USS EMBATTLE (MSO 434)

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Photo courtesy of Dale Webb

This was taken just a few days before she was broken up. This is in the Alameda estuary just south of the Park Street Bridge between Oakland and Alameda CA. Although hard to see in the picture, 434 was still barely visible on the bow and the name "Embattle" was used several times in graffiti on her sides.

This ship has a long and uncertain history in California. Since decommissioning in 1972, it has been in private ownership, with numerour changes of owners. It was reported to be docked at pier 42 in San Francisco in late 1983, with the owners living aboard, and then moved to Oakland and under different ownership in 1984. In 1985 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering issued a permit for mooring in the Oakland Estuary.
Over the years, it fell into disrepair and into the hands of Larry Dalrymple of Alameda, CA. It appears that Mr. Dalrymple was renting it out and collecting rent. In February of 1990 complaints were received that dozens of people were living in filthy condition on the ship. Eventually police cleared out the tentants, shut off the electricity operating the ship's pumps, and it sank in June 1990.
In May of 1990 the "Kinetic Network Art Movement" to and for John O'Leary acquired it for the sum of $10 from Mr. Dalrymple.

She had been resting on the bottom of the channel. It was discovered that she was causing damage to a underwater watermain that she was resting on.

She was moved to the location in the photo in January of 1993 and Dutra Construction Co, of San Rafael, CA under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for $256,840 (because Army Corps officials were unable to determine the legal owner), lifted the ship off the bottom and carried it in the water to their dock about 1/4 mile on the other side of the bridge in the background of the photo. Then they put the ship up on shore and broke it up. This took about a week.

From John O'Leary:
Tell everyone that the fact is that I tried to save this MSO, and in trying, I was the only one with a Army permit acquired to do so, and I was on the ship that at the time had no people as tentants on her and she was not setteled in mud. When I pumped it out, she was off the bottom and never was causing damage to a underwater watermain, she was never at any time resting on this, just was a way of the city, that did not know what they were doing, as the newspaper came in on this matter to do a story on this. And so Dick try to see that we just wanted everyone to know that if you do this for the Embattle she will never be gone from the ones that miss her and I loved her very much....John O'Leary

The above information courtesy of Dale Webb and John O'Leary.

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Courtesy of John O'Leary, photo from undated newspaper article: Cathy Joyce/photo
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Courtesy of John O'Leary, photo from Alameda Times-Star, 1/19/93, Jim Stevens-staff
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Courtesy of John O'Leary, photo from Alameda Times-Star, 1/26/93, Jim Stevens-staff
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Courtesy of John O'Leary

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Sunk, resting on channel bottom, listing about 23 to starboard. Sunken tugboat Allison in foreground. 8/10/1992
Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District

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Stern of 2nd deck. Park Street Bridge in background. Oakland on right (east), Alameda on left (west) 8/10/1992
Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District

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Main deck, mid-ship, port side. 8/10/1992
Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District

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Superstructure, 02 lever, Wheelhouse. 8/10/1992
Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District


What an story, It originally was sold by the government to Glenn Dobkins , Miami, Fla. for $32,769 for scrapping and removed from government control on December 21, 1976.


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