I just discovered that the most recent ship towed out of the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, U.S.N.S. Edwin D. Patrick, was one of the ships I had the priviledge to explore on a recent trip to the Fleet.
She was first of the 6 ships, towed out of the fleet, that I have had the chance to photograph, which is why I'm a bit sadenned by the news. While that might sound strange to many of you, it's something that happens to us explorers/photographers when we see a place we've visited often be demolished or renovated.
Throughout the last year, I've made a number of trips to the Fleet and each time, I discover something new, which leads to a stronger attachment to the ships. This ship in particular was interesting to me because she was a troop transport ship and contained many elements most military ships do not, such as a monetary exhange booth, theatre, church and rec room.
During my trip to the Fleet, I was told that U.S.N.S. Edwin D Patrick and her sister ship, U.S.N.S. General John Pope had been sold for scrap, but there was no indication of when this would occur.
U.S.N.S Edwin D Patrick was a troop transport ship commissioned in 1945. In 1950, the Navy reclaimed the ship and placed into Military Sea Transportation Service, where she served as a transport ship during the Korean War. She was decommissioned in 1967 and places in Suisun Bay shortly thereafter. In 2005, she was scheduled to be transported to Alang, India for scrapping, but concerns about the condition of her hull prevented this from occuring. In March 2010, U.S.N.S. Edwin D Patrick was sold to ESCO Marine in Brownsville, Texas.
She was towed out of the fleet on April 15, with no announcement in the media or on the Port of San Francisco roster. She now sits in the dry docks at BAE Systems in San Francisco awaiting her trip to Texas to be scrapped.
Photo by Dave R