[Americas Finest - USS Coral Sea]


USS Coral Sea Home

Site Email:
cv43@usscoralsea.net
 
PAGE IS LOADING.....
USS Coral Sea Tribute Site
CV/CVB/CVA-43
USS Coral Sea
Scrapping - exCV-43
USS Coral Sea


This page is dedicated to the memory of

~ Kerry L. Ellis ~


Keel Laid: July 10, 1944 - Keel Scrapped: August 9, 2000


As you know, it is traditional to make the first entry in the log of a commissioned ship each New Year in verse. We keep a log at the breaking site. The writer penned this on the last day of 1998. That turned out not to be the "penult'mate" year, however, but it seemed that it would be that cold New Year's Eve as the ship rested surrounded by ice in the harbor at Baltimore.

Coral Sea Reflections At Year's End

Country music sets the mood,
Sad, sweet sentiments, so I brood
And think of what has happened here
Throughout the old and passing year.

Coral Sea is almost gone.
All the planes from her have flown
Long ago; yet her ghost is anchored here
Waiting for her final year,

Like an old and obese lady, sprawled upon the ice,
Her underwear exposed. To gawk is less than nice,
Yet it is a spectacle rare and filled with wonder,
All that material kept secretly down under.

Boilers open to the sky, bull gears bathed in daylight,
It seems a sacrilege to glimpse this sight
That all who lived in her worked hard to prevent.
She was old and tired and is now is nearly spent.

As a fog at dawn that lies upon the bay,
Warmed by the morning sun begins to fade away,
Will Coral Sea this cold New Year at last disappear;
I sadly think on this last day of her penult'mate year.


-A Government Contractor

The Scrapping: 1993 - 2000

All photos courtesy of the Ellis Collection unless otherwise noted.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
July 1993 - Stern view of USS Coral Sea on her way from Philadelphia Naval Yard to Seawitch Salvage in Baltimore. July 1993 - Port quarter view of her on the way from Philadelphia Naval Yard to Seawitch Salvage in Baltimore. July 1993 - Bow view of her on the way from Philadelphia Naval Yard to Seawitch Salvage in Baltimore.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
July 1993 - Entering Baltimore Harbor, Key Bridge in foreground. July 1993 - About to dock in Baltimore. July 1993 - About to dock in Baltimore.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
July 1993 - Last few seconds of the Coral Maru moving prior to being docked for the last time. July 1993 - Docked at her final resting place in Baltimore. August 1993 - Scrapping underway. The forward catapults were the first thing removed.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
September 1993 - Stern shot from overhead. September 1993 - Starboard shot from overhead. September 1993 - The bow.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
September 1993 - Port side overhead looking accross harbor. September 1993 - Top of mast on deck. This was removed in Philadelphia to make sure the ship cleared all the bridges for its trip to Baltimore. October 1993 - Stern overhead shot.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1993 - Looking up at the bridge from the forward elevator. 1993 - Shot of the island. Debris piled up from ripping up forward cats. 1993 - Another shot of the island.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1994 - Cutting away at the 4" flight deck plating. 1994 - Work shifted to taking up the flight deck from the forward cats on back. 1994 - Another shot of the now exposed hangar deck.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1994 - Still an impressive site. 1994 - Overhead shot.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1994 - How it's done. 1994 - Watching a "burner" from the hangar deck. June 1994 - Just starting to dismantle the island.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1994 - Overhead shot #1. 1994 - Overhead shot #2. 1994 - Overhead shot #3.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1994 - Nice shot of her ceremonial gun with island in the background. Description here. 1994 - Kerry L. Ellis, Best "breaker" in the world.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1994 - Overhed shot #4. 1994 - Fantail. 1994 - Shaft Jackets.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
November 1994 - Elevators and most of flight deck removed. Part of the island gone. May 1994 - Overhead looking amidships. May 1994 - Port side view.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
June 1994 - Port quarter overhead. Island partially removed. June 1994 - View of island from hangar deck. June 1994 - Looking back at the bow. Bridge is gone.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
July 1994 - Last shot of old number 43 before the smoke stack was demolished. July 1994 - Another angle before the smoke stack was demolished 1994 - Satellite view
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
August 1994 - Island is completely removed. November 1994 - Port overhead. November 1994 - Stern overhead.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
May 1995 - Last part of the flight deck remaining. May 1995 - Sitting high in the water. June 1995 - One of the ships service turbogenerator switchboards. These were located in spaces directly above the generator rooms.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1995 - looking at what's left of the angle deck. 1995 - The anchor was placed on the bow for towing to India. The Navy blocked the move and the anchor was removed. 1995 - Another shot of what's left of the angle deck.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
October 1995 - The ship was made ready for towing to India. Here are a couple of the screws on deck. One of them was actually marked the USS Midway. August 1995 - The letters were slated to be preserved but were accidentally cut away and scrapped. August 1995 - Another shot of the fantail.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
May 1996 - Overhead view of stern from starboard side. May 1996 - Overhead view of bow. May 1996 - Stern overhead.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1996 - Cutting Away 1996 - Most of the aft section is gone except for the lower decks. 1996 - This is what a carrier looks like without a roof.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
October 1996 - Starting to go down to the lower decks amidships. April 1996 - Forward starboard catwalk. April 1996 - View from the hangar deck.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
September 1997 - Hangar deck removed. Looking amidships from overhead. September 1997 - Overhead view of bow. September 1997 - Overhead bow on shot.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
September 1997 - Port side overhead. September 1997 - Port quarter overhead. September 1997 - Stern on overhead.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1996 - Looking starboard aft. 1997 - Work shifted to the forward section of the ship. 1997 - One of the boilers is opened to the sky.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1997 - Lower decks exposed. 1997 - Prop shaft. Becoming a shell.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
A capstan motor, from the anchor windlass room, called "the focsle" on Coral Sea and Midway. 1998 - The bow is ballasted down to raise the stern to make it easier to remove the rudders and after sections of the ship. 1998 - Another shot of her rudders.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1998 - One of her anchors. This one was sold in August 2000 to a dredging outfit in Texas. The other one was sent to Australia a few years back. An older anchor from 1971 is on display at the Citidal. 1998 - Looking down from the edge of the hangar deck. 1998 - Bow exposed.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1998 - Looking aft from the hangar deck. 1998 - Pieces of the propeller shafts. 1998 - Propeller shaft exposed.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1999 - Overhead shot of ship scrapped down to the waterline. 1999 - Sitting up on her rudders. 1999 - Below the water line.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1999 - A small chunk of rudder is hoisted out of the water. 1999 - Stern view, not much left. Undated - Down to the second deck. The long ducts or boxes are uptakes from the boilers.
 [Scrapping]    
1999 - Overhead view of scrapyard    


