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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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- Group #4 - A set of photos from 1995:
- Group #6 - Here are some from around 1999:
- Group #7 - Photo's from Earl Neall. Earl visited the scrap yard from beginning to end::
!!!!!!!!!! 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: firstname.lastname@example.org