USS Ling

Summary

USS Ling (SS-297)
USS Ling (SS-297), wearing camouflage paint scheme in July 1945, during sea trials.
USS Ling (SS-297), wearing camouflage paint scheme in July 1945, during sea trials.
History
United States
Namesake: Ling, Fish
Builder:
Yard number: 552
Laid down: 2 November 1942[2]
Launched: 15 August 1943[2]
Commissioned: 8 June 1945[2]
Decommissioned: 26 October 1946[2]
Stricken: 1 December 1971
Honours and
awards:
1 Battle Star
Status: Closed Museum Ship, at former location of the New Jersey Naval Museum in Hackensack, New Jersey [1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Balao-class diesel-electric submarine[1]
Displacement:
  • 1,526 tons (1,550 t) surfaced[1]
  • 2,424 tons (2,460 t) submerged[1]
Length: 311 ft 8 in (95.00 m)[1]
Beam: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)[1]
Draft: 16 ft 10 in (5.13 m) maximum[1]
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 20.25 knots (37 km/h) surfaced[6]
  • 8.75 knots (16 km/h) submerged[6]
Range: 11,000 nm (20,000 km) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h)[6]
Endurance:
  • 48 hours at 2 knots (4 km/h) submerged[6]
  • 75 days on patrol
Test depth: 400 ft (120 m)[6]
Complement: 10 officers, 70–71 enlisted[6]
Armament:
U.S.S. LING
USSLing1975.jpg
USS Ling is located in Bergen County, New Jersey
USS Ling
USS Ling is located in New Jersey
USS Ling
USS Ling is located in the United States
USS Ling
LocationHackensack River at 150 River Street, Hackensack, New Jersey
Coordinates40°52′47″N 74°2′26″W / 40.87972°N 74.04056°W / 40.87972; -74.04056Coordinates: 40°52′47″N 74°2′26″W / 40.87972°N 74.04056°W / 40.87972; -74.04056
Arealess than one acre
Built1945
ArchitectCramp, William & Sons
Architectural styleBALAO Class
NRHP reference No.78001736[7]
NJRHP No.525
Significant dates
Added to NRHP19 October 1978
Designated NJRHP16 January 1978

USS Ling (SS/AGSS/IXSS-297) is a Balao-class submarine of the United States Navy, named for the ling fish, also known as the cobia. The ship is grounded in the Hackensack River at the former location of the defunct New Jersey Naval Museum in Hackensack, New Jersey. It is inaccessible to the public, and its disposition is uncertain.[8][9]

History

Ling was laid down 2 November 1942 by the Cramp Shipbuilding Company of Philadelphia. She was launched 15 August 1943, sponsored by Mrs. E. J. Foy, and was moved to the Boston Navy Yard for completion and testing. Ling was commissioned on 8 June 1945, with Commander George Garvie Molumphy in command.

After shakedown and further installations, Ling headed out to sea to test her equipment 15 September 1945. The submarine based at Naval Submarine Base New London in Connecticut until she sailed 11 February 1946 for the Panama Canal Zone, arriving eight days later. She operated out of Panama until 9 March when she sailed north. She completed inactivation 23 October at New London, decommissioned 26 October 1946, and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

In March 1960, Ling was towed to Brooklyn, New York, where she was converted into a training ship at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, simulating all aspects of submarine operations. She was reclassified an Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-297) in 1962.

Ling received one battle star for World War II service. Ling was reclassified a Miscellaneous Unclassified Submarine (IXSS-297), and struck from the Naval Register, 1 December 1971.

Museum ship

Six months later the old 297 was donated to the Submarine Memorial Association, a non-profit organization formed in 1972 with the purpose of saving Ling from the scrap yard. They petitioned the Navy to bring the boat to Hackensack, New Jersey to serve as a memorial "to perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country." Many citizens and corporations contributed time, professional services, and funds toward the restoration of Ling. She arrived at her present home in New Jersey in January 1973, where she was restored to near-mint condition—scrubbed, painted, and polished for public tours—through the efforts of the association. The compartments were refurbished and outfitted with authentic gear that recreated the bygone era of the World War II battle submarine. She was the centerpiece of the New Jersey Naval Museum at 78 River St., Hackensack, New Jersey.

