Concrete Ship Wreck of Subic Bay

A Concrete ship of the same class as YON-146

A Concrete ship of the same class as YON-146

The Concrete Ship Wreck of Subic Bay YON-146

World War II saw many interesting ship building activities, Concrete Ship building being one of them. Since the large ship yards were turning out capital ships, the corn field ship yards created the LST. These ships yards got that nick name because many of them had been farms before the war. Far inland, they used the nations waterways to get the ships to the coast. All this ship building put a strain on the production of steel. Steel production limits meant critical items were often delayed. Fuel barges being one of them. Concrete boats or more accurate ferrocement boats had been made many years before. The origins have been lost but some suspect that there were ferrocement boats as far back as the Roman Empire. In WWI, 12 ferrocement ships were built by the US Navy but with poor results. The Cement industry had a pamphlet showing the benefits of ferrocement.

WWII saw the effort renewed and learning from previous mistakes 24 ships were ordered. Early in the war it was

Concrete Ship YON-146 during WWII

Concrete Ship YON-146 during WWII

seen that fuel storage was becoming a issue. The success of this ferrorcement concept and the need for fuel storage lead to the ordering of ferrocement barges. These are barges in the sense that they had no engines and were pulled by tugs. They did, however, appear as ships. The first fifteen of the barges built were designed to transport oil from the Texas coast to the East coast oil refineries. Additional contracts created both bulk cargo barges and liquid barges. The largest barge was the B7-A2 design which was 375 feet long, 360 feet at the water line, with a beam of 56 feet. It had a height of 38 feet of which as much as 26 could be draft. The Landing Ship Tank was only 326 feet long and 50 foot beam. 22 of the B7-A2 were built, they were classed as “YO” if they were to carry bunker fuel and “YOG” is carrying “clean” fuel such as diesel or gasoline. The “N” was not always used, it designated a non-self propelled vessel. One of the barges was modified before launched to have half of the tanks aviation fuel and the other half water.

Two concrete ships were scuttle at Normandy to create a breakwater. Breakwaters containing floating concrete ships from WWII can be found in the Powell River in B.C. Canada and the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia.

YON-146 was built in National City Ca, starting on 23 Feb 43 and ready for launch on 16 May 43. She officially

Seafans on the Concrete Ship YON-146

Seafans on the Concrete Ship YON-146

entered service on 12 Aug 43. While the war records for the barge is sketchy at times, she is known to have been initially assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater at Port Purvis Anchorage, Florida Island, Solomons Island Group. She seem to been moved to Guam in 1945 and in early 1950, she was towed from Guam to Pearl Harbor where she entered dry dock for a short time. This information of her time in Guam comes from the University of Hawaii. Acanthophora Spicifera is a type of red algae also know as Spiny Seaweed or Prickly Seaweed. It is the most common type of sea weed in Hawaii, however, it did not exists there before 1950. A heavily fouled YON-146 has been “accused” of bringing the seaweed and two fish species to Hawaii. Research has clear her of the fish but she still listed as a possible source of the sea weed invasion.

YON-146 was back at an Pacific Area advance base (probably Subic Bay) starting in June 1951.She was involved in Operation Ivy at Eniwetok Lagoon for most of 1952. Operation Ivy was a nuclear testing program in the Marshall Islands. After the operation she returned to Subic Bay here she was active until added to the disposal list on 24 Apr 57. However, YON-146 was lost by accident in July 1957.

 

She is the largest ship wreck at Subic, however, she is seldom dived. Subic Bay has very poor visibility at times and this wreck sits at the mouth of the largest river. The B7-A2 has a 36 foot freeboard and this wreck sits upright in about 120 feet of water, however silt has filled in around the wreck so that she raises only about 10 feet from the bottom and the holds are mostly filled in with silt. Still divers who explore her will find huge sea fans and schools of small fish.

ice_cream_barge

While concrete ships might seem unusual there is one that is in its own category. The Navy adapted a Army Barge, refrigerator, light to a floating ice cream factory.

 

Hey it is 2016

Aqwary Dive Update

WOW, can you believe that 4% of 2016 is gone already? Like everyone, I made New Year’s Resolutions, well no mine are goals.

A few are writing related. Looking over my writing for the last year, I saw a few shocking items. I wrote 4 ebooks but they were all ghost written. My own lifestyle book only had one new chapter completed. Only a few articles that I wrote are with my byline. So in 2016, I will “hire” myself to write. I will add me into my work schedule.

A couple are scuba diving related. One and many who know me will laugh, I will take a week long dive vacation. Yes I am often traveling and I dive when I do, but I want a full week of diving every day and no work. Second, I will “FINALLY” get my master diver rating. I been saying that for over a decade. The third is that I want between 150 and 200 dives this year and four new dive destinations. Too often, I had let other thing get in way of my diving. I am slightly behind already this year, but part of that was because of commitments I had made before the New Years.

