate damage to three leaking ship's tanks. By 1045 the Washington was at frame 153. At 1100 a staff conference was held. Repair progress on the three damaged compartments (B-29-F, B-37-F and B-43-F) was reported. These tanks are located between frames 97 - 113 on the starboard side. At 1143 TRINGA reported for duty. At 1200 LUISENO arrived with the pontoon barges which were placed at their moorings off the starboard bow. At 1215 the MOSOPELEA came alongside the starboard quarter to unload beach gear. At 1230 Rear Admiral Dennison, Naval Aid to President Truman, came aboard for a conference with ComCruLant. Progress and plans were discussed. He departed at 1700. At 1330 the WINDLASS was underway for Pier 7. By 1530 the Washington had progressed to frame 142 on the port side. At 2130 a PETREL diver reported reaching a hole in the shell plating, starboard side frame 100. LCDR A. L. Larson reported for duty from NAD Crane, Indiana, to supervise pontoon operations.


25 JANUARY 1950

The day commenced with the Washington still dredging on the port side. The COMBER was in the exit channel hard at work. The PETREL was tunneling on the starboard side in the vicinity of the damaged tanks and the CHANTICLEER was working divers on the port bow. Early in the morning the CHANTICLEER cast off and anchored, and the TRINGA came alongside to port and commenced tunneling. At 0100 the Washington reached frame 116 on the port side, and was directed to shift to the starboard side at frame 205 and work forward. At 0900 the TRINGA cast off. At 0945 the COMBER reported dredging 10,698 cubic yards in the exit channel in the past 17 hours. At 0955 the PAWCATUCK came alongside to port to transfer 2,000 tons of fuel oil to the MISSOURI. At 1000 the Washington reached frame 180 on the starboard side and was stopped. A staff conference was held according to schedule at 1100. At 1330 the Washington recommenced dredging at frame 125 starboard after moving there from frame 180. At 1345 the PAWCATUCK cast off after completing the fuel oil transfer. At 1400 the HOIST commenced laying the forward mooring lines. This was completed at 1600. At 1425 the TRINGA was back alongside to port. At 1433 the KITTIWAKE came alongside to port aft of the TRINGA. By 1645 the Washington had reached frame 118. The regularly scheduled staff conference was held at 1700 and progress was discussed. At 1922 the Washington stopped at frame 112 starboard and shifted back to the starboard quarter where they resumed dredging at 2130 at frame 200. At 2150 the COMBER stopped dredging, but resumed again 10 minutes later. At 2030 a small boat patrol was established to keep unauthorized vessels at a safe distance from the operations being conducted in the vicinity of the MISSOURI. At 2340 the Engineer Officer of the MISSOURI reported compartments B-37 and B-29 each had one inch of oil remaining and that the oil in B-43 was being removed with two submersible pumps.

26 JANUARY 1950

As the day began, the KITTIWAKE was on the port quarter, TRINGA forward of the KITTIWAKE, and the PETREL on the starboard quarter. The Washington was working under the counter on the starboard side. Washington stopped dredging at 0508 but resumed at 0623. At 0620 the PETREL reported the pontoon messenger wire started by KITTIWAKE and CHANTICLEER had fouled and had a turn on the outboard starboard propeller. It was cleared at 0640. About this time KITTIWAKE diving operations were suspended because of the proximity of the Washington. At 0600 the COMBER reported total dredging to date as follows:

Port Side 48,974 cubic yards
Starboard Side 36,190 cubic yards
Exit Channel 100,160 cubic yards
Total 185,324 cubic yards

By 0755 the top of B-37 had been shored and pumping was continuing in B-43. At 1045 the passing of the pontoon messenger line under the ship was completed and the TRINGA and PETREL commenced working it forward. At 1100 the Washington was working 75 feet astern of the ship and 50 feet to either side of the center line. The OPPORTUNE arrived in the vicinity at this time. A staff conference was held at 1100 to discuss progress. LCDR Knowlton from Staff, ComServLant and LCDR Greenbacker and LCDR Weschler, Staff, ComCruLant, reported on board for duty. At 1207 YF 870 came alongside the starboard bow of the MISSOURI to unload GSK stores. This was completed at 1403. YW 119 came alongside to furnish water. ATF 97 also came alongside to discharge salvage gear. At 1430 a preliminary conference was held with tug captains. Through the afternoon and night the working forward of the pontoon cable went very slowly. At 1645 a survey of the area astern was completed by Army surveyors. CHANTICLEER came alongside to port and the KITTIWAKE to starboard to continue diving operations. At 1645 the Washington stopped dredging on port counter and moved aft into the exit channel. The usual staff progress conference was held at 1700. At 1819 the PETREL shifted to starboard, and the CHANTICLEER came alongside to port. As the day closed the TRINGA and PETREL were still trying to move the pontoon wire forward. During this period the Washington and COMBER continued dredging astern.


27 JANUARY 1950

About 0630 on the 27th the KITTIWAKE and CHANTICLEER got underway to clear the side forward for receiving ammunition barges alongside in order to discharge forward ammunition of the MISSOURI. For almost a week the weather had been excellent for the refloating operation but quite suddenly about 0715 the wind picked up and shifted, marking the passage of a cold front. Winds of 35 knots proved too much for the pontoon barges and the dredge Washington requiring their discontinuance of operations. Ammunition handling also was temporarily discontinued. Early in the day the CHANTICLEER, KITTIWAKE and PETREL had been engaged in diving and tunneling operations, and at 0757 the TRINGA was underway. At 1050 MISSOURI commenced breaking out 40MM and 20MM ammunition. At 1305 the TRINGA was back alongside the port quarter. At 1435 YW 119 connected water lines and resumed pumping. They had been disconnected since 1105. At 1530 ammunition unloading commenced (starboard side frame 60). At 1600 a conference was held with UDT representatives to discuss the use of demolition explosives for clearing sand from underneath MISSOURI. A decision was reached that such procedure would not be of any advantage. The afternoon progress conference was held at 1700. Progress was as follows:

Dredging - COMBER in exit channel. Estimates one foot removed from hump astern. Washington forced to take shelter 0800 inside Old Point Comfort. COMBER working exit channel and close to stern.
Beach Gear - No progress. Two ships standing by. Plan to begin morning of 28 Jan.
Pontoons - After wire in place at frame 199 for rudder pontoons.
Ammunition - Delayed by bad weather. 30 tons unloaded, 30 tons on deck and 60 tons 40MM still to come. 16" put off to daylight 1/28. New estimate Sunday night for forward ammunition and probably not until Monday night for completion after ammunition.
Tanks - AMPHION repair crew held up by bad weather; estimate back on schedule morning 1/28 and finish same day.
Tunneling - Forced to stop by weather. KITTIWAKE and CHANTICLEER report removal night 1/26-27 of 275 cubic yards, frame 115-126 starboard and frame 155 port.
Weather - Moderating, some white caps, 14 knots NE.
General- Use of underwater demolition decided not worthwhile after conference with UDT representatives.
Target date to be maintained.

At 2030 unloading 5 inch ammunition to port at frame 75 was commenced. At 2105 the offloading of 40MM and 20MM had been completed.

