CVE-106 U.S.S. Commencement Bay - History

CVE-106 U.S.S. Commencement Bay - History

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Commencement Bay

A bay of Puget Sound, near Tacoma, Wash.

(CVE 106; dp. 11,373; 1. 677'1"; b. 75'; ew. 105'2";
dr. 32'; s. 19 k.; cpl. 1,066; a. 2 5"; cl. Commencement

Commencement Bay (CVE-106) was launched 9 May 1944 by Seattle Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Wash.; sponsored by Mrs. F. Eves; and commissioned 27 November, 1944, Captain R. L. Bowman in command.

Commencement Bay reported at Seattle 1 February 1945 for duty as a training ship in Puget Sound until 2 October. During this time she trained 545 officers and 5,053 men of precommissioning crews for sister escort carriers, and qualified 249 pilots of eight air groups in carrier takeoffs and landings. She sailed from Bremerton 21 October 1945, and arrived at Pearl Harbor 4 l November for training and to conduct carrier qualifications until sailing 27 November for Seattle and Tacoma.

After visits to Los Angeles and San Pedro, she returned to Tacoma 28 January, where she was placed out of commission in reserve 30 November 1946. She was reclassified CVHE-106, 12 June 1955; and AKV-37, 7 May 1959.

USS Commencement Bay (CVE-105)

|module= Career (United States) Name: USS Commencement BayBuilder: Todd Pacific ShipyardsLaunched: 9 May 1944Commissioned: 27 November 1944Decommissioned: 30 November 1946Reclassified: Helicopter Carrier, CVHE-105, 12 June 1955
Cargo Ship and Aircraft Ferry, AKV-37, 7 May 1959Fate: Scrapped sometime after 1971 |module2= General characteristics Class & type: Commencement Bay-class escort carrier>Displacement: 10,900 long tons (11,100 t) Ώ] Length: 557 ft (170 m)Beam: 75 ft (23 m)Draft: 30 ft 6 in (9.30 m)Propulsion: 2-shaft geared turbines, 16,000 shpSpeed: 19 knots (22 mph 35 km/h)Complement: 1,066Armament: • 2 × 5 in (130 mm) guns (2×1)
• 36 × 40 mm AA gunsAircraft carried: 34 |> USS Commencement Bay (CVE-105) (ex-St. Joseph Bay), the lead ship of her class, was an escort carrier and later helicopter carrier of the United States Navy, used mostly as a training ship. Commencement Bay was launched 9 May 1944 by Todd Pacific Shipyards, Tacoma, Washington sponsored by Mrs. F. Eves and commissioned 27 November 1944, Captain Roscoe Leroy Bowman in command. Commencement Bay reported at Seattle 1 February 1945 for duty as a training ship in Puget Sound until 2 October. During this time she trained 545 officers and 5,053 men of precommissioning crews for sister escort carriers, and qualified 249 pilots of eight air groups in carrier takeoffs and landings. She sailed from Bremerton 21 October 1945, and arrived at Pearl Harbor 4 November for training and to conduct carrier qualifications until sailing 27 November for Seattle and Tacoma. After visits to Los Angeles and San Pedro, she returned to Tacoma 28 January, where she was placed out of commission in reserve 30 November 1946. She was re-classified CVHE-105, 12 June 1955 and AKV-37, 7 May 1959.

Starting in the late 1880s and continuing for decades, the delta where the Puyallup River meets Commencement Bay was dredged and filled to serve the needs of shipping and industry. In 1908 the Milwaukee Road, one of the nation's most innovative railroad companies but a late arrival to Puget Sound, built a 1,500-foot-long timber railroad trestle across the marshy delta land. This was to provide linkage to the tracks of the Tacoma Eastern Railroad, which the Milwaukee Road had purchased to feed freight to its new transcontinental mainline, and access to the former Tacoma Eastern passenger depot and the freight house close to downtown. Plagued by settling soil and rampant rot, the trestle needed constant maintenance and repair and in 1937 was replaced with a span that became known as the S-Curve Trestle (sometimes called the Tacoma Trestle). This too needed frequent repair and was almost entirely rebuilt in 1962. By 1980 the Milwaukee Road was bankrupt and had ended all train service west of Montana. In 2000, Sound Transit's Sounder commuter-train service began between Tacoma and Seattle, and in 2003 its trains started using the S-Curve Trestle, sharing the single track with Tacoma Rail. In 2012 the trestle was determined to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, but it was neither nominated nor listed. It was demolished in 2017 and slated to be replaced by a new, two-track trestle later that year.

Before it was dredged and filled for use by industry and shipping, the delta where the Puyallup River meets Commencement Bay was regularly inundated by floods and covered with silt brought down the river and in on the tides. Members of the Puyallup Tribe had for many centuries lived in several villages around the bay and at scattered sites that reached as far as 15 miles up the river. But the delta itself was not suitable for daily living, as evidenced by the Puyallups' descriptive name for parts of it -- "ground flooded or dry according to the tides" ("Cultural Resources Report"). The nearest archaeological evidence of a permanent Native village, dating from about 2,000 years ago, comes from a site approximately one mile east of the location of the Milwaukee Road's S-Curve Trestle.

The British Hudson's Bay Company opened Fort Nisqually in 1833 but interfered little with the Puyallups, content to involve them in the firm's extensive trading network. The arrival of growing numbers of permanent, non-Indian settlers after 1845 led to efforts to separate the Puyallups from most of their land. These culminated in the Medicine Creek Treaty of 1854, which relegated the tribe to a 1,280-acre reservation. When the treaty wars broke out the following year, many Puyallups joined the fight against the government, and more than 500 tribal members were rounded up and confined to Squaxin Island in Puget Sound.

The tribe's fortunes would turn again after peace was restored, and presidential orders in 1857 and 1873 expanded the reservation to more than 18,000 acres. Most of this land would later be sold off to non-Natives in transactions that were in many cases legally and morally dubious. After years of struggle, in 1989 the tribe settled its land claims against the federal government, the State of Washington, the City and Port of Tacoma, and a number of private businesses for a total of $162 million.

Waiting for a Train

The early non-Native communities in the Puget Sound region used the waterways for transportation, as did the Indians. An extensive coastal steamship trade developed, but overland transportation links with the rest of the nation, or for that matter among local communities, were lacking. For this tracks and trains were needed railroads were the necessary accompaniment of the industrial development of the West.

