Jun 26

The Navy Sails the Inland Seas

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 7:29 AM
Today marks the 53rd anniversary of the formal opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway to seagoing ships. The Seaway is a 2,432 mile long international waterway consisting of a system of canals, dams, and locks. It provides passage for large oceangoing vessels into central North America, and has created a fourth seacoast accessible to the industrial and agricultural heartland of North America. To celebrate the opening of the Seaway, President Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II, along with twenty-eight Naval vessels, cruised from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes. 1,040 midshipmen, including the entire third class of midshipmen at the Naval Academy, took part in this historic cruise. The November 1959 issue of Proceedings included an article written by Lieutenant Commander Allan P. Slaff, who participated in Operation Inland Seas, and describes the experience of traveling the Seaway.

From Lake Erie to Montreal-369 miles and 552 feet down

The Navy Sails the Inland Seas
By Lieutenant Commander Allan P. Slaff, USN
“This waterway, linking the oceans of the world with the Great Lakes of the American Continent is the culmination the dreams of thousands of individuals on both sides of our common Canadian-United States border.”
So said President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the official opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway on 26 June 1959. The President characterized the occasion as “the latest event in a long history of peaceful parallel progress between our two peoples.” Mr. Eisenhower was joined by the Queen of England, the Prime Minister of Canada, other ranking Canadian and United States dignitaries in a commemoration ceremony at the Saint Lambert Lock, first of seven in the new multi-billion dollar seaway.
The President’s statement at Montreal typified the spirit of co-operation and friendship which has existed between the United States and Canada since the cessation the War of 1812. This unbroken peace, nourished and amplified through the years, has provided the world with a model of international co-operation and peaceful relations between neighbors.
Waiting at anchor in Lake Saint Louis to salute the President and the Queen upon the termination of the ceremonies at Saint Lambert’s Lock were sixteen U.S. and Canadian warships. The U.S. ships in the display line were part of a major task force under the command of Commander Destroyer Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, which had been ordered into the Great Lakes by the Commander in Chief, U S. Atlantic Fleet. The mission of this task force, as envisioned by the Commander in Chief, was:
To conduct training exercises, participate in the opening of St. Lawrence Seaway, participate in the Chicago Fair and Exposition and visit ports in the Great Lakes Area in order to bring the U. S. Navy to the attention of a large segment of the U.S. population, to provide appropriate recognition of the Chicago fair and Exposition and the St. Lawrence Seaway and concurrently to broaden the professional knowledge of embarked midshipmen.
To accomplish the mission, the Task Force Commander was assigned the Willis A. Lee, as flagship, two destroyer squadrons, an amphibious squadron, the heavy cruiser Macon, four submarines, a Marine battalion landing team, a carrier air group with an attached Marine attack squadron, a fleet oiler, and necessary service and yard craft.
Thus the 28 combatant ships assigned were to form a Task Force typifying the Navy’s balanced fleet concept, a concept which has emerged as the postwar Navy’s basic approach to the proper application of naval power. The Task Force was to demonstrate to the people of the Great Lakes area the versatility and power of the U. S. Navy.
The entire third class of midshipmen at the Naval Academy, plus supervisory first classmen and selected NROTC midshipmen largely drawn from universities bordering the Great Lakes, was scheduled for embarkation in the Macon and in the destroyer and submarine units. These midshipmen, 1,040 strong, were to be afforded an opportunity to broaden their professional knowledge at sea as well as to participate in this historic cruise into the Great Lakes. That their cruise was not to have an exciting European or South American destination was understandably a source of initial disappointment to many of them-a disappointment that was soon forgotten.
The unique opportunity afforded the Atlantic Fleet by this operation was immediately apparent to the Task Force Commander. Task Force 47, in order to carry out its mission, had to be a fitting representative of the Navy and of the Fleet. It was necessary to identify and solve in advance as many as possible of the unique problems that would face the Force. The ships not only had to look good; they had to be good, and they had to be ready in every respect. Initial reports from Midwestern naval authorities indicated universal public interest in every aspect of the cruise. Requests for Fleet visits poured in, and every attempt was made to satisfy them. Numerous Midwestern civic celebrations and other special events were being built around the visits of these Fleet units.