28 JANUARY 1950

At 0001 the TRINGA was alongside to port, and the KITTIWAKE to starboard. They were working on the pontoons and pontoon gear. Two lighters were alongside starboard bow off-loading ammunition. Unloading of ammunition was temporarily halted at 0300 due to large swells. It was resumed about 0900. RECOVERY arrived at 0700. At 0850 the HOIST commenced laying beach gear #5 and #6. When HOIST completed at 1000 the OPPORTUNE placed #4 and #7 sets. SALVAGER and WINDLASS were anchored astern well clear of MISSOURI preparatory to reaching assigned stations and planting anchors. CDR F. E. Wilson, Staff, ComServLant reported on board for duty and LCDR Knowlton was detached. At the 1100 staff conference, progress was reported as follows:

Dredging - WASHINGTON still unwilling to risk dredging. Ordered to be prepared to return to dredging area on short notice.
Beach Gear - Progress excellent. #4, 5, 6, 7 sets of beach gear placed since daylight. It may be possible to place all seven after sets today.

Pontoons - Messenger wire is under frame #177 for #2 set. Hogging wires are being hooked to #1 set (rudder pontoons). Port pontoon of #1 set tested and satisfactory. Starboard pontoon of #1 set tested and relief valve blown out, estimate one hour to repair. Chains to be dragged for #2 set as soon as PETREL is reversed in position. Efforts to be continued to saw wire forward for #3 set.
Ammunition - Better progress made during night than anticipated. Commenced 16" projectiles at 0900. Only starboard side is in use. Staff Gunnery Officer estimates that even if weather permitted using port side, advantage of so doing is doubtful since saturation point of bringing ammunition up has been reached. Ammunition now 40% off-loaded. Estimate completion forward ammunition between midnight and 0500 Sunday, 1/29.
Tanks - Vertical shoring completed. RADM Wallin desires investigate possible need for horizontal shoring prior to building up pressure.
Tunneling - None since. 0800 1/27. KITTIWAKE to commence port side forward of TRINGA at noon.
Weather - Moderating. Wind 10 knots NE. Seas lessening.
General - Survey of channel in an arc astern to be made as soon as HOIST is clear. O11 level designated as conn and control station for pulloff. Target date remains firm.

At 1200 the KITTIWAKE was alongside tunneling. The TRINGA was on the port quarter working on the pontoon chains, with the PETREL aiding on the starboard quarter. The progress of the chain was slow and attempts were made to see-saw it. It was also pulled from one side to the other with the aid of YTB's. This was unsuccessful due to, the strong current. At the 1700 staff conference progress was as follows:

Dredging - COMBER in exit channel. Washington still will not risk weather and remains in shelter.
Beach Gear - 5 sets laid aft by 1700. The sixth set, #3 carried away but was expeditiously replaced. By 1730 7 aft sets were in place. SALVAGER in position.
Pontoons - Two wires are under ship. Difficulty is being experienced in pulling through the forward chain (frame 177) for #2 set of pontoons. No progress has been made in sawing forward wire for #3 set. #2 set pontoons to be sunk tonight. Difficulty was experienced with stbd. pontoon flooding valve but corrected. Two more pontoons will be prepared on the barge tonight.
Ammunition - 65% off loaded at 1700. Completion of forward ammunition now estimated at 0600 1/29. Estimate 24 hours unloading time for after ammunition.
Tanks - 90% completed. No further shoring is necessary. Expect to begin building up air pressure about 1900.
Tunneling - KITTIWAKE on port side working in 7 feet from side under the flat, washing out sand and mud. Commenced at noon at frame 110 and at frame 125 at 1700.
Weather - Wind 9 knots from N. Cold and overcast.
General - Schedule prepared for final unloading of oil and water. Unloading fuel oil will commence at 1400 1/29 to be completed by 1800 1/30. Diesel oil and water to be unloaded by 1800 1/30. Anchors are to be alongside by 0700 1/30 and to be aboard by 0900 the same date.
Target date remains the same.

At 1730 rigging of the after beach gear by the HOIST was completed. At 1900 a conference was held with the Commanding Officers and Master Divers of the TRINGA and PETREL to discuss methods to speed up the rigging of the pontoons. Operation Order 1-50 for the pull-off was completed (Appendix C).


29 JANUARY 1950

As the day began the COMBER was dredging astern. KITTIWAKE and TRINGA on the port side, and PETREL on the starboard side were engaged in diving operations and working the pontoon chains forward under the hull. At 0110 the wire used in working the chain under the ship parted. By 0200 the wire was spliced and work resumed, but progress continued to be slow. Ten pounds of air pressure was applied to the three damaged compartments, B-29-F, B-37-F, B-43-F. KITTIWAKE reported the tunneling progressing nicely at 0800. They had dug under the flat, port side, in toward the center line of the ship at frame 115 to a distance of 24 feet, and aft to frame 130 in to a distance of 30 feet, 5 to 10 feet deep, extending from frame 108 to 130. Total excavation was 424 cubic yards of sand. At 0900 forward ammunition unloading was completed. At this time the sea had moderated sufficiently and the Washington had resumed dredging. At 1100 KITTIWAKE and PETREL cast off. 1100 Progress Summary was as follows:

Dredging - COMBER still dredging in exit channel.
Washington returned to area at 0800 and resumed dredging out hump astern of ship in exit channel.
Beach Gear - No change. Last two sets should be in position this afternoon.
Pontoons - Work progressing very slowly.v#1 set in place (rudder). #3 set pontoons are tested and ready to sink. #2 set chain not yet in place at frame #171. #2 set pontoons are ready to go in the water. Additional officers ordered to assist LCDR Larson in placing pontoons.
Ammunition - Off loading of forward ammunition completed at 0715 this date.
Tanks - Completed and blown clear at 12 pounds 2 ounces pressure.
Tunneling - At 0830 KITTIWAKE reported 424 cubic yards removed port side aft of frame #110.
Weather - Fair. Wind 7 - 10 knots SW.
General - Pulling off and towing to deep water plans discussed and firmed.
No change in target date.

By 1200 the starboard side was clear, and at 1235 charge of TNT was fired 75 feet from the starboard beam. At 1245 the TRINGA cleared the port side, and the PETREL came alongside to starboard to furnish services. At 1325 a charge was fired on the port side. The ship settled between one half and one inch. At 1410 YC771 came alongside to starboard and unloading of the after ammunition commenced. At 1400 HOIST commenced laying Beach Gear sets #1 and #9. YO's came alongside port side to unload fuel. 1700 Progress Summary was as follows:

Dredging - COMBER dredging in exit channel. Surveys indicate her share of task virtually completed.
Washington dredging hump astern and reports good progress. Reported starboard side now clear and estimated port side can be completed tonight. An old anchor, wire caught in Washington cutter head but was cleared in one hour.
Beach Gear - Sets #1 and #9 placed in position during afternoon. All sets now in place.
Pontoons - #1 set ready. #3 set is alongside, tested and ready to sink at frames #171 - #175. #2 set being prepared for frame 179 - 183.
Difficulty is being experienced with exceedingly strong currents as adverse factors. The pontoon situation now appears critical.
Ammunition - Estimate 10% of after ammunition has been off-loaded. Completion time set at 0900 on 1/30.
Tanks - Completed.
Tunneling - No change.
Oil and water - Final removal began in mid-afternoon.
General - Towing plan discussed and firmed. Peak tanks to be ballasted 0800 on 1/30.
Pull to commence 0530 on target date.