The first transcontinental route, a collaboration between the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, was completed in May 1869 and linked Northern California and the East Coast. Hopes soared in the Northwest at the news that the Northern Pacific would provide a transcontinental link to Puget Sound. In 1873 Tacoma was anointed the railroad's future Puget Sound terminus, a decision that devastated Seattle's overconfident boosters. For Tacomans, it would be a short-lived victory, and even that was long delayed -- the Northern Pacific took a full 10 years, until 1883, to knit together a transcontinental line, and getting to Tacoma still required a train-ferry crossing of the Columbia River at Kalama. By then it was becoming clear that Seattle would be the commercial center of Western Washington, and by 1887 the Northern Pacific had transferred its terminus north to the city on Elliott Bay. Another transcontinental line, the Great Northern, finished laying tracks from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Everett in 1893 and ran a line from there south to Seattle, and on to Tacoma over tracks leased from the Northern Pacific.

Although headquartered elsewhere, both the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern built extensive shipping and storage facilities in Tacoma. Work had been going on since 1887 to make the tidelands of Commencement Bay usable to industry, and the railroads joined in, dredging waterways and filling marshy wetlands in the area the Northern Pacific had named "New Tacoma." Over the years a substantial industrial and port area was created that included wharves, warehouses, and other facilities necessary for handling goods and material that arrived by train and left by ship, or vice-versa. Industrial development radically transformed the natural wetlands of the Puyallup River delta.

Trains and Trestles

Early twentieth-century locomotives often weighed more than 200 tons and frequently hauled dozens of heavily loaded freight cars. The thousands of bridges and trestles that were built to span gaps in the terrain had to be capable of bearing the great weight and dynamic forces of the trains that crossed them. Before the widespread use of steel and concrete, the ready availability of large-dimension timbers made wood the most commonly used material, particularly for trestles.

Trestles come in two varieties -- frame and pile. In frame trestles, the individual bents (the vertical structures that support the roadbed) sit on a prepared pad, which itself rests on a footing made of piles or masonry. The main advantage of a frame trestle is that it can be built to nearly any height. Pile trestles are more suited to low crossings and to span soft or marshy terrain. Their main supports are driven deep into the ground, but the roadbed is rarely more than 35 feet above ground level.

The S-Curve Trestle in Tacoma was built as a pile trestle, the choice dictated by the soft ground it had to cross. Pile trestles can be built using a variable number of timbers driven into the ground at different angles -- the center pile or piles straight down, and those on either side leaning inward, resulting in a triangular-shaped bent with a wide base. The individual piles of each bent are interconnected with lateral bracing, and bents are often connected to each other in a like manner.

When all piles in a bent have been driven as deep as practicable, their tops are cut level and capped with a large, transverse timber beam. Several heavy stringers (also called "chords") are then laid longitudinally atop the caps, usually spanning at least two bents, and staggered. These support wood cross-ties to which the steel rails on which the trains run are attached. Trestles have bents that are close together, insuring that the settling or failure of one, or possibly more, does not render the entire structure unstable.

The Milwaukee Road's Slow March West

The Milwaukee Road was started in 1847 in Wisconsin as the Milwaukee and Waukesha Railroad Company. Its operations slowly expanded westward, but for more than 50 years the tracks extended no farther than North Dakota. Finally, in 1905, the railroad, backed by Rockefeller interests, decided to build out its system to reach Puget Sound, and it would become the last transcontinental line to be completed in America. Formally called the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, the railroad wanted to capture part of the trade in logs and timber products, and the choice of Tacoma as its western terminus was influenced in large part by the city's proximity to major logging operations. Other considerations were Commencement Bay's excellent harbor and the fact that the Great Northern and the Northern Pacific already had the Seattle waterfront pretty well tied up.

The Milwaukee Road soon headed west, buying or leasing tracks from local railroad companies and laying down new track of its own. The goal was to create a 2,200-mile route (measured from Chicago) to Tacoma and Seattle, with the lines to the two Puget Sound cities splitting off at Black River Junction. Trains would have to cross five mountain ranges -- the Saddles, Belts, Rockies, Bitter Roots, and Cascades. Fifty-one tunnels were needed and a far larger number of bridges and trestles.

A year before the Milwaukee Road was due to arrive, Tacoma's business community was busy drumming up local enthusiasm. In April 1908 the city's Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade took out a full-page advertisement in Sunset Magazine. Quoting a railroad company attorney, it promised:

"The plans of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul provide for greater development in Tacoma than the people have any idea of. It is here that the business of the road will be done. The headquarters of the company's ocean steamship business will be in Tacoma and this city will have the road's largest western terminals . " ("Tacoma Traffic Center . ").

Reaching Tacoma

In a display of brilliant engineering and efficient construction, all the gaps in the line from Chicago to Puget Sound were filled in only three years. On May 19, 1909, the last spike of the nation's last transcontinental railroad was driven in a low-key ceremony held just west of Garrison, Montana. The railroad initially operated service between Tacoma and Malden, and the first passenger train to cross the trestle departed Tacoma on June 14, 1909. The first freight service also started in June 1909, and through freight service between Chicago and Tacoma began on July 4, 1909. In May 1911, the Milwaukee Road started carrying passengers the entire distance from Chicago to Tacoma and Seattle on its new, all-steel Olympian and Columbian trains. The railroad used the passenger depot built by the Tacoma Eastern Railroad at 26th Avenue and A Street.

Before the mainline to Tacoma reached the Puyallup River after splitting off at Black River Junction, it split again at Tacoma Junction. One set of tracks led northwest to the Milwaukee Waterway on Commencement Bay, where the company's impressive shipping facilities had been built. The other crossed the Puyallup River and continued almost due west to the company's huge freighthouse on the filled tidelands and the Tacoma Eastern passenger depot about 2,000 feet farther west. The tracks crossed a low, swampy area that began near the intersection of E 25th and East K streets. Much of this had already been dredged, filled, and developed by 1908, but the ground remained unstable and poorly compacted and a trestle was required to carry trains across it. Compared to other such structures along the railroad's 2,200-mile route, this one would be neither particularly high nor particularly long, but its location on unstable, wet, and poorly compacted soil made construction difficult and adversely affected its stability and durability. A contemporary report by the Milwaukee Road noted:

"The land between K and G Streets [the area to be spanned by the trestle] was very swampy and considerable settlement and subsidence has occurred on the fill at this place. The property was largely covered with buildings at the time of purchase, which were moved or razed at considerable expense. It was necessary to regrade the road and street crossings and rebuild sidewalks, where they were encountered. The street in front of the freighthouse and team tracks was regraded to accommodate those facilities” ("Historic Inventory Report").

The Original Milwaukee Road Trestle

There is little information available on the exact details of the Milwaukee Road's 1908 trestle, but it has been described as "a series of low timber pile and frame bridges and elevated grade tracks" (Sullivan). It ran from near East K Street to the railroad's freighthouse being built at the same time on E 25th Street between East D and East G streets. The trestle was a difficult build construction records from 1908 noted that at one location workers driving piles "attained a penetration of 126 feet by driving three 45-foot piles, one on top of another, and . at that depth the pile was still going down at a good rate" (Sullivan).