The navigational aspects of the cruise were to be a great challenge to the Task Force. To carry out their latest mission, warships designed for high speed operations in the open sea would be required to transit the confined 700-mile Saint Lawrence River portion of the Seaway. They would then be required to negotiate the Welland Canal between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie with its eight comparatively narrow locks. The shallow, swift-flowing (up to seven knots) and tortuous Detroit and St. Clair Rivers between Lake Erie and Lake Huron and the Saint Marys River including the Sault Ste. Marie Locks between Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, presented additional navigational problems. And at the end of the voyage were the Great Lakes ports themselves with their anchorages, turning basins, channels, and berths alongside the piers, all basically designed for comparatively shallow draft lake shipping.
The first major concern, of course, was the safe navigation of the Seaway itself. The waterway opened officially to merchant shipping in mid-May and preliminary reports of navigational difficulties, blockages, lock damage, and allegedly poor design hardly acted as a sedative for the officers who were to be responsible for the transit. The seven Saint Lawrence River and eight Welland Canal locks were cause for many a pre-sail nightmare for the assigned Commanding Officers and Unit Commanders.
A study of several of the lock approach walls indicated that their height above water was insufficient to permit propeller guards to bear against them. A few of the locks were completely without approach walls, thus requiring entry “on the fly.” Unlike ships transiting the Panama Canal, for example, where vessels breast out into the center of the locks, Task Force units would be required to land against one side of the lock and then scrape against the lock wall as they moved up and down. With some rises as much as 45 feet at a rate of six feet per minute, the effect would be similar to rubbing against a huge, sandpaper-­faced washboard. In addition, Seaway authorities would not permit the use of normal Navy fenders, which have the unhappy quality of sinking when thoroughly wet.
Most vulnerable, however, were the ships’ propellers. The locks, basically designed for narrow-sterned merchant vessels with well protected, single propellers, presented a very real danger to the fine-hulled, proud-propellered men-of-war, with their protruding multiple screws. Compounding the captains’ problems was non-availability of an outside propulsion system to assist in moving the ships into and out of the locks. Unlike merchant­men, who with great skill utilize special deck winches for controlling their lines and movement, the Navy skippers would have to maneuver their ships on main propulsion power. With comparatively shallow depths, straight­sided approach walls and locks, and the ever-present danger of surging during lock flooding, the commanding officers were to be confronted with extremely delicate and difficult shiphandling problems. A mistake in conning or even excessive surging could easily have resulted in a smashed propeller or a damaged lock gate.
The Macon presented several special problems of her own. To make her navigable over the minimum least draft in the Seaway, she had to be lightened from her normal draft of 26 feet to 23.5 feet. Conversely, in order to get her under the Seaway bridges, her mast­head height was restricted to 117 feet. She was literally caught in a squeeze. One foot less draft meant one more foot off the mast. Her height clearance problem was solved by removing two of her search radar antennas. Two yard tugs were assigned to assist her in maneuvering in and out of the locks. Her beam of 72 feet gave her only eight feet of clearance in the Welland Canal locks. Putting it conservatively, it was going to be a tight fit.
It was hoped that the flexibility of maneuvering afforded by the tugs would give the additional control that her commanding officer vitally needed. The tugs would be of invaluable assistance in getting way on or stopping her without the excessive use of the propellers. Although in her lightened condition she could theoretically negotiate the minimum depths to be experienced, there was a very real danger that her huge propellers, if turned over with any power, would pull the water from between the ship’s bottom and the flat bottom of the locks, causing her to ground.

The USS Macon navigates the St. Lambert lock, the first of the St. Lawrence Seaway

The anxiety of the Macon’s commanding officer was of course completely understandable. The thirty lockages alone that faced him before he would breath the free and open sea air again was enough to give any skipper, no matter how expert a seaman, that uncomfortable sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. Only the captain knew his innermost feelings, but bringing his huge cruiser down the Saint Lawrence toward those difficult hurdles must have been a most trying experience for him.