At 2000 the COMBER temporarily suspended operations for logistics. At 2035 the fire alarm sounded. Smoke was reported from the Boatswain's locker forward. TRINGA and PETREL fire and rescue parties were standing by. Pressure was put on the fire mains. The smoke was traced to A-303-2A, paint and oil stowage, but no fire was found, and secure was sounded. As the day ended the TRINGA was on the port quarter and the PETREL on the starboard quarter engaged in rigging pontoons. A YO was alongside to port forward of the TRINGA. Ammunition barges were alongside and work was progressing, one on the port side and two on the starboard. COMBER reported total yardage removed to date as follows:

Port Side 48,974 cubic yards
Starboard Side 36,190 cubic yards
Exit Channel 147,547 cubic yards
Total 232,711 cubic yards

30 JANUARY 1950

At this point ammunition unloading was of prime importance and continued through the night. By 0300 all 16" projectiles and all 5" ammunition had been off-loaded. Off-loading of 16" powder then began. At this time fuel oil transfer was in progress. At 0725 YC723 came alongside with starboard anchor and chain.

At 0840 YD169 came alongside to starboard for removal of excess dunnage. At 1015 the Washington ceased dredging and was pulled clear of the exit channel. YTB's 140 and 363 aided the SALVAGER and WINDLASS in laying cables. At 1045 2 picket boats and one LCPL reported to ComCruLant for duty. By 1100 both anchors had been recovered by the MISSOURI and secured in order to add weight to the bow. At noon all ammunition had been off-loaded, and the barges were clear of the side. Amidships and after tide gauges were removed, preparations were almost complete for the coordination rehearsal scheduled for morning high tide 31 January. HOIST, MOSOPELEA, OPPORTUNE, KIOWA, PAPAGO, PAIUTE, TRINGA, PETREL, RECOVERY, CHANTICLEER, KITTIWAKE, SALVAGER, LUISENO, and ALSEA were all on station and in position for the rehearsal. LCDR Swarthout from NavBase, NorVa. reported for TAD as Liaison Officer. At 1425 fog set in and visibility dropped to 3/4 of a mile. A tug was sent to standby the pontoon barge moored on the starboard bow. The frontal passage occurred at 1510 and the wind shifted to 20 knots from the North and the fog cleared. This wind shift was desirable because a Northerly wind was necessary for a higher tide than predicted. About 1600 wires securing #1 set pontoons parted and pontoons broke loose. At 1700 a communication drill was held in preparation for the coordination rehearsal. Another drill was held at 2000. The 2000 Progress Summary was as follows:

Dredging - No change.
Beach Gear - Being set up.
Pontoons - #2 set being sunk. #1 set partially carried away, #3 set being placed as expeditiously as possible. Every effort to be made to resecure #1 set as this set ineffective in present condition.
Ammunition - Completed.
Tanks - Completed.
Tunneling - No change.
Oil and Water - Discharged except for requirements for 24 hours.
General - Two peak tanks forward flooded, 464 tons.
Situation appears very favorable with weather forecast excellent and tide running approximately .5 feet above predicted.

At 2230 a press conference was held. The day ended with preparations practically complete for the coordination rehearsal. Ships were in position in accordance with OpPlan 1-50 except for the OPPORTUNE and RECOVERY which were alongside instead of being abeam.


31 JANUARY 1950

The day began quietly. The wind was still about 15 knots from the North, but by 0330 it had decreased to almost a dead calm and fog set in. The visibility decreased to about 1/8 mile. At 0420 the TRINGA and PETREL reported all divers up and the second set of pontoons rigged. #3 set was in position, but #1 set had not been rerigged due to interference with Beach Gear. These two ships were then repositioned clear of the Beach Gear. At 0445 all hands took stations for coordination rehearsal. (See Appendix B - Staff Station Bill) and put OpPlan 1-50 (Appendix C) in effect. At 0515 the pull was begun. Tide was .1 foot above predicted. The tugs went ahead and a maximum strain was taken on all Beach Gear. At 0730 the rehearsal ceased, and preparations were started for the day's work. The 0830 Progress Summary was as follows:

General - Resume of coordination rehearsal. One Beach Gear jumped out of fair leads and became fouled. WINDLASS not fully effective at high tide because of YTB interference. One ATF tow line parted.
Plans roughed for Wednesday try. Some rearrangement of bow tugs considered necessary. Anchors are to be removed and flooded peak tanks are to be pumped dry.
Work will be expedited on UEB-1 for stern.
Divers are to inspect ship on bottom at sides particularly skeg and rudder.
Pontoon work to be speeded and decision made to place a pair of pontoons under bow.
Weather foggy, low visibility. Wind negligible.

At 0830 the fog still persisted and YW119 and YTB252 ran aground, but they were quickly refloated. Diving, tunneling, and pontoon rigging continued throughout the day. The 1300 Progress Summary was as follows:

General - Bow pontoons satisfactory progress. After pontoons (No. 1 set) being held up while Beach Gear is reset. Anchors being removed. TWO AO's alerted for possible later use.
3 DD's make wave trials at 1645.
Yard workmen coming aboard today for UEB installation preliminary work.
Pull off plan changed for tow tugs. RECOVERY and OPPORTUNE with NIPMUK in center to be used for bow twisting moment.
YTB's on bow were not satisfactory on 1/31 trial.
Weather - Visibility poor, but clearing.

At 1600 NIPMUK reported. At 1645 3 destroyers were used to cause a wake. They were quite effective, in fact too much so. Number 1 set of pontoons were fouled by the wake created and the ships alongside received quite a jostling especially the RECOVERY, KITTIWAKE and OPPORTUNE. Prepared Plans One and Two (Appendices D and E) for pull off attempt. Another communication drill was held at 1700. The 2000 Progress Summary was as follows:

Divers and Pontoons - 60 feet into tunnel between skegs, port skeg clear into 50 feet, starboard skeg clear 30 feet.
Chain dragged under ship to frame 80 from the bow.
Forward pontoons being placed at approximately frame 80, progress satisfactory. Will be ready.
Bow to frame 90 starboard inspected by CHANTICLEER diver and side clear.
Status pontoons;

#1 set being worked on. Estimate ready by 0500.
#2 set operative.
#3 set operative.
#4 (Bow) probably ready by 0500.

Beach Gear - All 9 sets ready and some improvement in fair leads.
Pulling Group - Ready except for HOIST to come into position.
Twisting Group - Alongside KITTIWAKE - hawsers run and ready.
Schedule - Divers up at 0500
Twist at 0530
Pull at 0630
General - Tried destroyer bow waves at 10, 20, and 27 knots. 27 knots excessive and caused minor damage to ships alongside. 20 knots to be used. Distance of 1000 yards between destroyers to be used if practicable.

As the day ended preparations were about completed for another pull off attempt the morning of 1 February.


The wind persisted from the North in the early morning, and indications were that there would be a good high tide. At 0230 the forward set of pontoons was rigged. Set #2 and #3 aft were also ready but set #1 was not ready. At 0420 bow twisting unit was in place. This unit consisted of the RECOVERY, OPPORTUNE and NIPMUK. This was a change over the day before. This new and much stronger unit was used on the bow to give a greater turning moment. At 0530 stations were manned for a pull off attempt and Plan One (Appendix D) was put into effect. The bow twisting unit proved very effective and the heading was changed to port and starboard and then brought back to the original bearing. Headings were changed as follows:

0545 - Bow twisting unit pulling to starboard - strain on port Beach Gear, starboard slack.
0555 - Heading changed from 056° to 066°, slacked #9 Beach Gear and took strain on #1.
0600 - Ceased pulling to starboard - shifted tugs to port. Strain on all Beach Gear.
0610 - Bow twisting unit pulling to port - strain on starboard Beach Gear, port slack.
0615 - Ceased pulling to port - ship's head 047°. Shifted bow twisting unit to starboard.
0617 - Ship's head 030.5°.
0626 - Ship's head 020.5°.
0627 - Ship developed 1 1/2° port list. Bow twisting unit commenced pulling to starboard while working around to position abeam.
0633 - Ship's head 024°.
0634 - Ship's head 032°.
0644 - MISSOURI trim changed 5 feet down by stern - MISSOURI afloat.
0650 - Ship's head 042°.
0651 - Executed Plan II (Appendix E).
0700 - All towing units pulling.Full strain on all Beach Gear, SALVAGER and WINDLASS. MISSOURI commenced moving toward exit channel.