After completion, the trestle was a maintenance nightmare. The weight and vibration of trains crossing the span forced the support piles deeper into the ground, causing the tracks to sag. To make matters worse, the constant presence of ground moisture encouraged rot. Near-continuous repair and replacement was necessary to keep the trestle operational, and by the mid 1930s it was becoming clear to the railroad that it would be best to simply start all over again.

The Original S-Curve Trestle (1937)

By 1937 the worst effects of the Great Depression had waned, the railroads enjoyed increased freight and passenger traffic, and as war approached in Europe the Tacoma waterfront became an important shipping point for the U.S. military and Fort Lewis, located just a few miles to the south. The Milwaukee Road decided it was time to replace the Tacoma Trestle with one having greater height and sturdier support. The new open-deck timber trestle would be approximately 1,530 feet long, situated between E 25th and E 26th streets, and extend from approximately East K Street to the Milwaukee Road's freighthouse at East G Street. A short distance beyond that the rails went south and branched off into lines to Morton, Hoquiam, Raymond, and Longview

Large piles were used, some measuring up to 10 inches square and 85 feet in length. Individual bents were spaced approximately 16 feet apart along most of the trestle's length, but there was a 54-foot uninterrupted span made of riveted steel I-beams over the Northern Pacific tracks between East J and K streets (known as the "brewery crossing") and a similar but longer 82-foot steel span where the trestle passed over a crossing near East G Street at the other end. There were also three locations where heavy timbers were used to span gaps of less than 30 feet.

The piles used to build the bents were creosoted Douglas fir, and in most cases were driven to a depth of 50 to 55 feet. There were 97 bents total, of nine different heights to accommodate the unevenness of the terrain. A six-pile configuration was used for most bents, with the two center piles driven straight into the ground and the four lateral piles, two on either side, driven at an angle so they leaned it at the top. The width of the bents at their bases ranged from 16 to 21 feet. Two bents used only five piles each, dispensing with one of the center ones. The individual bents differed in other ways except for the two steel bridge sections, railroad ties were laid atop either six or eight longitudinal timber beams (called "stringers" or "chords") that varied in size according to location, but were never smaller than 10 inches by 17 1/4 inches. Some bents had four diagonal cross braces and two horizontal ones, others only two diagonals and a single horizontal.

There was one significant deviation from the path of the original trestle. About 200 feet west of its starting point near East K Street, the new structure turned slightly to the south and maintained this deviation for approximately 500 feet before straightening out. Measured from E 25th Street, which parallels the track, the curve moved the rails about 30 feet south of a straight-line path. It is this feature that led to the structure being called the S-Curve Trestle, although from the air it is a very relaxed "S" indeed. The precise reason for this deviation from a straight path is not apparent today.

The new trestle was an improvement, but it did not solve the underlying problems. The structure continued to settle and continued to decay, and major pile-replacement projects were necessary in 1947, 1958, and 1960. A 1961 derailment damaged the roadbed between bents 11 and 21. That same year, the Milwaukee Road ended its transcontinental passenger service to concentrate on freight hauling. In 1962, 80 of the 97 bents of the S-Curve Trestle were replaced, and additional work in 1976 replaced many of the stringers and railroad ties.

The S-Curve trestle was designed in 1937 to handle the heavier locomotives then in use. Modern locomotives both weigh less and create smaller dynamic forces and less vibration than older models. As the newer engines came into widespread use, the settling of the trestle's piles diminished, and after the major renovations of 1962 the span survived with more modest upkeep, although timber rot remained a serious and ongoing problem.

The Milwaukee Runs Out of Road

The Milwaukee Road may not have been the largest railroad company in the nation, but it was one of the most innovative. The Great Northern had electrified its line through the Cascade Tunnel as early as 1909, but in late 1916 the Milwaukee Road began much more extensive electrification, starting in Montana and Idaho. Work to electrify the line from Othello, Washington, to Tacoma began in early 1917 and was completed in March 1920. At Tacoma, the railroad electrified the line across the trestle to its passenger station for the passenger trains, and the line to its rail yard and locomotive shop on the tideflats.

Electrification entailed considerable up-front expense but saved money in the long run by using plentiful and cheap hydropower generated from rivers along the way and distributed through railroad-built substations. It also protected passengers from the not-insignificant risk of tunnel asphyxiation from the smoke and exhaust of steam and diesel engines. Eventually, a total of 656 miles, more than a quarter of the Milwaukee Road's route west, would be electrified -- 440 miles between Harlowton, Montana, and Avery, Idaho (which came online in early 1917) and 216 miles between Othello in Eastern Washington and Tacoma (which came online in 1920). Combined, it was the longest stretch of electrified train service in the world. But not until 1927 did company's overhead wires finally reach Seattle.

Among the other improvements the Milwaukee Road introduced or was early to adopt were air-conditioned passenger cars, refrigerated freight cars for perishables, high-speed passenger trains, and the use of containerized shipping. The railroad had been financially troubled during much of its existence, but did well during the post-World War II years and through the 1950s. With the growth of air travel, the passenger service of most railroads were operating at a loss, and in 1961 the Milwaukee Road stopped carrying passengers on its Tacoma/Seattle-to-Chicago. The company would spend much of the next two decades trying to shed the railroad business through merger or sale. As part of this effort, needed maintenance was deferred to make the line's balance sheets more attractive.

By 1970 the trend among railroads was toward greater consolidation, and that year the Great Northern and the Northern Pacific merged into Burlington Northern, bringing economies of scale and other competitive advantages. However, as a condition for approval of the merger, the Milwaukee Road gained access to Portland, and for a time it benefitted from the increased freight traffic. Unfortunately, the years of deferred maintenance soon caught up with it. The railbed and tracks on which the trains ran began to fail, necessitating slower speeds and causing frequent delays. Freight schedules became more advisory than actual, and shippers fled. Derailments became alarmingly frequent during a particularly bad spell, sections of the main line through Montana averaged one derailment a day. On some tracks, particularly in the mountains, trains could run no faster than 10 m.p.h. Broken equipment often was parked rather than repaired. Finally, on December 19, 1977, the Milwaukee Road, short on equipment, shorter on money, and saddled with thousands of miles of deteriorating track and thousands of tons of aged or broken equipment, filed for reorganization with the federal bankruptcy court in Chicago.

The bankruptcy proceedings were long and contentious. Unions, shippers, and communities along the railroad's route fought its request to close its western operations. But on January 31, 1980, the Interstate Commerce Commission voted to permit the Milwaukee Road to walk away from all of its lines between Miles City, Montana, and Seattle-Tacoma. Service ceased within a month, and the railroad's assets west of Montana were sold off piecemeal or simply abandoned. Sea-Land Services Inc., a huge shipping enterprise, ended up with much of the railroad's Commencement Bay property and facilities.