X-rays showed that the submarine's five safes contained documents and metallic objects, but the combinations had long been lost. On 27 January 2006, Jeff Sitar, the eight-time world champion locksmith, opened the safes using only his fingers and an electronic sound amplifier, rather than drills or explosives. In the safes, he found a wide variety of objects, including a dozen pennies, two .45-caliber bullets, a ring of keys, many training and maintenance manuals and parts catalogs from the 1940s and 1950s, and two 1-US-quart (950 ml) cans of 190-proof ethanol. (Despite the inevitable jokes that it was the private stash of the yeoman, the alcohol would have been used for cleaning electrical contacts.)[10]

In the American-produced Russian language film Katya shot in 2010, the Ling was used for a set to depict the Soviet K-129 diesel-electric powered submarine which sank on 8 March 1968 northwest of Oahu.[11]

Site

From 1972 until the closing of the New Jersey Naval Museum, the Museum had paid one dollar per year to rent its riverside site for Ling. In January 2007, the North Jersey Media Group, owner of the site, informed the museum that the site was going to be sold for redevelopment within the year and that the museum and submarine would need to be relocated.[12] As of September 2013 the museum itself was closed due to damage in 2012 from Hurricane Sandy. The museum closed again for emergency repairs in late July, 2015. The museum was expected to vacate the property in August 2018.[13] However, on August 14, 2018, vandals stole four plaques from the ship, and flooded it with several feet of water. It was unknown if it would be salvageable.[14] Separately, five vandals broke into the submarine and stole two artifacts.[15].

Freshwater flow in the Hackensack River has been drastically reduced for use as drinking water by the Oradell Dam.[16] The navigable ship channel on the river has only been maintained as far north as the Riverbend in Hudson County.[17] The accumulation of silt has effectively filled in the formerly navigable channel. The present depth of the Hackensack River is too shallow to allow the Ling to move downstream, and there are no funds or plans to dredge the river, the muds of which are laced with industrial toxins. The Ling therefore can not be moved from its location.[18][19]

There are four bridges across the Hackensack River, south of the Ling, that do not open or move. Two are vehicular bridges. Two are rail bridges, one operated by New Jersey Transit and one operated by both New Jersey Transit and Amtrak. There are no plans or funds to replace or repair these bridges, further making movement of the Ling downstream impossible.


See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 275–280. ISBN 0-313-26202-0.
  2. ^ a b c d Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 285–304. ISBN 1-55750-263-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 271–280. ISBN 978-0-313-26202-9.
  4. ^ U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 261–263
  5. ^ a b c U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
  6. ^ a b c d e f U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
  7. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 13 March 2009.
  8. ^ https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2019/11/15/wwii-submarine-may-coming-louisville-museum-piece/2574247001/
  9. ^ "Editorial: Give the Ling more respect". 21 December 2016.
  10. ^ Jeff Sitar and Basil Kio speak about opening five safes on a World War II submarine, LexisNexis transcript of The Today Show, 28 January 2006
  11. ^ Coutros, Yvonne (24 October 2010), "USS Ling in Hackensack is setting for movie about doomed Soviet sub", The Record, retrieved 20 October 2012
  12. ^ Holl, John. "Retired Submarine, 63, Seeks Loving New Home", The New York Times, 11 February 2007. Accessed 21 October 2007.
  13. ^ "Former headquarters of The Record newspaper slated for demolition". North Jersey. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  14. ^ "POLICE: Vandals Sink Hackensack Submarine USS Ling, Take Plaques From WWII Memorial". Garfield-Lodi Daily Voice. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  15. ^ Torrejon, Rodrigo (27 September 2018). "Three more people identified in connection with USS Ling vandalism". NorthJersey.com. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  16. ^ Newark Bay/Hackensack River/Passaic River Study Area Report (PDF). Hudson-Raritan Estuary Environmental Restoration Feasibility (Report). United States Army Corps of Engineers. June 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 July 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  17. ^ Newark Bay, Hackensack and Passaic Rivers – Hackensack River, New Jersey (PDF). Report of Channel Conditions 100 to 400 Feet Wide (ER 1130-2-306) (Report). 18 April 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  18. ^ Holl, John (11 February 2007). "Retired Submarine, 63, Seeks Loving New Home". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  19. ^ FER. "The sad sub in the Hack". Submarine Museums. Retrieved 21 October 2012.

External links

  • Tour through the USS Ling inside and out by Weird NJ magazine
  • Photo gallery of Ling at NavSource Naval History
  • New Jersey Naval Museum website
  • USS Ling at Historic Naval Ships Association
  • Louisville Naval Museum, Inc.