The tide was running 8 inches above predicted. At 0705 the HOIST and WINDLASS collided but damage was negligible. At 0709 a dispatch was sent to CinCLantFlt reporting MISSOURI for duty and announcing 7 fathoms of water under the keel. At 0730 the ship was turned and YTB's put alongside. The twisting unit became the towing unit. At 0800 executed Recovery Plan, ANNEX D to OpPlan 1-50 (Appendix C). At 0930 the MISSOURI hove to under constant attention of escorting tugs. The bow and #3 sets pontoons were unrigged, #2 set could not be unrigged because chains were around struts. These four pontoons and one of #1 set were recovered and towed to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The second pontoon of;,.1 set sank while MISSOURI was in exit channel. Immediate search was commenced for this missing pontoon, but it was not recovered until 10 February. At 1045 tugs again had the MISSOURI underway and headed for the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. At 1430 the MISSOURI was secured in dry-dock. No. 2 set of pontoons was removed while MISSOURI was in dock before pumping down.

Recovery Plan was completed, except for one lost pontoon, on 7 February. The lost pontoon was located in the channel SE of Old Point Comfort on 10 February and refloated and towed to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 11 February.

APPENDIX (A)- Schedule for Salvage Plan.
APPENDIX (B)- Staff Station Bill.
APPENDIX (C)- Operation Order 1-50.

This page is blank.



I Major Aspects

Dredging - COMBER dredge trench 40 feet deep and 100 feet wide on both sides MISSOURI and dredge exit channel 40 feet deep to main channel.

Washington dredge to 45 feet along sides aft of frame 120 and close astern.

Divers wash out under counter and skegs and tunnel under sides aft of frame 120.

Beach Gear - Lay out nine sets Beach Gear. To be laid out before ammunition is removed.

Position WINDLASS and SALVAGER to utilize Beach Gear.

Submarine Salvage Gear - Position two sets of salvage pontoons at after end of skegs.
Ammunition - Remove all ammunition from magazines forward of frame 120 before 29 January. Remove remaining ammunition 30 January.
Stores - Remove all fresh and dry provisions and other stores in excess of one week's supply after 2 February in accordance personnel plan.
Personnel - Transfer 20 officers and 1000 men ashore on 31 January.
Special Operations - Receive 2000 tons fuel for use in trimming ship as required. Discharge excess fuel prior to 1 February.
Service - As required to accomplish above.

II Detail Schedule


Dredging - COMBER dredge along port side until 1200R, then shift to exit channel during diving operations. About 1800R commence dredging starboard side.

Washington dredge under starboard counter and stern until 1200R, then shift to port side. About 1800R resume dredging.

Inspection of dredging progress and tunneling under skegs by KITTIWAKE and CHANTICLEER divers from 1200R to 1800R.

Services - KITTIWAKE supply fire main and flushing.
3 YTB's to assist dredges.
YW as required.


Dredging - Washington dredge port side up to Frame 180.
At 0700R COMBER commence starboard side, after KITTIWAKE clears side.

KITTIWAKE cease operations and clear side by 0700R. About 1300R when HOIST clears, shift to port side aft of CHANTICLEER and resume tunneling.

At 1000R, CHANTICLEER shift forward to Frame 105 and continue tunneling.

Beach Gear - HOIST deliver all sets Beach Gear, two winches and other equipment to MISSOURI about 1000R.
MISSOURI lay out Beach Gear and secure winches.
Submarine Salvage Gear - CHANTICLEER and KITTIWAKE pass messengers for pontoons in connection with tunneling operations as practicable.
PETREL arrives.
Services - KITTIWAKE supply fire main and flushing as required.
3 YTB's to assist dredges.
YW as required.
Ship Movements - KITTIWAKE clear starboard quarter by 0700R. Come alongside port side aft of CHANTICLEER about 1300R when HOIST clears.
KITTIWAKE from port quarter to port forward by 1000R.
HOIST alongside port side, arrive 1000R. Moor aft of CHANTICLEER.
Clear about 1300R.


Dredging - COMBER along starboard side until 0900R and thereafter in exit channel. Washington port side until 0900R. Shift to starboard side to resume about 1300R.
PETREL tunnel starboard side starting 0900R between frames 105 and 115.
KITTIWAKE and CHANTICLEER continue port side.
Beach Gear - Continue lay out of Beach Gear on board MISSOURI.
Submarine Salvage Gear - Pass messengers for pontoons as practicable when dredging operations permit.
About 2000R, LUISENO due arrive with pontoons. Anchor barges.
TRINGA (ASR-16) arrives 1800R.
Services - KITTIWAKE supply fire main and flushing.
3 YTB's to assist dredges.
YW as required.
Ship Movements - Washington shift from port side at 0900R to frame 200 starboard side to work forward.
PETREL come alongside starboard side frame 105 at 0900R.


Dredging - COMBER dredge in exit channel.
Washington dredge starboard side until 1100R, then shift to exit channel. PETREL continue tunneling until 1100R, starboard side.
KITTIWAKE and CHANTICLEER continue tunneling until 0630R.
Beach Gear - Commence laying Beach Gear out on quarter at 1500R.
SALVAGER discharge Beach Gear at pier at NavBase.
ATF, to be assigned, place four winches on MISSOURI.
Submarine Salvage Gear - KITTIWAKE, PETREL, TRINGA and CHANTICLEER pick up pontoons at 1200R.
After 1200R when Washington and AO clear side, bring pontoons alongside; KITTIWAKE and PETREL to port, CHANTICLEER and TRINGA to starboard.
Commence work on placing pontoons.

Services - AO alongside port side about 0700R. Depart 1200R.
3 YTB's to assist dredges.
YTB as required to assist AO.
ATF to transfer Beach Gear from SALVAGER.
YW as required.
Ship Movements - At 1100R Washington from starboard side to astern.
At 1200R, KITTIWAKE, TRINGA, PETREL and CHANTICLEER pick up pontoons and bring alongside. Position pontoons at Frames 175 and 190. KITTIWAKE port forward, CHANTICLEER starboard forward, TRINGA starboard aft, PETREL port aft.
HOIST arrive in time to commence laying Beach Gear at 1500R. Return to pier when completed.


Dredging - Washington dredge exit channel.
COMBER dredge exit channel.
ASR's tunnel in conjunction with placing pontoons.
Beach Gear - At daylight HOIST place two sets gear on quarter.
OPPORTUNE may arrive.
Submarine Salvage Gear - Continue placing pontoons.
Services - 2 YTB's to assist dredge.
YW as required.
Ship Movements - HOIST arrive at daylight. Return to pier when Beach Gear laid.