- Group #2 - Scrapping photo's taken during the last month of scrapping.

Bob Dorais and Earl Neall, a couple of Coral Sea crew members, decided to meet at the scrap yard to reminisce and take some more photo's of the ship. We knew it was getting close to being finished but had no idea that this day would be the day that the last of her would come out of the water.
We were welcomed by Kerry Ellis who was as graciuos as ever. We were also met by Steve Turner and spent time walking around the huge piles of twisted metal that was once our beloved ship. As we returned from the far dock we came by where the last 80 feet of the ship was partially pulled up on shore. At that moment, two steam shovels and a tug boat, the former pulling and the later pushing, put their engines to full throttle and began to move the hull up onto the shore. The engines roared and the black diesel smoke billowed and in a matter of a minute the last of USS Coral Sea was out of the water for good. Earl and I shook hands and were extremely proud to have witnessed our great ship finally have her ordeal come to an end.

All photos by Bob Dorais and Tony Benicewicz.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
Looking at the last 80 feet of the ship, port side. My guess is about frame 60 to frame 40 . Earl Neall next to the hulk just before she came out of the water. Earl has witnessed the scrapping from beginning to end. He has helped the Coral Sea Association obtain some parts of the ship that may end up as a display on the USS Midway Museum. Looking straight at the starboard side of the stern. One of the steam shovel's is hooked up and ready to pull.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
A mountain of Coral Sea metal in piles, waiting to be cut into smaller pieces. More piles of the ship's compartments. More section's of the ship. The last part of the hull in the background.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
The last section of ship, now up on the shore. Note the flat "double bottom" hull. Overhead view of the scrap yard. The hull is now on land just in front of an old passanger ferry in the middle.


- Group #3 - Scrapping photo's taken in May 2000.

The pictures shown below are what remained Coral Sea in May. Here is a sketch to help you get an idea of what your looking at in the pictures.