File 25-12-2015, 2 55 11 PM

aqwary cloud view

This first post of the New Year is also my first full post on the Aqwary Smart Console. Last July, I posted about the Aqwary Ambassador program. I was one of ten that they accepted back in September, however, due to customs and other “official” red tape I did not get mine until just before Christmas. I did a couple of dives to get use to them and testing the different features. The first dive was interesting and the other divers were as amazed with the Aqwary smart consoles as I was. We dove on the Japanese Patrol Boat at Subic Bay on the first dive. The patrol boat is only about 35 meters long but the visibily was poor about 5 meters. The dive plan was for the dive leader to lead everyone around the boat once, then when back to the descent line each dive team would go off on their own. The dive leader was carrying my second counsel so I could test the buddy feature. Through out the dive I knew exactly where the dive leader was, it was great. Most of the other dive teams checked in at least once to see how the buddy finder worked around the wreck. The second dive was on a shallow dive site with better visibility. After the dives, I used the resorts WIFI to upload the dive logs. This was the first time I had used a dive computer that was air integrated, so it was interesting looking at my consumption rates.

So much for the past and on to 2016. I hope my first dive of 2016 is not an indication of the rest of the year because I aborted it. My back-roll did not go right, not sure what happen but I felt like I did a bellyflop and got the wind knock out of me. After a few minutes, my breathing did not feel comfortable so I aborted the dive before descending.

I had planned on the first dive to compare the smart consoles dive computer with my old Genesis Resource Nitrox and a new Suunto Zoop. The first planned site was deep so I had EAN-32 and had set the computers to that. I saw a blog post last year where someone asked about a Genesis Resource Nitrox and over a 100 poster told him the the resource was not Nitrox. Just so I do not get a hundred people telling me I am wrong, the Genesis Resource Nitrox is the forerunner of the Genesis React Pro, it is Nitrox and I been using it on Nitrox dives since 1999. it uses a Haldanean decompression algorithm which by today standards would be consider aggressive. On my first dive with the console last December I saw that at 24 meters that my Genesis gave me ten minutes more NDL.

The dive on the El Capitan was not so deep and the deep portions were gloomy so the test did not go as well as IJanuary 12 2016 dive would of liked, and the photos are too hard to read. The Suunto is seen as a conservative model that uses a modified Reduced gradient bubble model (RGBM). The smart console also uses a RGBM algorithm. During the dive, I compared the computers twice and found that the suunto was the most conservative of the three. About 20 minutes into the dive I dropped to 20 meters to see what the NDL time would be, the Suunto said 49 minutes, the Aqwary reported 53 and the Genesis reported 61. Both the Suunto and the Aqwary have the option to select different risk levels both were set to standard. While not a scientific and in-depth evaluation, I now do have a good overview of the settings.

aqwarydivesiteTwo other points about the dive and the smart console. When I reached near 5 meters, the console showed me a countdown for a 3 minutes safety stop. That is a nice feature. The other thing that was nice and impressed many of the other divers, was I had uploaded to my cloud and then downloaded to the console a map of the dive site. So as I was diving, I had a Map of the dive site and my computer readings at one glance.

The next deep dive, I will use my Genesis as my control and set the console to very conservative. I will wait until the Aqwary goes past the NDL (but still within the NDL on the Genesis) and try a “deco” dive.

skyraider

Sorry for not posting lately. I have been busy with a number of projects including posting on Johans Beach and Dive Resorts facebook page and creating a new website for them.

Skyraider under subic bay

A recently discovered Skyraider

Also, have been doing some research. Johan has found a Skyraider aircraft and I been researching possible aircraft. I have two prime possibilities both are Ad-5Q aircraft. The AD-5Q is a modified Ad-5N changed to perform Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) missions.

The Skyraider is best known as a single seater single engine propeller driven attack aircraft. Designed at the end of WWII they saw duty in the Korean War. They are probably best known as Sandy to Vietnam Vets. The Sandy was used for close air support and as protection for search and rescue missions. Unlike the new fancy jets, the Skyraiders could stay with the helicopters and could stay on target for hours. They could be loaded with a mixture of bombs and had 4 20mm cannons. They could keep a landing zone safe for the recoveries.

The AD-5N was a night fighter version with a wider body, it had two up front with a technician in the rear section. These were modified to a AD-5Q, so that the rear section had jamming devices and a seat for a second tech. In addition to the ECM missions the AD-5Q was also able to operate as a night fighter.

Similar to the aircraft that has been found

Similar to the aircraft that has been found

Research has led me to a AD-5Q crashing into Subic Bay on Jan 9 1962. The aircraft belong to VAW-13 detachment Foxtrot, which was on temporary duty with the USS Lexington. The crew of four died in the crash. Another crash in 1966 was a AD-5Q belonging to VAW-13 det 1. The crew of that aircraft escaped with no injuries.

This week we plan on visiting the aircraft looking for it data plate and the marking on the stabilizer. This information will allow us to fully identify the aircraft. It also means there is one more to look for.