When the company finally emerged from bankruptcy, it was a Midwest-only line, and even this was gone by 1985, taken over by the Soo Line. The storied Milwaukee Road of old was no more and would never be again, but the S-Curve Trestle it had built in Tacoma nearly 50 years earlier still stood. The City of Tacoma eventually took ownership of it, and in 1998 Tacoma Rail system began to use the trestle as part of its Mountain Division line.

Hello to Sound Transit

The long and complicated history of efforts to create a regional mass-transit system lies outside the scope of this essay. Suffice it to say that after years of controversy, debate, and false starts, in September 1993 Snohomish, Pierce, and King counties established a Regional Transit Authority (RTA). In October 1994, the authority adopted a Regional Transit Plan, only to see it shot down by voters the following March. There followed more than a decade of planning and study, and in May 1996 the authority tried again, proposing "Sound Move," a 10-year plan to link Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, and points in between by commuter rail. In August 1996 the RTA adopted the name "Sound Transit" for the entire system and "Sounder" for the planned regional commuter-rail service. The plan finally won voter approval in the November 1996 election.

The Weyerhaeuser Company took over much of the bankrupt Milwaukee Road's track near Commencement Bay, including the S-Curve Trestle. In the late 1990s, the tracks were sold to Tacoma Public Works, which in turn entered into an agreement with Tacoma Rail for the latter's use and maintenance of the line, and it would subsequently share the tracks and trestle with Sound Transit's Sounder commuter trains. On September 18, 2000, the first regularly scheduled commuter train between Tacoma and Seattle departed a temporary platform that was located west of the Tacoma Amtrak station on Portland Avenue. A second train departed a half-hour later, and the two reversed course for the evening commute back to Tacoma. Total ridership that first day was about 1,100.

As automobile traffic for the morning and evening commutes worsened, the popularity of the Sounder commuter train grew. In 2002 a third train was added to the schedule and in September 2003 the Tacoma Dome Station was opened at Freighthouse Square, where the Milwaukee Road's old warehouse had been preserved. By 2012, with Lakewood added as an additional stop, the Sounder South line to Pierce County had grown to 10 round trips a day (including five from the Lakewood station) that ran every 20 minutes and carried an average of 10,500 weekday riders.

Out with the Old, In with the New

The sleek Sounder commuter trains operated almost entirely on tracks that had been around for quite a bit longer than Sound Transit, including the single set atop the S-Curve Trestle. As the popularity of rail commuting grew and the number of trains and runs increased, the trestle required constant maintenance and become a bottleneck for rail traffic. In 2008 voters approved a "Sound Transit 2" ballot measure, which included funding for a new trestle, estimated to cost $62 million (in 2014 dollars). Original plans called for construction to take place in 2023, but a $10-million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation moved the estimated completion date to 2017.

In an assessment issued in December 2012, the state Department of Archaeology and Historical Preservation determined that the S-Curve Trestle was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, reversing at least two earlier conclusions. Although it was extensively rebuilt since 1937, the trestle retained almost exactly the same appearance, and by 2012 even the major renovation work of 1962 was 50 years old. The finding of historical significance was based on the trestle's "association to the broad patterns of development and growth of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific and its relationship to assisting with the movement of goods to and from Tacoma." It was also determined to be "a resource that embodies the distinguishing characteristics of its type a RR trestle . and is of unusual design as compared to other like resources around the state" (Letter, Houser to Paul).

Despite this finding, the trestle was neither nominated nor listed. Preserving the old trestle was economically and practically infeasible and in 2014 the design phase of the replacement project was underway. The historic S-Curve Trestle was demolished in 2017 and its replacement, a double-track rail bridge, was to be completed by the end of the year.

Tacoma Rail freight train, S-Curve Trestle, Tacoma, June 17, 2006

Photo by Steve Carter, Courtesy

Sound Transit Sounder commuter train, S-Curve Trestle, Tacoma

Puyallup River delta at Commencement Bay, Mount Rainier in distance, Tacoma, ca. 1885

Courtesy Washington Historical Society (2013.0.194)

Map, Commencement Bay and tidelands, early development, Tacoma, 1888

Courtesy United States Coast and Geodetic Survey

Early development, Commencement Bay tideflats, Tacoma, 1891

Courtesy Washington State Historical Society (2013.0.196)

Tacoma Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade promotional advertisement for Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, Sunset Magazine, 1908

Marker, last spike, Milwaukee Road Pacific Division, near Garrison, Montana, May 19, 1909

Courtesy The Milwaukee Road Magazine

Japanese laborers and railroad officials, Milwaukee Road "last spike" ceremony, near Garrison, Montana, May 19, 1909

Courtesy Montana Historical Society

Milwaukee Road freighthouse, Tacoma, 1909

Courtesy Railway & Marine News

Passenger coaches, North Bend depot, ca. 1910

Advertisement, Milwaukee Road, The Seattle Times, May 27, 1911

Old Milwaukee Road passenger depot (left), formerly Tacoma Eastern depot, 25th and A streets, Tacoma, May 2, 1912

Courtesy Washington State Historical Society (2006.0.263)

Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway terminal freight yard, Tacoma, 1918

Photo by Asahel Curtis, Courtesy UW Special Collections (CUR1379)

Milwaukee Road depot, E 11th and Milwaukee Way, Tacoma, 1954

Courtesy The Milwaukee Road Magazine

Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad silk train, ca. 1921

Courtesy MOHAI (1983.10.2199.1)

Milwaukee Road docks, warehouses, Tacoma, ca. 1936

Decal, Milwaukee Road's Olympian passenger train, Chicago to Tacoma, ca. 1925

Courtesy Washington State Historical Society (2007.8.1)

Decal, Milwaukee Road's Olympian Hiawatha passenger train, ca. 1947

Courtesy Washington State Historical Society (1997.1.237)

Milwaukee Road's Olympian Hiawatha poster, ca. 1952

Sound Transit Sounder commuter train, S-Curve Trestle, Tacoma

Drawing, typical six-pile bent, S-Curve Trestle, Tacoma, 1981

Commencement Bay-class escort carrier

The Commencement Bay-class escort aircraft carriers were the last class of escort carriers built for the US Navy in World War II.

  • 10,900 long tons (11,100 t) standard
  • 24,100 long tons (24,500 t) full load
  • 525 ft (160 m) wl
  • 557 ft 1 in (169.80 m) oa
  • 75 ft (23 m)
  • 105 ft 2 in (32.05 m) flight deck
  • 2 × 5"/38 caliber guns (1 × 2)
  • 36 × 40 mm Bofors gun (3 × 4, 12 × 2)
  • 20 × 20 mm Oerlikon cannons

The ships were based on the Maritime Commission type T3 Tanker hull, which gave them a displacement of approximately 23,000 tons and a length of 557 feet (170 m). Unlike most earlier escort carrier classes, which were laid down as something else and converted to aircraft carriers mid-construction, the Commencement Bays were built as carriers from the keel up. Their general layout was similar to the Sangamon-class escort carriers, but some of the Sangamon's engineering shortcomings were addressed.

