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Spring 2010 (Issue No. 47)

OLD NO. 9 -- SAVING A PIECE OF HISTORY

(OLD No. 9 photographs are courtesy of George Ridley, Professional Services Responder.  Thanks also go to Jerry Manson, Photographer for the Orange County Sheriff's Dept.)

MOST PHOTOS CAN BE ENLARGED BY CLICKING

 

 

 

OLD NO. 9 -- SAVING A PIECE OF HISTORY  (1 of 3)

In early February, I received a note from California subscriber John Matthews containing a story that had to be shared with the Bone Yard Boats crew. John's note read: "Just received my Winter 2010 issue. Thought you might be interested in my just completed project. She is a 1942 Higgins built yard utility that was used as one of the submarine net tenders at the Seal Beach Weapons Station until the end of WWII. After that she came to the Harbor and was used as one of the first patrol boats, then later the first fireboat in the harbor."

A brief history lesson is in order here. As its name implies, the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station is a U.S. Navy ammunition storage and loading facility located 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles that was operational during WWII and still is today. With the threat of enemy submarines being ever present back in the early 1940s, nets were strung across the channel leading to southern California's Huntington Harbor to protect the station. John's newly restored 26-foot Higgins OLD NO. 9 was the boat -- or at least one of the boats -- that towed the net back and forth allowing American warships to enter the station to re-arm.

OLD NO. 9 had been built in July of 1942 for the Army, along with her sister boat, as J464 and J465, and she became the property of the Newport Beach Harbor Department after the conclusion of the war. While serving the Harbor Department for many years in multiple capacities, OLD NO. 9 was outfitted with a cabin, flying bridge, and a water pump, giving her more of a tugboat-like appearance. After being replaced by newer equipment, she was auctioned off in 1977 and spent the next two decades in the possession of several private owners, who no doubt all had the best of intentions to restore her to her former glory. However, by 1999 OLD NO. 9 had seen better days and was donated to the Newport Sea Base of the Boy Scouts (and Sea Scouts) of America. Here's where John Matthews enters the story...

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      Bone Yard Boats     ***     P.O. Box 1432     ***     Marblehead, MA  01945 42° 30.20'N   70° 50.20'W  
     
Official Website of the Bone Yard Boats newsletter.

© 2012 Bone Yard Boats
All Rights Reserved.
Bone Yard Boats is the quarterly newsletter -- and website -- whose mission is to save old boats.
How do we do that?
By spreading the word through our expanding community of subscribers.
  Bone Yard Boats is firmly dedicated to the belief that for every old boat out there in need of a new home...

...there's a crazy boater looking for a project.
Each issue of the print newsletter contains
~50 boats. 

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