Scrapyard, Kearny N.J., 1983

O.K., Dick, here's the story of my visit to the Skill in the scrap yard. I have a friend who served on the AM, USS Pinnacle in WW 2. He was sunk during D-Day. His business is in Kearny, NJ. Up until about 10 years ago there was a ship scrap yard right near his office. It was next to the big Western Union plant in Kearny for those who know the area. I used to pass by it every 6 or 8 months and would see destroyers, etc being cut up. I remember them cutting up the aircraft carrier Roosevelt. Quite a sight to see. Anyway, behind the stuff you could see from the roadway, they had more piers and that's where the minesweepers sat. For several years, my friend kept saying "come on down and we'll look at the 'yard sweeps' that they have".. Finally, after probably 3-4 years I take an afternoon off and he gets us into the back part of the shipyard.

There sat the Skill, the only sweep left. They were cutting it up that very day. The yard workers were on lunch break, so they let me go aboard and take the logs and other small stuff. 2 or 3 days later the Skill was gone.

Because my friend didn't really know MSO's having been on AM's he didn't have any knowledge of the other sweeps that were there with the Skill for so many years. Fortunately, I got to see the Skill but I can't tell you what other sweeps were there because, of course, none were left.

The inside of the ship was much like the day it was left. I didn't get into the engine room so I don't know what was there but everything in CIC was like a time capsule. I even found the original speed vs.turning radius chart that I made up in 1967. It was still taped to the plot table.

Dave Vennard

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