The challenge that lay ahead was punctuated on the occasion of his very first lockage. The signal lights on the guard gate at Saint Lambert Lock flashed green, the guard gates swung into a vertical position, the bridges were raised, and the 673-foot Macon received her authorization to proceed from her waiting berth along the approach wall into the lock. She left her berth and commenced her approach. When within a few hundred feet of the lock entrance and immediately abreast the Willis A. Lee and the Warrington, who had been nested just ahead of her, the signal lights flashed red, the guard gates and bridges were lowered, and a procession of freight trains began inching its way across the lock bridge. The exact number of trains that found it necessary to cross at Saint Lambert that morning is unknown to the writer, who witnessed the affair, but it appeared that a good portion of the rolling stock of Canada passed in review for the Macon’s captain, who-for about four hours-backed and filled in the narrow channel trying to keep his ship from grounding. It was quite an initiation for the captain and at that point no one would have blamed him if he had reversed course and headed back toward the open seas. He had one advantage over the destroyers that were to follow, however. With four propellers, he could use the in­board ones only.
The Saint Lawrence River and Great Lake ports added another entire set of navigational problems that would require solution. A spot check of charting of one major port indicated that charts were not sufficiently detailed for safe navigation. Acting on this information, the Task Force Commander dispatched every available officer on his staff to the prospective ports of call for on-the-spot surveys. Using borrowed boats and hand leads, they sounded every harbor channel, approach, and berth. Coast Guard units attached to the 9th Coast Guard District assisted enormously in this undertaking. Immediate dredging requirements in many ports were generated by these surveys. With the outstanding co-operation of the Army Corps of Engineers, most of the necessary dredging was accomplished on time, and the Task Force Commander was able to assign berths which he knew were comparatively safe, albeit a bit tight. In Milwaukee, for instance, a diver was sent to check the water under the Willis A. Lee in her berth. He reported that the clearance between the ship’s propellers and the harbor bottom was just six inches.
To familiarize the commanding officers with the problems that they would face, the Task Force Commander arranged a familiarization cruise through the Seaway. The Dutch “Fjell Oranje Line” invited the captains to ride in the liner Prins Willem Van Oranje from Chicago to Montreal. The APD Klein­smith, one of the amphibious units attached to the Task Force, made her transit into the Lakes in late May and was made available to those commanding officers who desired to ride in her.
The early interest in the cruise indicated vast opportunities in the field of public relations. Task Force ships made every effort to ready themselves to meet and play host to the Midwestern public. Guides were selected, indoctrinated and trained. Shipboard static displays were planned and prepared. Literally millions of Inland Seas Task Force and individual ships’ handouts were printed. Some unit commanders instituted general visiting rehearsals to ensure smooth-working visiting bills. Marching units were equipped and trained in anticipation of requests for parade participation. Ships’ athletic teams were polished and re-equipped. Public speaking material was prepared and distributed, and public speaking volunteers, both officer and enlisted, were briefed and rehearsed. Shore patrol teams were detailed and organized. Each ship devoted many hours of the weeks preceding her sailing date to polish and paint. Appearance and material condition had to be of the highest order. Probably most important of all, the ships’ companies were impressed and reimpressed with the decisively important part that every member of the Task Force was to play in ensuring the success of the operation. The Commander of Amphibious Squadron Eight and the 2nd Battalion, 6th marines, detailed to make five demostration landings during the cruise, sent teams into the lakes to select and arrange for demonstration beach sites. Underwater demolition teams embarked in the Kleinsmith assisted greatly in this survey work. Beaches at Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Erie, and Rochester were selected and work commenced on beach intelligence annexes to the operation order.
Task Force 47 was not officially activated until June 1 when the Task Force Commander broke his flag in the Willis A. Lee. The midshipmen cruise ships proceeded to the Naval Academy for embarkation. On 5 June these ships commenced two weeks of at-­sea operations concentrating on antiaircraft gunnery and the convoy escort phase of anti­submarine warfare. The first class midshipmen became full-fledged members of the ships’ wardrooms and understudied their ships junior officers. The third classmen were rotated through the various departments to give them complete shipboard indoctrination.
The four submarines gave the destroyers a lively time during the ASW training operations, while the midshipmen embarked in the destroyers were able to take an active part in many submarine “kills.” In spite of rough seas and inevitable seasickness, the midshipmen had two full and productive weeks of off­shore training prior to their arrival at the task force fueling point in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on 17 June.