 [Scrapping]


Tony Benicewicz and I went over to the scrap yard for a visit. We first met and talked to the yard owner, Kerry Ellis. He couldn't have been nicer and we enjoyed talking about the Coral Sea with him. He allowed us to snoop around the yard a bit and grab a few scraps of metal. He has always been kind to any Coral Sea crewmembers that have come for a visit. He understands the nostalgia and attachment when of our guys goes there.
We next had the good fortune of running into a contractor that is there to monitor the operation for the government, Steve Turner. Steve used to be the Chief Engineer on the USS Midway. He got permission from the foreman to get me aboard. I finally got to step on to the Coral Sea once again. I think I was more numb than anything. While it was sad to see her like this, I also felt a great sense of pride that I used to live and work on this great ship. Steve gave me a nice mini-tour of what was left. I only wish I had a video camera to record the wealth of knowledge that Steve has on these Midway class ships. I also want to mention that several of the workers were very friendly and wanted to know if there was a web page and where to get hats, etc...
In my opinion she is being taken apart by men that have respect for the ship and crew, and what she stood for.

All photos by Bob Dorais. Many thanks to Steve Turner for the descriptions!
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
Tony Benicewicz, honorary crew member. Steve Turner, Chief Snipe of the Midway Class carriers. Looking at the starboard side, the aft most part of the ship is now at frame 130. The aft bulkhead in the center is the after bulkhead of number one generator room. The deck is the top of the double bottom tanks. You can see the starboard bilge keel. Looking straight at the stern.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
You can see the bilge keel projecting out at the forward end. The very tip of the bow. Kerry Ellis saved this eight foot section. This piece was at the foot of the stem. The rusted flat surface was parallel to the surface-horizontal. The leading edge is surprisingly blunt-flat-at this point. The forced draft blower ducts (below where the blowers were) of 1A fireroom are in the lower left corner.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
Number two generator room, looking aft. A former AVGAS tank (later JP-5) and its surrounding void, which was kept filled with CO2 in the days of gasoline airplane engines. The tank is directly below a bomb magazine, the deck of which is cut away. This is in the forward part of the ship. Looking aft over the voids and fuel tanks on the starboard side. There were five layers of tanks and voids on each side, for most of the entire length of the ship, for torpedo protection. It would have taken many torpedo hits to get into the vital spaces.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
Looking aft. Number three generator room is in the center foreground. Three A fireroom is in the lower corner. Looking at the port side. A section of fuel tanks and voids is being lifted out. Bob Dorais. To the right of Bob's head is a shaft bearing pedestal for number two shaft. The injection lines (very large) for number three main condenser are to the left of his shoulder; scoop injection (slanted) and condenser discharge lines are visible.


- Group #4 - A set of photos from 1995:


All photos by Bob Dress
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
Island and angle deck completely removed. Island and angle deck completely removed. Close look at open hangar bay from port side.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
Close look at open hangar bay from port side. Erie shot of the old girl shrouded in fog. Port bow.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
The anchor was placed on the bow for towing to India. Starboard side looking aft.


- Group #6 - Here are some from around 1999:



All photos by Jack Lawler, Jr.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
One of the turbines exposed. Down to the engineering spaces. Engineering space in ruin.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  
Control panels. Bow and not much else.  


- Group #7 - Photo's from Earl Neall. Earl visited the scrap yard from beginning to end::



All photos by Earl Neall
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1993 - Bow shot arriving in Baltimore. 1993 - Arriving in Baltimore. 1998 - Bow on of the hulk.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1995 - Open to lower spaces. 1995 - Open to lower spaces. 1995 - Foc'sil
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1996 - Forward half ot the hulk. 1996 - Amidships. 1995 - Camodes looking aft.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
1995 - Looking down at lower spaces. 1996 - Bow and not much else. 1996 - SAS sign for protected ammo space.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
6" Class B armor surrounding a magazine. Down to the engineering spaces. Ordinance elevator doors.
 [Scrapping]  [Scrapping]
Looking at an exposed main engine, probably #3 Engine room. Hatches open all the way down.  



!!!!!!!!!! Help !!!!!!!!!!
I need YOUR help to make this site great. I need any stories, photo's or ships information that you have on the Coral Sea. I can scan photo's for you if you don't have a scanner, email me for details. Please donate your memories so all Coral Sea crew members and their family's can enjoy this site to its fullest. Also let me know if anything you see here is in error. Thanks!!!

Contact me, Bob Dorais, at: cv43@usscoralsea.net
Back To Top   Home Port