3/8/13

HONG KONG HARBOR 1945


This is actually a repost from 2010. It is my submission for this week's Sepia Saturday which features a lovely bay or river with boats in Australia. Instead I give you Hong Kong Harbor in 1945 with old and "new" technology for its time.

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Here's something a little different. This is from my father's collection of photos taken when he was in Hong Kong following the end of World War II.

Click on image to see it larger.

This is the USS Puget Sound(CVE 113) at anchor in Hong Kong harbor, December 1945.
USS Puget Sound (CVE-113)

Builder: Todd Pacific Shipyards
Laid down: 12 May 1944
Launched: 20 September 1944
Commissioned: 18 June 1945
Decommissioned:
18 October 1946
Reclassified: Helicopter Carrier, CVHE-113 on 12 June 1955, Cargo Ship and Aircraft Ferry, AKV-13
Struck: 1 June 1960
Fate: Sold 10 January 1962, and scrapped in Hong Kong 1962

General Characteristics
Class and type: Commencement Bay-class escort carrier
Displacement: 10,900 long tons (11,100 t), 24,100 long tons (24,500 t) full load
Length: 557 ft (170 m)
Beam: 75 ft (23 m)
Draft: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Propulsion: 2-shaft Allis-Chambers geared turbines, 16,000 shp
Speed: 19 knots (22 mph; 35 km/h)
Complement: 1,066
Armament: 2 × 5 in (130 mm) guns (2×1), 36 × 40 mm AA guns
Aircraft carried: 34

Service Record
Part of: US Pacific Fleet (1945-1946), Pacific Reserve Fleet (1946-1960)
Operations: Operation Magic Carpet

USS Puget Sound (CVE–113) was a Commencement Bay-class escort carrier of the United States Navy.

She was laid down on 12 May 1944 at Todd-Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Tacoma, Washington; launched on 20 November 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Bert A. Teats of Sheridan, Oreg.; and commissioned on 18 June 1945 at Tacoma, Captain Charles F. Coe in command.

Service History
After trials and fitting out in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Puget Sound steamed south on 6 July 1945 for shakedown out of San Diego, Calif., where she embarked Marine Air Group 6. She departed San Diego on 8 September for brief training in the Hawaiian Islands before proceeding to support the occupation of Japan.

Puget Sound entered Tokyo Bay on 14 October 1945. Her aircraft joined in the show of strength and conducted antimine patrols in support of the landings of the 10th Army at Matsuyama and Nagoya. Thence tactical training took her to the Philippines, Hong Kong, and the Marianas. Loading surplus aircraft in Apra Harbor, Guam, she put to sea on 6 January 1946 en route to Pearl Harbor, where she offloaded the surplus aircraft. At San Diego on 23 January, Marine Air Group 6 was detached and Puget Sound prepared to serve as a "Magic Carpet" home for Pacific war veterans.

From February-May 1946, Puget Sound made two "Magic Carpet" runs between San Diego and Pearl Harbor and one between Alameda, California and Okinawa, transporting 1,200 troops and surplus aircraft.

She steamed north on 24 May 1946 to prepare for inactivation, entering Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 1 June. Decommissioning there on 18 October, she entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Tacoma. Her hull classification and number were changed to CVHE–113, effective 12 June 1955, and then to AKV–13, cargo ship and aircraft ferry. Struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 June 1960, she was sold for scrap on 10 January 1962 to Nicholai Joffee Corp. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
As to the boat in the foreground, that is a Chinese Junk:
A junk is an ancient Chinese sailing vessel design still in use today. Junks were developed during the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) and were used as sea-going vessels as early as the 2nd century AD. They evolved in the later dynasties, and were used throughout Asia for extensive ocean voyages. They were found, and in lesser numbers are still found, throughout South-East Asia and India, but primarily in China, perhaps most famously in Hong Kong. Found more broadly today is a growing number of modern recreational junk-rigged sailboats. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
To read more about the history of the Chinese Junk click here.

16 comments:

  1. I really like the visual counterpoint of the two vessels, as well as the history your provide for the USS Puget Sound. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. A wonderful composition suitable for the National Geographic magazine.

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  3. Fine old photo and informative text. Good post.

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  4. I would love to go for a sail on a junk - could you arrange it, please? An aircraft carrier, well, I wouldn't be so keen on that.

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    1. Wouldn't that be grand...as long as the seas were calm.

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  5. It is interesting to see both types of ships in the same picture.

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  6. Superb. That junk makes the shot.

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  7. What an interesting contrast the two boats/ships make.

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  8. That was well worth a re-post.

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  9. As Mike said, that is a beautifully composed photograph and stunning in black and white. How lovely that you have those photographs. My father-in-law served in WWII on several ships and wish we had some photographs of his. :-(

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  10. Nice juxtaposition! Well done to your father.

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  11. I echo all the above. A really great photo.

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  12. I appreciate the details you included. That mountain is now lost to view by numerous skyscrapers (at least that's what I noticed while on a cruise there recently). It's great that a photo showing the mountain still exists.

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    1. That's sad to hear, but now that you mention it I do remember seeing what it looks like now.

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  13. Splendid contrast between the two vessels.
    :)~
    HUGZ

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