Upon completion of fueling operations with with the tanker Salamonie, the Force commenced its history-making transit of the Seaway. Steaming independently or in small groups, the ships entered the Saint Lawrence River, one group slightly delayed to permit the Royal Yacht Britannia with Queen Elizabeth embarked to precede it.
The flagship, with her crew at quarters and band playing, passed the city of Quebec during the afternoon of 22 June. It had been raining most of the day but the afternoon brought cloudless skies and bright sunshine. Quebec was dressed in bright bunting and hundreds of Canadian and Provincial Flags in anticipation of the Royal visit.The city’s skyline, dominated by the famous Chateau Frontenac, was superimposed along the top of the cliffs. Just 200 years before, British General Wolfe had led his troops up the narrow defile in these imposing cliffs to make his historic assault on Quebec. The Willis A. Lee fired a 21-gun salute to Canada as she drew abreast of the city. Reverberations from the heights facing the Plains of Abraham echoed and re-echoed through the river valley. The salute was returned by a Canadian Army battery mounted high on the plains above.
The Royal Yacht Britannia, carrying the President and the Queen, followed closely by her escorts, the U.s. destroyer Du Pont and the Canadian destroyer escort Kootenay, passed through Saint Catherine’s Lock at 3:00 P.M., entering Lake saint Louis at 3:45 P.M. the weather was bright and warm with a slight ground haze lying close to the surface of the Lake. The sixteen U.s. and Canadian men-of-war anchored in a single line oreinted east to west fired a thunderous 21-gun coordinated salute when the Britannia approached the line. As the Britannia emerged from the haze, the Task Force Commander transmitted the following message by signal ight:
“TO THE QUEEN OF CANADA AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES X IN THE NAME OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY AND THE U.S. ATLANTIC FLEET WE SEND WARM GREETINGS AND SINCERE RESPECTS X IT IS A GREAT HONOR FOR US TO JOIN WITH OUR SPLENDID CANADIAN FRIENDS IN WELCOMING YOU TODAY”
The signal projectors in the Britannia immediately came alive with the following reply from the Queen and the President:
“WE ARE BOTH MOST GRATIFIED FOR YOUR CORDIAL GREETINGS X WE SEND OUR BEST WISHES TO ALL OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE TASK FORCE UNDER YOUR COMMAND”
The magnificent Britannia, with her deep blue, lacquered hull, her cream-colored superstructure and her royal standards fluttering at her mastheads, drew close to the line. As she came abeam of the leading ship, St. Croix, her commander directed that her course be changed abruptly toward the Willis A. Lee. she came parallel to the line again about thirty yards off the Willis A. Lee’s beam. She passed close aboard the review line as each of the ships with its crew at man-the-rail stations gave three lusty cheers for the “Queen of Canada and the President of the United States.” It was an afternoon that participants and observers will not soon forget.
On 27 June the President and Queen sent additional messages. From the President came:
THE APPERANACE OF OUR SHIPS AND THEIR CREWS DURING THE NAVAL REVIEW IN LAKE ST LOUIS YESTERDAY IMPRESSED EVERYONE AND WAS A SOURCE OF PRODE TO ALL AMERICANS ON BOARD BRITANNIA X PLEASE PASS MY CONGRATULATIONS AND APPRECIATION TO ALL HANDS PARTICIPATING X MY SPECIAL THANKS TO FORREST SHERMAN AND DUPONT FOR THEIR ESCORT X SIGNED COMMANDERB IN CHIEF, ARMY, NAVY AND AIR FORCE
And from Queen Elizabeth came:
I SEND YOU MY BEST CONGRATULATIONS FOR THE FINE DISPLAY OF UNITED STATES AND CANADIAN SHIPS THROWN UP IN LAKE ST LOUIS ON THIS IMPORTANT OCCASION AND THANK THEM FOR THEIR KIND WELCOME X THEY ALL LOOKED VERY SMART X I SEND ALL ON BOARD MY GRACIOUS WISHES FOR THE FUTURE X ELIZABETH
While the review ships were anchored in Lake St. Louise and the escort ships were with the Britannia, the remaining eighteen units cleared the Seaway and commenced their visit schedule. The Oglethorpe had the distinction of being the first major ship of the Task Force to complete the negotiation of the Seaway.