They entered service late in World War II – USS Commencement Bay launched on 9 May 1944 – so most of them saw little or no operational service. Thirty-three of them were ordered but many were cancelled prior to completion. Nineteen saw commissioned service in the US Navy, four were broken up on the ways at the end of the war, two were accepted from the builders, but never commissioned and the remainder were cancelled before being laid down.

After the war they were seen as potential helicopter, anti-submarine, or auxiliary (transport) carriers, and a number of ships served in these roles during the Korean War. The oncoming jet age ended their careers, as the ships were no longer large enough to safely carry the much larger jet aircraft of the late 1950s, and all units were out of service or reclassified by 1960.

CVE-106 U.S.S. Commencement Bay - History

A bay of Puget Sound, near Tacoma, Wash.

(CVE 106 dp. 11,373 1. 677'1" b. 75' ew. 105'2"
dr. 32' s. 19 k. cpl. 1,066 a. 2 5" cl. Commencement

Commencement Bay (CVE-106) was launched 9 May 1944 by Seattle Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Wash. sponsored by Mrs. F. Eves and commissioned 27 November, 1944, Captain R. L. Bowman in command.

Commencement Bay reported at Seattle 1 February 1945 for duty as a training ship in Puget Sound until 2 October. During this time she trained 545 officers and 5,053 men of precommissioning crews for sister escort carriers, and qualified 249 pilots of eight air groups in carrier takeoffs and landings. She sailed from Bremerton 21 October 1945, and arrived at Pearl Harbor 4 l November for training and to conduct carrier qualifications until sailing 27 November for Seattle and Tacoma.

After visits to Los Angeles and San Pedro, she returned to Tacoma 28 January, where she was placed out of commission in reserve 30 November 1946. She was reclassified CVHE-106, 12 June 1955 and AKV-37, 7 May 1959.

On May 31, 1919, Pierce County voters approve the "comprehensive scheme" of development prepared for the newly formed Port of Tacoma by consulting engineer Frank J. Walsh. The Port, which was created in a November 1918 vote, will inaugurate shipping at its first pier on March 25, 1921. Over the next nine decades, the Port of Tacoma will become a leading container port, serving as a "Pacific Gateway" for trade between Asia and the central and eastern United States as well as the Northwest, and handling most of the maritime commerce between Alaska and the lower 48 states. With ample room to expand on the tideflats fronting the deep waters of Commencement Bay, the Port will develop multiple waterways accommodating the largest ocean-going cargo ships and will create efficient intermodal transportation connections between ships and road or rail, often right on the dock.

Second Try Succeeds

Longshoremen, business leaders, and politicians from Tacoma were prominent in the ranks of reformers who in 1911 won passage of Washington's Port District Act, authorizing local voters to form public port districts to acquire and improve harbor facilities necessary to retain and expand maritime trade and commerce. But a year later, when proponents placed on the November 1912 ballot a proposal to create a public Port of Tacoma encompassing all of Pierce County, the measure was narrowly defeated. City voters supported the proposal, but many rural residents feared that a port would only benefit urban businesses.

In 1918, as the Tacoma waterfront hummed with activity generated by World War I, port proponents tried again. W. H. Paulhamus, a state senator and president of the Puyallup and Sumner Fruit Growers' Canning Company, gained rural support by arguing that a public port could build a cold-storage building on the waterfront, making it easier for farmers to preserve and ship their produce. Steamship company executives and other businessmen advocated for the port measure, as did the Tacoma Daily Ledger and longshore union members.

This time voters across Pierce County were convinced and they approved creation of the Port of Tacoma on November 5, 1918. Edward Kloss, Charles W. Orton, and Chester Thorne were elected port commissioners. They hired engineer Frank J. Walsh to create the "comprehensive scheme of harbor improvement" that the Port District Act required. Under the law, county voters had to approve both the harbor plan and the bonds that the Port would have to sell to fund construction.

Planning and Building

Walsh prepared a plan for harbor development on 240 acres of land along the Middle Waterway, where he recommended that the port's first two piers be built. The port commission placed the plan, and a measure authorizing the sale of $2.5 million in bonds to fund it, on the ballot for May 31, 1919. Voters approved both measures by fairly wide margins. However, support for the port bonds was weaker outside Tacoma, and it was several days before it was clear that the bond measure had barely, by a few hundred votes, surpassed the required 60 percent threshold.

Construction began on March 25, 1920, and exactly one year later the Edmore arrived at the newly finished Pier 1 to take on the first cargo shipped from the Port of Tacoma. Port business grew so quickly that within a year the commissioners approved a 300-foot extension of Pier 1. By 1923 Pier 2 was completed. During the 1920s, the Port's cargo tonnage doubled. By the end of the decade, at least 25 steamship lines made regular stops in Tacoma.

The Port Commission worked throughout the decade to build the promised cold-storage plant that had helped persuade voters to approve the port. The plant opened in 1931. In the meantime, voters in 1928 approved a new port bond issue allowing construction of a grain elevator that began operation in 1930.

Depression and War

When the Depression hit Tacoma's waterfront, cargo tonnage dropped sharply. Tacoma's maritime commerce rebounded somewhat after Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) became president. Roosevelt's New Deal reforms gave unions more clout than they previously had. When employers refused collective bargaining, longshore and other shipping-industry unions shut down ports on the entire West Coast in the great waterfront strike of 1934. Federal arbitration settled the strike in favor of the longshore union, creating the union hiring hall that still exists. Although significant, the hiring hall victory did not directly affect the Tacoma longshore locals, which were fully closed shop even before the strike, the only large longshore unions on the coast to enjoy that distinction.

The Depression slowed the Port's development until the 1939 state legislature gave public ports new powers to develop industrial sites. Port of Tacoma commissioners were among the first to take advantage of the new authority, setting up an Industrial Development District south of 11th Street between Hylebos Creek and Milwaukee Way. The Port began to recruit tenants, but World War II put the project on hold.

Like so much else, the Tacoma waterfront was largely given over to the military effort from 1942 to 1945. Thousands of troops from nearby Fort Lewis were dispatched to the Pacific theater from Port of Tacoma piers. Longshoremen were busier than during the Depression, but not all found full-time work, due in part to the fact that Seattle took the lion's share of the region's army and navy business. Increased mechanization on the docks also reduced the number of longshore workers needed, as the military spent freely on new equipment like forklifts and larger cranes.

