6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 20, 2018 2:37 PM by Rich Obrey

    Casco Bay Anchorages in WWII

    Rich Obrey Newbie

      Maine's Casco Bay was an important staging area for convoys headed to Europe during WWII. I am seeking a official chart or listing of the designated berths/anchorages for ships awaiting departure.

       

      Where would I look?

       

      Thanks for any assistance.

       

      Rich Obrey

        • Re: Casco Bay Anchorages in WWII
          Rebecca Collier Pioneer

          Dear Mr. Obrey,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the series Shipyard Facilities Files, 1941 - 1945 in the Records of the U.S. Maritime Commission, 1917-1950 (Record Group 178) and located a file for Casco Bay (QM-81) but the records do not include information about berths or anchorages or a list of ships.

           

          Official charts may be in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Cartographic (RDSC). Please contact RDSC via email at carto@nara.gov.

           

          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

           

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            • Re: Casco Bay Anchorages in WWII
              Rich Obrey Newbie

              Thank you for the suggestions on both of the questions I posed yesterday.

               

               

              Your mention of "Shipyard Facilities Files" tells me that I need to tie my two questions together.

               

               

              The USS Massachusetts lost an anchor in or on it's way to Casco Bay, perhaps during her initial visit on the shakedown cruise. According to one account, the only one we have, the crew was ordered to prepare the anchor deployment and all were very surprised to discover it was no longer attached to the ship.

               

               

              Yesterday, separately from your forum, someone suggested to me that I pursue requisition orders as well as the anchorage angle. It was pointed out that the anchor was almost certainly replaced... except, hmmm, it is NOT on the ship now on display at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts.

               

               

              Am I asking the right questions? If a ship actually manages to lose a 25,000 pound anchor, where is that event recorded?

               

               

              Thanks in advance for any assistance.

               

               

              Rich

                • Re: Casco Bay Anchorages in WWII
                  Alex Daverede Adventurer

                  Mr. Obrey,

                   

                  The incident you mention is in the battleship's deck log, but not quite the way your account mentions it.  In the 14 July 1942 log page, the 0832 entry states this: "While attempting to properly house the starboard anchor in the hawsepipe, the anchor shank carried away just above the fluke pivot."  The ship had gotten underway from Casco Bay's anchorage V-5 at 0804, so the ship was well into the outbound channel when the incident occurred. 

                   

                  It seems the shank broke just above the throat of the anchor, leaving just the shank and the shackle attached to the anchor chain.  Either the anchor was defective, or the anchor struck a rock during the anchoring evolution in Casco Bay that fractured the shank.

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                    • Re: Casco Bay Anchorages in WWII
                      Rich Obrey Newbie

                      You know that feeling you get when you look under the tree and see the biggest present has your name on it?
                      Ha, me neither.... but I bet it feels like I felt reading this information first thing this morning!

                       

                      This is great, thanks very much. We still haven't positively identified where anchorage V-5 is, but current charts show that the very large anchorage just around Long Island from Hussey Sound is designated "5."

                       

                      The outbound travel lane through the Hussey is clearly defined to avoid Soldier Ledge (not that it helped the USS Iowa) so we have really narrowed the search area.

                       

                      Here is the mention of the lost anchor that I was paraphrasing above. It was provided to me by a researcher named Wayne Rowe.

                       

                      USS Massachusetts loses anchor Bay Stater article screenshot

                       

                      There is also a cartoon related to the incident in the USS Massachusetts Cruise Book 42-45.

                       

                      Thanks again!

                       

                      Rich Obrey

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: Casco Bay Anchorages in WWII
                  Alex Daverede Adventurer

                  Mr. Obrey,

                   

                  In addition to Ms. Collier's information, there is a four-part article at the Naval Historical Foundation's website:

                   

                  http://www.navyhistory.org/2014/10/going-ashore-naval-operations-in-casco-bay-during-world-war-ii-part-iv/

                   

                  The articles do have one map of the underwater portion of the Harbor Defenses of Casco Bay along with written depictions of the naval activities in the Bay during the war.  Perhaps this info can be helpful to you as well.

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