Dredging - COMBER and Washington in exit channel.
ASR's tunnel in conjunction with placing pontoons.
Beach Gear - At daylight, HOIST place two sets Beach Gear on quarter. (Place on how if OPPORTUNE has not arrived).
At daylight, OPPORTUNE place two sets Beach Gear on bow.
If OPPORTUNE has not arrived, HOIST place two sets Beach Gear on quarter about 1600R.
At 1500 HOIST place one set Beach Gear on quarter (if OPPORTUNE has arrived).
Submarine Salvage Gear - Continue placing pontoons in position. Discontinue as necessary during period Beach Gear is being laid.
Ammunition - At daylight commence putting cranes on board.
At 0900R commence unloading ammunition from magazines forward of Frame 120.
Services - Ammunition barges and cranes.
YTB as required for barges.
YW as required.
Ship Movements - HOIST and OPPORTUNE (if available) arrive daylight.
HOIST return pier after laying first two sets and return with one (two if OPPORTUNE is not available) by 1600R.



Dredging - COMBER and Washington in exit channel.
ASR's tunnel in conjunction with placing pontoons.
Beach Gear - In place if OPPORTUNE was available.
Otherwise HOIST lay one set on quarter.
RECOVERY arrives.
Submarine Salvage Gear - Continue placing pontoons. Discontinue as necessary during period Beach Gear is being laid.
Ammunition - Complete unloading ammunition from magazines forward of Frame 120.
Services - Ammunition barges and cranes.
YW as required.
YTB as necessary to assist barges.
Ship Movements - HOIST arrive daylight if all Beach Gear not in place.


Dredging - COMBER and Washington in exit channel.
ASR's tunnel in conjunction with placing pontoons.
Beach Gear - In place.
Submarine Salvage Gear - Continue placing pontoons.
Ammunition - Completed unloading ammunition from magazines forward of Frame 120.
Services - YW as required.
Ship Movements - NONE


Dredging - COMBER and Washington in exit channel.
Beach Gear - In place.
WINDLASS and SALVAGER take designated positions.
Submarine Salvage Gear - Complete placing pontoons by 1300R.
Ammunition - Unload ammunition aft of Frame 120, commencing about 0700R.
Special Operations - Remove and/or redistribute fuel.
Pulling ships take positions in afternoon.
Services - Ammunition barges and cranes.
YTB as required for barges and placing pulling ships.
YW as required.
Ship Movements - Pulling ships assemble.



Dredging - COMBER and Washington as required.
ASR's alongside, continue tunneling.
Beach Gear - In place.
Submarine Salvage Gear - In place.
Ammunition - Removed.
Personnel - Transfer about 20 officers and 1000 men to RecSta, NorVa commencing about 0800.
Services - Barracks for 1000 men. YW as required.
YTB as required.
Ship Movements - HOIST, OPPORTUNE, RECOVERY and assigned LSI's transfer personnel. Arrive MISSOURI 0700R for first trip.


Dredging - COMBER and Washington as required.
ASR's required alongside continue tunneling.
Beach Gear - In place.
Submarine Salvage Gear - In place.
Ammunition - Removed.
Personnel - 20 officers and 1000 men transferred.
Services - YTB as required.
Ship Movements - NONE.


Dredging - COMBER and Washington as required.
Beach Gear - In place.
Commence hauling taut at 0600R.
Submarine Salvage Gear - In place.
Ammunition - Removed.
Personnel - 20 officers and 1000 men transferred.
Special Operations - Commence pull-off at 0700R. High tide at 0814.
Services - Pier space.
Ship Movements - MISSOURI to Naval Base, Norfolk.


CAPT SMOOT O11 or at will
LCDR BROWN Flag Bridge
LCDR LEES Turret 3
LCDR LEONARD O11 (Beach Gear Talker)

This page is blank.

FF13-5/A4-3 (16)
Ser 210
Commander Cruisers, Atlantic Fleet
U. S. S. MISSOURI, Flagship

Norfolk, Virginia
29 January 1950

Operation Order
ComCruLant No. 1-50


Pulling and Towing Force, Rear Admiral Allan E. SMITH, USN.

Deputy Commander and Commander Norfolk Naval Shipyard,
Rear Admiral Homer N. WALLIN, USN.

(a) MISSOURI, Captain W. D. BROWN, USN 1 BB
(b) Beach Gear Control Group, LCDR J. S. LEES, USN 2 ARSD
9 Sets Beach gear
(c) Pulling Tug Control Group, CDR J. M. WOOD, USN 3 ARS
4 ASR, 7 ATF,
(d) Maneuvering Tug Control Group, LCDR T. R. WESCHLER 12 YTBs
(e) Pontoon Control Group LCDR A. L. LARSON, USN 2 ASR
(f) Channel Patrol Group, Senior Coast Guard Officer Assigned CG ships assigned
(g) Wake Surge Group, Senior DD Officer Assigned DDs assigned

1. Assumptions: MISSOURI is in all respects ready to be refloated and hauled to deep water. MISSOURI has no propulsive power and cannot use her rudders.

All of the tasks required to execute the basic refloating plan have been accomplished and all mobile units connected with the final pull off are secured in position in accordance with Annex A.

2. This force will (a) haul off and (b) tow the U. S. S. MISSOURI to deep water during any favorable tide conditions occurring after 30 January 1950 by

a. Setting up on beach gear.
b. Hauling and surging with towing tugs
c. Exerting a twisting moment, with maneuvering tugs

3. a. MISSOURI. Captain W. D. BROWN, USN 1BB

(1) Provide personnel to handle lines and assist with beach gear.

(2) Have interior communication system energized and manned in accordance with Communication Plan Annex C. plus any additional circuits required by ship's organization considered necessary.

(3) Energize and man voice circuits in accordance with Communication Plan Annex C.

FF13-5/A4-3 (16)
Ser 210

Operation Order
ComCruLant No. 1-50

(4) Have both anchors ready for letting go.

(5) Have gyros operating and all repeaters energized.

(6) Be prepared to provide conn with accurate navigational and piloting information.

(7) Provide conn with accurate distance ship moves for first 200 feet using distance line to bow tide gauge stand.

(8) Distribute unassigned personnel as far forward as possible and clear of all running gear.

(9) Be prepared to disembark about 1000 personnel, without effects, in accordance with Contingency Plan Annex B, paragraph 5-b.

(10) Maintain adequate security.

(11) Distribute and escort press media.

b. Beach Gear Control Group - LCDR J. S. LEES, USN

9 Sets beach gear

(1) Take strain on all beach gear at minus 4 hours.
(2) Slack bow mooring lines and tie off at minus 4 hours.
(3) Cast loose bow mooring lines when ship starts moving.
(4) Control and slip beach gear in accordance with Contingency Plan Annex B.

c. Pulling Tug Control Group - Commander J. M. WOOD, USN
Chief Pilot Capt. TREAKLE

Breast Unit 2 ARS RECOVERY
Quarter Unit 2 ASR PETREL
Towing Unit
(1) Pulling Section 3 ATF PAPAGO
(2) Surging Section 3 ATF KIOWA

(a) Conduct towing in accordance with procedure and schedules as outlined in Annex E.

(b) HOIST be prepared to cast off on short notice to service beach gear as required by Commander Beach Gear Group.

(c) TRINGA and PETREL be prepared to pull out amidships tide gauges at 0500 31 January.

FF13-5/A4-3 (16)
Ser 210

Operation Order
ComCruLant No. 1-50

d. Maneuvering Tug Control Group - LCDR T. R. WESCHLER, USN

Bow Unit 4 YTBs assigned
Towing Unit 2 YTBs
Beach Gear Unit 2 YTBs
Buoy Unit 2 YTBs
Utility Unit 2 YTBs

(1) Provide athwartships twisting moment commencing at zero hour and continue until ship starts moving.