During the early morning hours of 27 June, the day following the review, the display group weighed anchor and continued its transit. The negotiation of the locks was accomplished with little difficulty. Thanks to a special wooden fendering system which had been fabricated for the ships, there were no casualties suffered and the ships’ sides took little punishment. The Macon, handled expertly by her commanding officer and assisted by her tugs, slid through the narrow locks as huge crowds gathered at each one and shouted greetings to her.
But the bystanders missed the most interesting and exciting phases of the transit. There is, for example, a game played in the narrow Seaway Channels which this writer chooses to call “Channel Chicken.” Steaming close to either side of the very narrow channel can be disastrous due to a pronounced suction. The trick is to stay in the dead center of the channel. This procedure, of course, is quite satisfactory and feasible as long as a ship isn’t coming from the opposite direction. When the inevitable happens, and it does with thrilling regularity, the game of “Channel Chicken” commences.
Moving over to starboard as is normally done is quite out of the question. This is what happens. Both ships maintain their position in the center of the channel. The captain may breathe or not breathe according to his own inclination. When the meeting ships are in extremis or within a few hundred feet of each other (to do it sooner isn’t playing the game and besides it can lead one into trouble), each captain changes course a few degrees to starboard, throwing a double wedge of water between the ships. They then pass close aboard port to port with a few yards clearance. After the captain opens his eyes, he resumes his position in the center of the channel in readiness for the next inning of the game.
Just prior to the arrival of the majority of the Task Force at the Welland Canal, a merchantman struck and damaged a lock gate resulting in a 36-hour traffic stoppage. As a result, over 45 ships were backed up on the Lake Ontario side. Taking into account that on a normal day the canal engineers are able to make twelve to fourteen lockages, the disruption to the very tight and critical visit schedule was of course of immediate concern. It was only through the closest co-operation of the Canal Authorities that the majority of the Task Force ships were able to pass through the canal in sufficient time to adhere essentially to their schedule. The last vessel in the Task Force completed her transit of the Welland on 2 July. The first upbound transit of the Saint Lawrence Seaway by a major naval force had been completed.
The swift-flowing Detroit and St. Clair Rivers were the next major maneuvering problem confronting the Force. Because the upbound channel was not sufficiently deep to accommodate the Macon, Lee, Oglethorpe, and Cambria, prior arrangements had been made with local Coast Guard authorities to permit these heavies to use the downbound channel for their upbound passage. On 30 June, with their crews lined up at smart attention and with their bands playing, the ships negotiated the rivers with no mishap. Tens of thousands of people lined the river banks to watch units of their Fleet steam by. The enthusiasm of these spectators was an indication of the reception that was awaiting the ships in their ports of call.
At 0900 on 2 July, the majority of the Task Force effected a rendezvous to the east of Waukegan, Illinois. Forming the ships into a single column extending over seven miles, the Task Force Commander with the Willis A. Lee in the van brought the column parallel and close to the shoreline to the north of Chicago. At exactly noon, the ships with crews at man-the-rail stations, commenced the Grand Naval Parade by the city in commemoration of the Chicago International Fair and Exposition. The Coast Guard had marked shoals in the Chicago approaches to permit the ships to take advantage of all navigable water and to steam past the city within a mile of the down­town area. Upon drawing abreast of the official reviewing stand, the Willis A. Lee fired a thirteen gun salute to the Commandant of the Ninth Naval District. Newspapers estimated that a million Chicagoans witnessed the parade. The Force, with deck edge and outline lighting ablaze, returned for a night parade past the city when additional hundreds of thousands viewed units of their Fleet for first time.
The Fleet visit to Chicago commenced on the following day. Huge crowds flocked on board to see the ships at close range. The city’s hospitality was extended to Task Force personnel with parties and dances arranged for all hands. The embarked midshipmen, at first skeptical of a cruise in home waters, learned to their great happiness the error in their initial thinking. Chicagoans were obviously delighted to have units of their Navy in their port. Their reception was one of genuine warmth and gracious hospitality. Reciprocating this enthusiastic welcome, members of the ships’ companies and the embarked Marines comported themselves with great credit. Although there were approximately 7,000 Navy and Marine personnel present in Chicago over an eight-day period, not a single unfortunate incident involving Task Force personnel occurred and not a single shore patrol report was issued.
