s.s. John L. Sullivan

Abbeywood.
28th December 2009, 04:40
This ship was built at the Permanente Metals Corp' Yard No 2, and engined by the Willamette Iron & Steel Co, Portland, Oregon, in 1943, as one of the ubiquitous 'Liberty' ships.
After war service she appears to have been laid up, (location unknown), until 1957 when she was converted for use by the Underwater Explosion Research Division of Norfolk Naval Shipyard, to test hull resistaence to underwater explosions.
Prior to these experiments the propulsion machinery was removed and the ship was fitted with four T34 turbo-prop 'aero' engines, mounted in the For'd and Aft gun tubs, these were intended to be used for minor positioning adjustments, although it was claimed that in producing 24000 hp they were able to drive the ship at about 8 knots, and no doubt expending countless gallons of fuel doing so
The ship was now nameless, and officially known only as YAG-37. (Miscellaneous Auxiliary)
At the end of the experiments the aero-engines were removed and holes in the hull repaired. The ship was broken up, in 1958.
There is a photo' of the ship, with aero-engines, in Mitchell & Sawyer's excellent tome 'The Liberty Ships', (David & Charles, 1970), and I would be interested to read any comments from those who may have 'sailed' in this contraption, or witnessed it in motion.
It seems obvious that nobody ever slept on board as the sheer noise alone would have prohibited sleep. - and communication must have been by sign language.