(2) Assist towing unit to maintain position clear of beach gear and to maintain towing course.

(3) Haul ARSDs clear of exit channel when wires are tripped.

(4) Secure to exit channel marker buoys at minus four hours and haul clear of towing groups when directed. These buoys must each be moved away from channel boundaries (present location) at least 30 yards.

(5) Assist in towing to anchorage, rearrange tugs and further assist in towing to Shipyard in accordance with Towing Plan Annex E.

e. Pontoon Control Group - LCDR A. L. LARSON, USN

3 sets pontoons

(1) Blow down and provide full buoyancy not later than minus 12 hours.

(2) Maintain buoyancy throughout transit.

f. Channel Patrol Group - Senior Coast Guard Officer - CG ships as assigned

(1) Keep all traffic away from operating area.

(2) Keep channel ahead clear all the way to final berth.

(3) Avoid interfering with Wake Surge Group in case they are used to create bow waves in accordance Contingency Plan Annex B.

g. Wake Surge Group - Senior DD Officer - DDs as assigned

Create bow waves to agitate MISSOURI in accordance with Contingency Plan Annex B when directed at about plus 24 hours.

x. (1) Zero hour is 0645R 31 January 1950.
(2) Mobile units be in positions and all secured in accordance with Ship's Position Plan Annex A not later than minus 12 hours.
(3) Man and test all IC and radio voice circuits at minus 11 hours and again at minus 4 hours.
(4) Be prepared to take action in accordance with Contingency Plan Annex B.
(5) Recover gear in accordance with Recovery Plan Annex D.

FF13-5/A4-3 (16)
Ser 210

Operation Order
ComCruLant No. 1-50

4. Logistics

5. Communications in accordance with Annex C.
Commander Cruisers, Atlantic Fleet in MISSOURI
Maneuvering Control and Conn on 011 level.
Beach Gear Control on Turret 3.
Pontoon Control Center in PETREL.

Allan E. Smith, Rear Admiral, Commander Cruisers Atlantic Fleet


A. - Ships' Position Plan
B. - Contingency Plan
C. - Communication Plan
D. - Recovery Plan
E. - Towing Plan


ComDesFlot TWO (5)
Coast Guard (3)
ComSecondTaskFlt (2)
ConServLant (3)
ComNavBaseNorVa (3)
ComNavShipYdNorVa (3)
ComCruLantAdmin (3)
AMPHION (AR13) (2)
HOIST (ARS40) (2)
PETREL (ASR14) (2)
TRINGA (ASR16) (2)
KIOWA (ATF72) (2)
PAIUTE (ATF159) (2)
ALSEA (ATF97) (2)
LUISENO (ATF156) (2)
PAPAGO (ATF160) (2)
SHAKORI (ATF162) (2)
SANDSET (ATA190) (2)
YTBs Capt. EDWARDS (25)

Operation order
ComCruLant No. 1-50
Ship's Position Plan
drawing of the ships positions.

Operation order
ComCruLant No. 1-50
Contingency Man

Contingencies and action to be taken follow

1. a. Ship moves so slowly that Beach Gear can keep strain:

9 Beach Gear Sets: Hauling speed, 15'6" F. P. M.

Beach Gear Control Group continues to haul, re-fleeting falls as they become "Chock-a-Block", insuring that an even strain is always maintained in the desired direction.


WINDLASS and SALVAGER continue to haul, re-fleeting falls as they become "two blocked", insuring insofar as possible that one wire from each ship is always under tension.

b. Ship moves too fast for Beach Gear to keep strain:

9 Beach Gear Sets:

Trip Beach Gears in following order:

Forward pair (1 and 9) - Immediately.

Remainder in the following order:

After SALVAGER and WINDLASS are cast off: 2 and 8 simultaneously; 3 and 7 simultaneously; 4 and 6 simultaneously; then No. 5.

Towing Unit.

Stand by to cast off tugs of towing group as directed by Conn.


SALVAGER and WINDLASS will be cast off immediately from MISSOURI on orders from Beach Gear Control Officer.

When wires are free, SALVAGER and WINDLASS, assisted by YTB's assigned, maneuver to their starboard and port respectively to clear towing group.

2. Ship moves less than shortest fleeting distance of beach gear then hangs up:

Beach Gear Control Unit overhaul blocks, re-secure and set taut when directed.

MISSOURI advise Maneuvering Control Center distance ship moved.

3. Ship moves to point where hauling effort on beach gear no longer effective, then hangs up:

ARS types be prepared to cast off and service beach gear as directed by Commander Beach Gear Control Group.

Beach Gear Control Group reset beach gear. Report when ready to set taut.
Maneuvering Tug Control Group assist as required by Commander Beach Gear Control Group.

4. Ship tends to pull out of channel:

a. While Beach Gear still secured -

Beach Gear Control Group adjust strain to rectify.

Maneuvering Tug Group and Pulling Tug Group adjust strain to rectify.

b. After Beach Gear is cast off:

Pulling and Maneuvering Tug Groups adjust direction of pull to rectify.

5. Ship fails to move. Take action when directed in sequence as follows:

a. Surging Section commence surging accordance Annex EASY.

b. MISSOURI disembark about 1000 personnel, without effects, to ships alongside. Pulling Tug Control Group - Bow and Quarter Units be prepared to receive 1000 personnel, without effects.

c. Pulling Tug Control Group - Breast Unit be prepared to cast off bow lines and exert greater athwartship strain in alternate directions.

d. When directed, WAKE SURGE GROUP pass close aboard on south side at high speed and continue on alternate courses until ordered to cease.

Operation order
ComCruLant No. 1-50
Communication Man


Communication facilities to be employed are as follows:

a. Bull Horn Public Address System installed on board MISSOURI.

b. Pulling Tug and ARSD circuit (277.8 mc).

c. Maneuvering Tug circuit (2436 kcs).

d. Visual (flag hoist) signals.

e. MISSOURI sound powered telephone circuits.


All ships except YTB's maintain continuous guard on both radio circuits provided. After H-2:30 hours the 277.8 mc circuit will be the primary control circuit for all pulling tugs and ARSDs, the 2436 kc circuit will be the primary control circuit for maneuvering tugs (YTB's).


The PA system will be used when necessary to control movements of ships within range as a supplementary circuit. Maneuvering orders will be paralleled on sound powered phone circuits to talkers on deck of MISSOURI opposite bridge of inboard ship alongside.


In event the MISSOURI loses all power the following communication channels will be employed:

a. To ships alongside, orders will be passed from sound power talkers on deck of MISSOURI.

b. To pulling tugs astern, orders will be passed visually.

c. International visual towing signals from International Code of Signals (HO 87) will be employed.


a. Individual

(1) All ships will be called individually by assigned international call signs.

(2) All YTBs will be called individually by number.

b. Collective

In the interest of improved circuit discipline and rapidity of communications the following collective calls are established.

Group Voice Call Visual Call
*Towing ships along-
side to stbd.
Alongside stbd. Gp1
*Towing ships along-
side to port
Alongside port Gp2
*Towing ships astern Astern Gp3

*ARSD's and YTB's are not included in any collective calls.


