Thursday, August 4, 2011

USS Monitor Turret Raised This Day in 2002

Old news, but I didn't have this blog back in 2002, so I'll go back to it.

From the August 5, 2002, Daily Press "Historic USS Monitor turret raised" by Mark St. John Erickson.

It was silt-packed and coral encrusted and an American flag hung from it, but this date, August 4th, 2002, the turret of this historic ship broke the surface for the first time in over 140 years to the applause and cheers of the boat crew.

It was at the end of a heavy cable attached to a crane sitting on a 300-foot work barge.

The date was Monday and they had expected to raise it a day earlier, but bad surface water and currents below delayed it. Divers had to descend to attach 100 pound shackles to a claw-like lifting device that had been bolted to the turret.

At one point, it was hoped to lift the whole vessel, but the hull had deteriorated too far to attempt it.

The turret was lifted five feet at first so that a steel lifting frame could be put in place under the 120-ton artifact. In addition, there were two 15,750 pound cannons in it.

Skeletal remains had been recovered from the wreck earlier. They were packed in ice and inside insulated containers to be sent to the US Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii.

Looking Forward to Seeing That Turret. Talk About Your Civil War and US Navy Artifact. --Old B-Runner

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