A Key Advantage

After the war ended in 1945, the Port, like the rest of the country, faced a rocky transition back to a civilian economy. With the massive war mobilization over, waterfront manufacturing declined sharply. Maritime trade fell by 90 percent in 1946, to well below pre-war levels. The Port of Tacoma Commission responded to the nationwide downturn by renewing its interrupted efforts to attract manufacturers to the Industrial Development District it had established before the war. But even after Purex, Concrete Technology, Stauffer Chemical, and Western Boat Building all set up shop in the Industrial District, the port had not returned to pre-war business levels.

In the early 1950s, the commissioners embarked on further improvements to attract more development. They dredged the Industrial Waterway, located on the tideflats between the Puyallup River and Hylebos Creek and Waterway, to accomodate larger ships. In 1955, the commission hired Tibbetts-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton (TAMS) to prepare a detailed comprehensive plan for future port development. The study proposed making maximizing a key competitive advantage: The Port of Tacoma's significant acreage on the deep waters of Commencement Bay was one of the few locations in Puget Sound where industry had direct access to deep water. The TAMS plan called for the Port to extend and widen the Industrial (later Blair) Waterway and Hylebos Waterway and construct ship-turning basins adjacent to the Industrial District at the ends of the lengthened waterways.

Mechanization and Modernization

In 1957, Tacoma longshore workers ended a 20-year rift by voting to affiliate with the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU), headed by Harry Bridges (1901-1990). As ILWU members, Tacoma workers were parties to the Mechanization and Modernization Agreement that Bridges and the ILWU negotiated with West Coast shipping and stevedoring management. The agreement gave employers freedom to introduce both "mechanization" (labor-saving machinery) and "modernization" (work rules requiring greater efficiency) in return for a commitment of no layoffs and a guaranteed 35 hours of work (or pay) per week.

The agreement opened the way for employers to take advantage of two new, more efficient cargo-loading methods being developed during the 1950s. Bulk ships carrying large cargos of loose material like grain or ore were loaded and unloaded by large hoses that sucked or blew the material from ship to storage or vice versa. Container ships allowed most other cargo to be loaded into a large box (20 or 40 feet long) at the factory or warehouse, hauled by truck or train to the dock, and lifted aboard ship by crane.

Bulk and container ships were not yet common on the Tacoma waterfront when the agreement was ratified in 1961, but signs of change at the port were clear as dredging cranes and landfill reshaped the tideflats while warehouses and manufacturing shops were constructed for newly arriving businesses. Kaiser Aluminum reopened the aluminum smelter it had originally constructed on the tideflats in 1941.

New Leadership

In 1964, the port commission hired Ernest L. "Roy" Perry as general manager. He served until 1976, completing the expansion of the Blair and Hylebos Waterways called for in the TAMS plan and bringing the Port of Tacoma into the container age. The Port built new warehouses and piers for container cargo at Terminal 4 near the mouth of Blair Waterway and at Terminal 7 on Sitcum Waterway. The Port of Tacoma entered the container business in 1970, when the first container crane was built at Terminal 7.

Two prominent alumina domes -- sometimes termed the "original Tacoma domes" -- were also built at Terminal 7, to store ore for use at the Kaiser smelter. Pierce County Terminal was constructed at the head of Blair Waterway, where large amounts of storage space allowed the terminal to handle special cargo like locomotives, military equipment, and logs the terminal also served as the first major center for the growing number of automobiles imported from Asia through Tacoma.

In 1968 Perry increased the Port's investment in industrial property by acquiring 500 acres in Frederickson, an unincorporated area of Pierce County 13 miles south of the port's Commencement Bay terminals. Over the years Frederickson has developed as a major industrial center.

During the 1970s, Tacoma continued to be a major exporter of forest products, as it had been since its founding. Two new export facilities were built in 1972 and 1973: Blair Terminal, with two berths for log exports, was followed by Weyerhaeuser's $4.5 million, 25-acre wood-chip facility on Blair Waterway. In 1975, the Port significantly increased its capacity to handle another leading export, grain, by building the Continental Grain Terminal, with a capacity of three million bushels, on Commencement Bay north of downtown Tacoma.

Rapid Growth

Worldwide trade increased at record rates in the 1970s, much faster than its growth in prior decades. Growth was particularly rapid at the Port of Tacoma, much of it in trade with Pacific Rim countries, whose share of Washington state trade rose steadily. After 1979, when the 30-year American trade embargo was lifted, the People's Republic of China joined Japan, Taiwan, and Korea as major trading partners for the Port of Tacoma. By 1982, the Port had tripled tonnage moved and quadrupled revenues over the levels of a decade earlier.

The Port of Tacoma's domestic trade also increased exponentially in the 1970s. Local 23 longshoremen worked with Port management to convince Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE), a leading shipper to Alaska, to move its operations from Seattle to Tacoma. TOTE's first ship began calling at Terminal 7 in 1976 and the company added a second vessel in 1977.

The Port of Tacoma helped pioneer a new phase in trade and transportation history in 1981 when it opened its North Intermodal Yard, the first dockside railyard on the West Coast, located on the main port peninsula between the docks of Terminal 7 on Sitcum Waterway and Terminal 4 on Blair Waterway. The success of the Port's pioneering intermodal connection led to expansions and upgrades of the North Intermodal Yard throughout the 1980s. The Port also opened the South Intermodal Yard, immediately across E 11th Street from Sitcum Waterway, and the new intermodal connections helped fuel the Port of Tacoma's rapid growth during the 1980s. In subsequent decades, the Port built new dockside intermodal yards in conjunction with two new terminal projects, Washington United Terminals and Pierce County Terminal.

New Arrivals

After the giant container line Sea-Land announced in 1983 that it would move from Seattle to Tacoma, the Port designed and built the $44 million Sea-Land Terminal on Sitcum Waterway, and constructed a new terminal for TOTE's Alaska service to make room for the Sea-Land container terminal. Within weeks after Sea-Land's first ship docked in 1985, another large container shipping company, the Danish line Maersk, arrived. (In 1999, Maersk bought Sea-Land's international shipping business, creating Maersk Sealand, the world's largest container shipping operation, which remained a major shipper from Tacoma until moving to Seattle in 2009.)

In 1988, K Line, from Japan, became the third large container line in three years to begin serving Tacoma. The additional container ships brought further growth to the Port's intermodal yards. In 1987, the old United Grain Terminal, one of the Port's earliest projects (which closed after the larger Continental Grain facility opened), was demolished to allow expansion of the North Intermodal Yard to handle the increase in container traffic K Line would bring.

The Port continued to grow as the 1990s opened. In 1991, another major container shipper, Taiwan's Evergreen Line, began serving the Port's Terminal 4. The new arrival helped the port reach the one-million-container mark that year for the first time in its history. Before the Port could develop the upper Blair Waterway to handle the increasing number of cargo ships, a replacement had to be found for the Blair Bridge, which carried E 11th Street over the waterway. The drawbridge opening of 150 feet, more than adequate when the bridge was built in the 1950s, was too small for the giant container ships of the late twentieth century. In 1997, the replacement route via State Route 509 was opened, allowing the Blair Bridge to be removed and unlocking the upper Blair Waterway for development.