MISSOURI will provide necessary internal communication facilities as detailed in Appendix I to this Annex.


a. Proper circuit procedure and discipline will be observed at all times. A ship included in each group of ships assigned a collective call will be designated to receipt for all transmissions addressed to the group. Other ships in the group will not transmit unless the message concerns the safety of life, a ship, or is vital to the overall success of the operation.

b. Both radio circuits provided will be monitored by the Operation Commander as well as other interested authorities.

c. It is vitally important that no word of the MISSOURI's movements go out over any radio voice circuit at any time without the explicit approval of ComCruLant. Commanding Officers will be held accountable for any violation of this order.


chart of groups with frequencies

Operation order
ComCruLant No. 1-50
Recovery Plan

1. MISSOURI - Be prepared to buoy and make arrangements for later recovery of ship's anchors in case they have to be dropped or slipped for any emergency.



When MISSOURI refloats and is clear of dredged channel area, recover two inch bow wires and stern anchors. Completion return to NavBase deliver two inch wires and five ton Danforth Anchors to ComServLant Material Officer. Danforth Anchors are for further shipment to the Danforth Anchor Company from which they were borrowed.


When released from towing assignment recover beach gear sets No. 2, 5 and 6. Completion proceed MISSOURI and remove salvage equipment, returning it to Pier 7, Naval Base, for redistribution and/or return to Naval Supply Depot, Bayonne, or ATF's as directed by ComServLant.


When released from towing assignment recover beach gear sets No. 4, 7, and the two bow moorings, returning latter to Pier 7, Naval Base, for handling as above.


When released from towing assignment recover beach gear sets No. 1, 3, 8, and 9, returning latter two to Pier 7, Naval Base for handling as above.

Commanding Officer, U. S. S. HOIST coordinate recovery of beach gear in grounding area.


Supervise removal of pontoons from drydock and load on barges. Rigging and crane service at Shipyard. Arrange through ComServLant for towing to destination.


Remove special range and channel marker buoys.

Operation order
ComCruLant No. 1-50
Towing Plan

Task Organization

a. Towing Group #1 (Surging Group)
PAIUTE (ATF159) Guide
b. Towing Group #2 3ATF
c. Towing Group #3 (Stbd and Port quarter group) 2ASR
d. Towing Group #4 (Breast Group)
c. Towing Group #5 (Bow Group) 2ASR

1. All ATF's and ARS's be ready in all respects to take station as shown in Annex "A" at 301200R.

2. Towing Group #2 will be stationed first, YTB's assisting. If beaching gear is slacked Group 2 ATF's will pass their tow line to MISSOURI with 2" towing pendant attached and then proceed to station. Order of ships ALSEA, MOSOPELEA and PAPAGO. If beaching gear is taut tow wires will be passed to MISSOURI by YTB's. Group 2 anchor when secured in position. Individual ships of group to be moored together after Towing Group #2 is in position and ready.

3. Towing Group #1 will pass their tow lines to the corresponding ship astern in following order LUISENO, PAIUTE, and KIOWA and proceed to station. When on station moor together and anchor group. Group #2 equalizes tow lines followed by Group #1.

4. After towing groups #1 and #2 are secured or when directed, OPPORTUNE and RECOVERY pass tow line with 2" towing pendant attached to MISSOURI, take station and anchor. ATA's anchor in vicinity as shown in Annex "A".

5. All ships will utilize all available power in pulling unless otherwise directed. The maximum effort is expected of all ships.

6. Pulling and Maneuvering units will be given directions either by unit names or by "Port" or "Starboard" followed by unit names. For coordination and reduction of voice communications, designated guides only will acknowledge orders addressed to the whole unit. Designated guides are as follows:

Surging unit - PAIUTE
Towing unit - MOSOPELEA
Quarter unit - PETREL
Breast unit - OPPORTUNE

Port and starboard units will acknowledge orders addressed to them individually.

7. Maneuvering Group YTBs will be controlled from the Control and Conning Station. Pulling unit ships shall not give orders to YTBs except in emergencies.

8. The sequence of events listed in paragraph 9 below is for guidance only. All changes of speed and other maneuvers will be on direct order from Control except that bow YTBs will change speed as necessary to keep their bows against MISSOURI bow.

Operation order
ComCruLant No. 1-50
Towing Plan

9. Sequence of towing operations will be as follows:

Time Event
- 12 hr 0 min All ships in assigned stations in accordance Annex A - Ship positions
- 1 hr 45 min TRINGA and PETREL pull out amidships tide gauges.
- 1 hr 40 min Towing Group #1 single up with 50' wire preventer between ships.
- 1 hr 30 min On signal, all ships "ahead one third".
- 1 hr 25 min On signal, all ships "ahead two thirds".
- 1 hr 15 min On signal, all ships "ahead full".

10. If the MISSOURI does not pull off with all towing ships going "ahead full" surging orders may be given. If surging is called for, the following procedure for towing groups #1 and #2 will be followed. Towing group #2 will continue "ahead full". Towing group #1 will stop and when tow wires have slacked, on order from the guide of Group #1, go "ahead full". This surging, alternately stopping and going ahead, will be continued until the order "Stop Surging" is given when Towing Group #1 will continue "ahead full".

11. If towing and surging are not sufficient to float the MISSOURI twisting maneuvers may be ordered. For this maneuver the bow YTBs will be ordered to alternately push the bow to starboard and port and attempt to twist the ship free. This procedure will be started by ordering bow tugs "starboard stop, port ahead full" and vice versa. Similar orders will be used with breast units.

12. On getting clear of exit channel MISSOURI will be anchored in berth bearing 135°T 925 yards from Old Point Comfort light.

13. After MISSOURI is anchored Pulling Unit Groups will cast off in following order:

Towing Group #1
Towing Group #2
Breast unit ships
Bow unit ships

Do not cast off a tow line until the receiving ship has reported ready to receive it.

14. Quarter unit ships will be end-for-ended to accompany MISSOURI to Naval Shipyard in order to insure keeping pontoons blown down.

15. Station assignments for towing MISSOURI from anchorage to Norfolk Naval Shipyard are as shown in Appendix 1.

Operation order
ComCruLant No. 1-50
Towing Plan

diagram of towing tug station assignment for towing to Norfolk Naval Shipyard



Minus 2 Hours to Minus 1 Hour

1. This plan is to provide a twisting moment by utilizing 2 ARS type and 1 ATF type on tow line at bow and by manipulating beach gear. Control will be in conn. Units concerned are:

a. Bow twisting unit (2 ARS, 1 ATF).

b. Beach gear unit (LCDR LEES).

2. Plan sequence is as follows:

Minus 2 hours - Twisting unit go ahead full speed on starboard bow pulling at right angles to centerline; surge when directed.

Beach control slack all starboard beach gear; take maximum strain on port beach gear.

Minus 1 Hr., 45 min. - Beach Control slack gear #9; take strain on gear #1. Twisting unit continue pull to starboard; surge when directed.
Minus 1 Hr., 30 min. - Twisting unit shift to port bow and go ahead full pulling normal to the center line; surge when directed. Beach Control take maximum strain on all starboard gear; slack all port gear.
Minus 1 Hr., 15 min. - Beach Control slack #1 gear; take maximum strain on #9 gear. Twisting unit continue pull to port, surge when directed.
Minus 1 hour - Beach Control take maximum strain on all gear. Twisting unit operate as directed by Conn.

3. Be prepared to repeat above sequence when directed. Time intervals to be announced.



Minus 1 Hour

1. This Plan requires the UTMOST effort on the part of each man, ship and piece of equipment involved.

2. Plan sequence is as follows:

Minus 60 Minutes - All tugs and Beach Control work up to "Condition 1/3". All tugs take strain and work up to 1/3 speed.

