(Page Three of Four)
visited January, 2003
USS Stewart (DE-238)
(Stewart Page One of Two)
Alongside the Cavalla (SS-244) in Seawolf Park lies the USS Stewart, one of only two surviving destroyer escorts in the United States. The absence of mosquitoes on this return trip allowed for a closer examination of the ship. While the Stewart has unquestionably suffered the ravages of time and vandals, the Cavalla organization has clearly recognized the danger to the ship and has turned their attention to her. While some areas of the ship are off limits to the public (the photos of the flying bridge were obtained by patient use and re-use of my digital camera through the slight gap in the hatch afforded by the padlock and chain), the restoration volunteers are beginning to work miracles unseen below decks. We were still able to examine the 3" guns and the AA battery, along with the depth charge rails at the stern. We looked over the bridge and superstructure, and also spent some time peering through grates down into the engine spaces, not realizing the best was yet to come.
Having completed our visit (or so we thought), we paused before leaving the park. In doing so we had the good fortune to encounter the restoration crew chief, who did us the great favor of a tour of the spaces below deck. As we toured the ship, the chief discussed with some amusement the incongruity of a submarine volunteer crew working to restore a DE. We saw berthing areas being restored, an ice cream machine that incredibly still has pressure in the system, and a restored and working air compressor in the engine room.
Don't let the outward appearance of the ship discourage you from the opportunity to examine a rare example of a U.S. Navy destroyer escort.
To ease page loading times, the photos are spread across two pages.
(click on thumbnails to show the larger image)
For More Information:
USS Stewart Page Two
USS Cavalla Page One
USS Cavalla Page Two
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