That same year Hyundai Merchant Marine entered a 30-year lease for the first container terminal to be built on the upper Blair Waterway. Opened in 1999 and named Washington United Terminals (WUT), the facility included the Hyundai Intermodal Yard. Container volumes set records in four of the next seven years, increasing by 62 percent overall.

Transition and Progress

The Tacoma tideflats' transition away from large manufacturing continued as the Kaiser Aluminum smelter, which had at its peak employed hundreds of workers, closed in 2000 due to increasing power costs and the effects of a long strike. Although the loss of jobs hurt the local economy at the time, the 96-acre Kaiser property soon became a key part of the Port's future development plans.

The attacks that occurred on September 11 had lasting effects on the Port as on the rest of the world. Beginning in 2002, the Port of Tacoma, along with other ports in Puget Sound and around the country, received federal grants to test and upgrade security at the ports and to improve "supply chain security" from the point of origin abroad to the final U.S. destination.

The Port's plans for expansion on upper Blair Waterway received a major boost in 2003, when Evergreen Line agreed to lease a new container terminal to be built at the head of the waterway, replacing the old Pierce County Terminal that had handled bulk cargo. Until then, some container shippers had doubts about the accessibility of the two-mile-long waterway, but with Evergreen in place others soon expressed interest. The new 171-acre, $210 million Pierce County Terminal and Intermodal Yard, which the Port built for Evergreen over the next two years, was the largest construction project in Port history.

In October 2003, the Port opened the $40 million, 146.5-acre Marshall Avenue Auto Facility, which could store and process nearly 20,000 vehicles at a time. Two months later, the one-millionth Mazda imported through the port drove off a transport ship at Blair Terminal and made its way to the Marshall Avenue facility.

The year 2005 brought a chain reaction of new terminal openings. In January, Evergreen Line moved to the newly opened Pierce County Terminal. In July, the new Husky Terminal, at Evergreen's former Terminal 4 location, doubled the presence of K Line at Tacoma. And in October, the Port completed the Olympic Container Terminal, an expansion of K Line's prior home at Terminal 7.

Facing the Future

The three new terminals, and continued increases in imports from Asia, especially China, led to two more record-setting years: volume topped two million containers for the first time in 2005 and rose further to set an all-time record in 2006. After that, Tacoma's container volumes declined, with the sharpest drop being from 2008 to 2009, as world-wide cargo traffic slumped due to the recession following the collapse of the U.S. housing bubble. The economic downturn also caused the Port to put some plans for expansion on hold. In 2007, when the Port and NYK Line of Japan entered an agreement for NYK to begin service to Tacoma in 2012, the plan was to construct a new container terminal on the east side of Blair Waterway. Those plans were altered and now call for NYK ships to use an existing terminal when they begin calling in 2012. By late 2010 and the start of 2011, container traffic appeared to be rebounding, as existing shippers increased service, with K Line bringing new, larger ships to Tacoma and Evergreen resuming routes it had suspended during the downturn.

Meanwhile, the Port continued to plan for the future. As it readied property for development when the economy improved, the Port proceeded with major environmental projects, including clean up of former industrial sites and wetland restoration along its waterways, planning to spend nearly $40 million by 2015. In 2010, the Port of Tacoma became the first in the Pacific Northwest to provide shore power for cargo vessels. The shore power plug installation at the TOTE terminal allows TOTE cargo ships to shut off their diesel engines while docked, reducing emissions by as much as 90 percent.

More than 90 years after its creation by the voters of Pierce County, the Port of Tacoma continues to transform the landscape of Commencement Bay and the economy of the region and to play a major role in international and domestic trade.

Washington Public Ports Association

Longshore strade drivers, Port of Tacoma

Map of Port of Tacoma showing Port's terminals, intermodal yards, and waterways (from left: Puyallup River, Sitcum Waterway, Blair Waterway, and Hylebos Waterway with aquatic habitat to right), Tacoma, ca. 2008

Edward Kloss, Charles W. Orton, and Chester Thorne, first Port of Tacoma Commissioners, 1918

Frank J. Walsh Master Plan for Port of Tacoma, 1918

Pacific Coast Steamship Company's Edmore, first ship to call at Port of Tacoma, March 25, 1921

United Grain Terminal (foreground) and cold storage facility (background), Port of Tacoma, 1930s

Todd-Pacific Shipyard (center), and Port of Tacoma piers (upper left), Commencement Bay, 1940s

Dredging Blair Waterway, Port of Tacoma, Tacoma, 1966

Totem Ocean Trailer Express "roll on/ roll off" vessel serving Alaska, docked at Terminal 7, Port of Tacoma, ca. 1977

Bulk vessel loading grain at Cargill Continental Grain Terminal, Port of Tacoma

The Sunrise delivers two Hitachi container cranes for Sea-Land's Port of Tacoma terminal, December 1984

Dredging for construction of Port of Tacoma's Pierce County Terminal, Tacoma, December 18, 2002

First Evergreen Marine Corporation ship to call at new Pierce County Terminal, Port of Tacoma, December 22, 2004

The Yang Ming Heights berthed at Olympic Container Terminal, Port of Tacoma, ca. 2005

Puget Sound Wastewater Carries Emerging Contaminants

A new study of emerging contaminants entering Puget Sound in wastewater plant effluent found some of the nation’s highest concentrations of these chemical compounds, and detected many in fish at concentrations that may affect their growth or behavior.

The study by scientists from NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the University of Washington tested for 150 of the contaminants and detected 81 of the compounds in wastewater flowing into Puget Sound estuaries. They include pharmaceuticals such as the antidepressant Prozac and the diabetes medication metformin, personal care products such as antibacterial compounds from soap and industrial chemicals.

The study also examined juvenile Chinook salmon and Pacific staghorn sculpin, both fish native to Puget Sound, and found 42 of the emerging compounds in their tissue. Some of the compounds such as fluoxetine (also known as Prozac), the diabetes drug metformin and the antibacterial compound triclosan were present in fish tissues at levels that may be high enough to adversely affect their growth, reproduction, or behavior.

“There’s also the problem of not knowing how these chemicals act in fish when they are found together as a mixture,” said James Meador, a NOAA Fisheries research scientist and lead author of the research published this week in the journal Environmental Pollution. “Mixtures such as these may result in responses that occur at lower concentrations than single compounds alone.”

The research did not examine the potential effects on human health of consuming fish from Puget Sound, and it is unknown if these levels of emerging contaminants detected in fish could affect people.