Beach Control take strain and gradually build up to reach Condition 1/3 at minus 50 minutes.

Twisting tugs commence pulling perpendicular to port bow and work up to full speed.

Minus 50 Minutes - Signal "Take Condition 2/3".

Execute signal.

All tugs work up to 2/3 speed gradually.

Beach Control take 2/3 strain and be exerting 2/3 strain at minus 35 minutes.

Twisting tugs shift to starboard bow and pull perpendicular at full speed.

Minus 35 Minutes - Signal "All tugs, Beach Control, take Condition One".

Execute signal.

All tugs take 15 minutes to work up to full power.

Beach Control increase strain gradually to obtain full strain in 15 minutes.

Twisting tugs shift from bow to bow as directed and pull perpendicular to centerline with full power.

Zero hour - Commence surging.


Photo of offloading of ammunition.




1. In computing the costs of refloating the U. S. S. MISSOURI, there are several factors which should be included in any statement of accounts; and which would not apply to the grounding of a merchant ship.

a. Congress appropriates some money for salvage work annually.

b. All of the costs of the refloating were absorbed within appropriations already made by Congress, and to the extent of those costs, repairs or alterations to other ships may be delayed past 30 June 1950. Two exceptions to the foregoing statement are the cost of the commercial dredge Washington, which was hired on a day-to-day contract, and the cost of hiring additional tugs from local towing companies to replace harbor tugs in their routine work.

c. The Atlantic Fleet has salvage equipment on hand in a standby condition, such as pontoons for raising submarines. Most fleet tugs have a secondary mission of salvage work. There are several submarine rescue ships, which work with submarines as targets and in other scheduled training exercises. There are tugs which train divers as part of their assignments in the fleet. Commander Cruiser Force, U. S. Atlantic Fleet, recognized the secondary duties of these ships and encouraged a larger concentration of salvage personnel and ships than was necessary, and larger than could be used at times. He encouraged the Salvage School at Bayonne, N. J., to move down to the MISSOURI, it being the most realistic school for the time being.

d. In fact, if the Navy were to set up a salvage operation for training purposes on the scale of the MISSOURI refloating operation, it is not believed that it could be done more economically, and certainly the training provided would not be comparable to this real test. In addition, the staff work, the planning both in the MISSOURI and in the shore installations was a war-time test; a surprise; an emergency. The same holds for the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. We have many inexperienced officers and enlisted men in our fleet. The many participating in the MISSOURI refloating operation are veterans now. The very excellent job accomplished by the Norfolk Shipyard in docking, repairing and undocking the MISSOURI speaks in high terms of the capabilities of our naval and civilian shipyard personnel. Several Captains of the ships assisting in the refloating operations have informed ComCruLant of the improvement of morale in their crews as a result of this operation. All of the above factors should be considered when inquiring into the costs of the MISSOURI refloating operation.

2. Below are listed the costs, as closely as can be ascertained. As indicated above, every item except the hiring of the Washington and the hiring of civilian tugs has a limitation of some kind. These cost figures have been compiled based on actual costs and estimates from representatives of Type Commanders, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, FIFTH Naval District, Naval Supply Center, and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.

3. COSTS WITHIN THE NAVY. These costs are those attributable to the pull-off operation but include only those over and above normal operating costs. The cost of equipment lost or destroyed as a result of the operation, or required especially for the operation, is included, but normal operational costs such as military pay, fuel, subsistence, etc., are not included.

a. ARS's, ARSD's AND BEACH GEAR $ 21,346.35
ATF's 21,124.00
ServLant Requisitions 1,555.00
Repairs to crushed boat, USS MOSOPELEA 1,950.00
These cost figures are based on estimates from ServLant. Costs are for material worn out or damaged or required especially for the operation. The repairs to the MOSEPELEA boat have been absorbed by ServLant.
b. ASR's $ 8,700.00
SubLant estimates that $300.00 was expended for repairs to ASR's engaged in the operation and $8,400.00 was expended for equipment and supplies especially required by them.

c. Pontoons $4,277.04
Pontoon costs are based on estimates furnished by Norfolk Naval Shipyard. They include $2,300.00 estimated as necessary for Boston Naval Shipyard to prepare the pontoons for shipment to Norfolk and $1,977.04 expended by Norfolk in preparing them for return to Boston. Of the $2,300.00 estimated as used by Boston, a portion may likely have replaced costs which would later have been incurred for annual maintenance.
d. Diver's Pay $4,077.50
The item of divers pay at $5.00 per hour or fraction thereof is included as a cost since it is payable only during actual salvage operations under hazardous conditions.
e. PhibLant $1,080.00
Reported costs for PhibLant are $800.00 estimated to repair a damaged LCPL. In addition, $280.00 was spent by the Shipyard in repairing the canopy of another LCPL damaged in the operation.
f. MTB's $675.00
It is estimated that $375.00 will be required to repair two propellers and $300.00 to repair the side of a MTB damaged incident to the operation.
g. U. S. S. AMPHION $1,410.00
This figure represents the cost of equipment and supplies expended, worn out, or damaged beyond repair.
h. U. S. S. MISSOURI $ 11,520.00
USS MISSOURI reported this figure as the cost of material and equipment worn out, damaged or required especially for the operation.
i. ATA's and YTB's $ 13,820.00
A cost of $4,200.00 was reported by ComFIVE for repairs to FIFTH Naval District craft damaged in the operation, and a cost of $9,620.00 for equipment required for the operation.
j. Other Shipyard Costs $ 16,137.34
(1) Costs were reported by the Shipyard as follows:

(a) Manufacture float gauges $417.94
(b) Tide gauges 282.98
(c) Handle explosives and prepare UEB-1 for operation 7,124.55
(d) Restore UEB-1 3,003.04
(e) Misc. Salvage Equipment 2,751.57
(f) Manufacture wire straps 1,228.88
(g) Charges from Y&D Allot. for labor 1,328.38
$ 16,137.34

k. Crane Service $1,200.00
l. Supply Center Civilian Labor $7,927.36
This sum represents the cost of overtime only for civilian labor at the Supply Center.
m. Pilots and Tugmasters $7,094.93
This is the cost of overtime only for pilots and tugmasters as reported by ComFIVE.
n. T. A. D. $1,000.00
TOTAL NAVY $124,894.52


a. Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army Dredge COMBER and Corps of Engineers Survey Party 64,851.13
The normal operating costs of COMBER are approximately $3,000.00 per day. A considerable portion of the $64,851.13 listed above is for overtime.
b. U. S. Coast Guard reported minor costs ($400.00) but stated that they were being absorbed.
TOTAL $ 64,851.13


a. Dredge Washington $ 16,162.50
This is based on $1,500.00/day for the first 5 days and $1,350.00/day for each full day thereafter.
b. Wood Towing Company $ 17,865.00
c. Norfolk Towing Company $ 525.00
Figures b. and c. above represent costs reported by ComFIVE for charter and hire of towing service to release 5ND service craft for the salvage operation.
TOTAL $ 34.552.50


9. It should be noted that the only costs paid to agencies outside the government are:

Dredge Washington $ 16,162.50
Towing Companies 18,390.00

The MISSOURI did not make the training cruise scheduled at the time of her grounding, which resulted in a saving of $32,000.00 worth of fuel. This could be listed as an asset, but like other items mentioned, since it is, with two exceptions, all within government appropriations, the Navy will undoubtedly use the fuel saved for needed training in other commands.

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