The study funded in large part by the Washington Department of Ecology examined wastewater plant effluent, estuary water, and fish found in the Puyallup River estuary in Tacoma’s Commencement Bay, Sinclair Inlet in Bremerton, and the Nisqually River estuary near Tacoma. The Nisqually estuary was included as a reference site because it does not have a major wastewater treatment plant and has been used historically as a reference site for toxicity studies. Unexpectedly, they found that fish and water in the Nisqually estuary also contained high concentrations of some emerging compounds.

The study also noted that the relatively high pH of seawater often makes the contaminants more bioavailable and therefore more likely to be absorbed by marine fish compared to fish in freshwater, Meador said.

The researchers noted that since the two major wastewater treatment plants they examined in the Puyallup and Sinclair Inlet discharged a total of 71 million liters per day, “it is possible that a substantial load of potentially harmful chemicals are introduced into streams and nearshore marine waters daily.” If the two wastewater plants sampled in the study are representative of others around Puget Sound, the researchers calculated that nearly 300 pounds of the emerging contaminants likely enter Puget Sound every day.

“When you add it all up, you get millions of gallons of effluent discharging into these estuaries,” Meador said. “This is right in the area where juvenile salmon and other fish are feeding and growing.”

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Product Description

USS Commencement Bay CVE 105

"The Bay Wake"

World War II Cruise Book

Bring the Cruise Book to Life with this Multimedia Presentation

This CD will Exceed your Expectations

A great part of Naval history.

You would be purchasing the USS Commencement Bay cruise book during World War II. Each page has been placed on a CD for years of enjoyable computer viewing. The CD comes in a plastic sleeve with a custom label. Every page has been enhanced and is readable. Rare cruise books like this sell for a hundred dollars or more when buying the actual hard copy if you can find one for sale.

This would make a great gift for yourself or someone you know who may have served aboard her. Usually only ONE person in the family has the original book. The CD makes it possible for other family members to have a copy also. You will not be disappointed we guarantee it.

Some of the items in this book are as follows:

  • Commissioning 1944
  • Shakedown training
  • Navy Day
  • San Pedro Pearl Harbor Tacoma
  • Group Photos all Divisions and air groups
  • Sports and recreation
  • Shipboard entertainment
  • Ships picnics and parties
  • Liberty Call

Over 210 Photos on 79 Pages.

Once you view this CD you will know what life was like on this Escort Aircraft Carrier during World War II.

Additional Bonus:

  • 22 Minute Audio " American Radio Mobilizes the Homefront " WWII (National Archives)
  • 22 Minute Audio " Allied Turncoats Broadcast for the Axis Powers " WWII (National Archives)
  • 6 Minute Audio of " Sounds of Boot Camp " in the late 50's early 60's
  • Other Interesting Items Include:
    • The Oath of Enlistment
    • The Sailors Creed
    • Core Values of the United States Navy
    • Military Code of Conduct
    • Navy Terminology Origins (8 Pages)
    • Examples: Scuttlebutt, Chewing the Fat, Devil to Pay,
    • Hunky-Dory and many more.

    Why a CD instead of a hard copy book?

    • The pictures will not be degraded over time.
    • Self contained CD no software to load.
    • Thumbnails, table of contents and index for easy viewing reference.
    • View as a digital flip book or watch a slide show. (You set the timing options)
    • Back ground patriotic music and Navy sounds can be turned on or off.
    • Viewing options are described in the help section.
    • Bookmark your favorite pages.
    • The quality on your screen may be better than a hard copy with the ability to magnify any page.
    • Full page viewing slide show that you control with arrow keys or mouse.
    • Designed to work on a Microsoft platform. (Not Apple or Mac) Will work with Windows 98 or above.

    Personal Comment from "Navyboy63"

    The cruise book CD is a great inexpensive way of preserving historical family heritage for yourself, children or grand children especially if you or a loved one has served aboard the ship. It is a way to get connected with the past especially if you no longer have the human connection.

    If your loved one is still with us, they might consider this to be a priceless gift. Statistics show that only 25-35% of sailors purchased their own cruise book. Many probably wished they would have. It's a nice way to show them that you care about their past and appreciate the sacrifice they and many others made for you and the FREEDOM of our country. Would also be great for school research projects or just self interest in World War II documentation.

    We never knew what life was like for a sailor in World War II until we started taking an interest in these great books. We found pictures which we never knew existed of a relative who served on the USS Essex CV 9 during World War II. He passed away at a very young age and we never got a chance to hear many of his stories. Somehow by viewing his cruise book which we never saw until recently has reconnected the family with his legacy and Naval heritage. Even if we did not find the pictures in the cruise book it was a great way to see what life was like for him. We now consider these to be family treasures. His children, grand children and great grand children can always be connected to him in some small way which they can be proud of. This is what motivates and drives us to do the research and development of these great cruise books. I hope you can experience the same thing for your family.

    If you have any questions please send us an E-mail prior to purchasing.

    Buyer pays shipping and handling. Shipping charges outside the US will vary by location.

    Check our feedback. Customers who have purchased these CD's have been very pleased with the product.

    Be sure to add us to your !

    Thanks for your Interest!

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    This CD is for your personal use only

    Copyright © 2003-2010 Great Naval Images LLC. All rights reserved.

    FOLLOWUP: One more delay for SW Yancy reopening

    June 18, 2021 4:54 pm
    | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

    The long-closed stretch of SW Yancy Street near the West Seattle Health Club will not reopen tomorrow as most recently promised. Word from Transitional Resources, the nearby nonprofit whose supportive-housing project is the reason for the closure: “The concrete is all poured on Yancy Street, but the City Inspector is not allowing the road to open until Tuesday.” It has been closed for almost three months initial word was that the road work mostly involved drainage improvements.

    CVE-106 U.S.S. Commencement Bay - History

    (Celebrating 16 Years in Business)

    (Not just a photo or poster but a work of art!)

    These reproduction prints represent various time periods and themes. Many are vintage WWII prints.

    Print size is 8"x10" ready for framing. The matte is printed right on the canvas. You can frame as shown or add your own matte. These canvas prints are made to order. They usually ship within two days of order placement.

    This would make a nice gift and a great addition to any collection or Navy memory. Would be fantastic for decorating the home or office wall.

    The watermark "Sample Print" will NOT be on your print.

    This image is printed on Archival-Safe Acid-Free canvas using a high resolution printer and should last many years. It is also sprayed with a clear UV finish for extra protection.

    Canvas offers a special and distinctive look. The canvas print does not need glass thereby enhancing the appearance of your print by eliminating glare.

    We guarantee you will not be disappointed with this item or your money back. In addition, we will replace the canvas print unconditionally if you damage your print. You would only be charged for shipping and handling plus $5.00.


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    Wish I Were a Man

    Copyright © 2003-2016 Great Naval Images LLC. All rights reserved.

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    NTC San Diego 1955-377 Anchor NTC San Diego 1956-326 Anchor
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    Watch the video: Birth of the CVE