Highlighting the Force events in Chicago was the first of five demonstration landings staged by Amphibious Squadron 8 and the embarked Marines. On the Fourth of July, the Marines, carried by the amphibious craft and helicopters and under close air support, provided by CAG-8, stormed ashore on Montrose Beach, located in the north of the city along Lake Shore Drive.
This demonstration, together with the performance supporting aircraft of Marine Attack Squadron 224, and of helicopters attached to Marine Helicopter Squadron 162, was Chicago’s first close look at an amphibious operation.
Chicago history was made that day. Not only was crowd the largest every assembled in Chicago, estimated variously from 500,000 to 1,000,000, but it was also the day of its greatest traffic jam. And veteran newsmen reported that never before in the history of the Chicago press had there been such complete and continuous front page coverage as that enjoyed by Task Force 47 during its memorable visit to the city.
The embarked midshipmen, the majority of whom were participating in their first cruise, performed well. Adapting themselves to shipboard living and routine, they became well indoctrinated members of the ships’ companies. Not only had their professional base been enhanced by their rigorous training schedule at sea and by the unique opportunity afforded them to observe ship handling techniques in extremely confined waters and to participate in navigational piloting’ through the hundreds of miles of the Seaway, but also enabled them to learn something of the various social aspects and responsibilities of the young naval officer. Through their enthusiastic co-operation in every aspect of the cruise-whether guiding visitors, participating in parades ashore, acting as an honor guard for the Queen of England, or attending the numerous hops and other functions arranged for them -they contributed substantially to the Force’s success.
Following the major Fleet visit in Chicago, the Task Force broke up into smaller units and continued its extensive visit schedule,. The results in each port were similar to that attained in Chicago. Large crowds were entertained on board wherever the ships went. Task Force personnel were received with warm hospitality in every port.*

In Cleveland, Macon had 30,000 visitors in a single day

One particular visit should be chronicled, as it epitomized the reception experienced in the operation. The Mayor of Wyandotte, Michigan, had requested that a ship attached to the Task Force visit his city to participate in a 4th of July celebration. After carefully studying the harbor and berthing facilities, and after receiving unfavorable recommendations from the Ninth Coast Guard District on the feasibility of sending a destroyer or submarine into the port, the Task Force Commander reluctantly disapproved the request. The City Fathers were naturally disappointed, and asked that the Navy make every effort to send some representative. The only available vessel of sufficiently shallow draft was a yard oiler under the command of a chief boatswain’s mate. Although she was not a part of the Task Force, she was duly dispatched to Wyandotte. Her crew, taking a cue from the various Fleet units that they had observed, had YO-205 sparkling. They arrived in Wyandotte and immediately commenced open house. Their three-day stay there will be remembered as long as YO-205 remains in commission. Thirty thousand people visited her. The Mayor of Wyandotte summed it up nicely in a letter to the Task Force Commander. He wrote, “May I express the gratitude of Wyandotte, Michigan for all your help in making our 4th of July celebration a great success … I feel that our citizens know the Navy just a little bit better because of the fine efforts of Chief Boatswain’s Mate Corriveau of the Yard Oiler 205 … “
What then were the results attained by Task Force 47 in the Great Lakes? Was the mission given it by the Commander-in­Chief, Atlantic Fleet accomplished? Units of the Force visited a total of 39 ports in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. A conservative estimate based on carefully compiled reports from the participating ships places the total number of visitors entertained at approximately 2,000,000. Many more millions, of course, observed the ships without boarding. The conduct record of the 12,000 personnel who participated has won the praise and admiration of the entire Midwestern area. Warm and lasting friendships between Midwestern Americans and Task Force personnel have been formed at every echelon. Through a comprehensive Secretary of the Navy Guest Program, full utilization of afloat billets made available to newsmen, continuous, daily open house in the ships until dark, amphibious demonstrations, speeches, interviews and personal contacts between Task Force personnel and local citizens, the Midwest has gained a new understanding of its Navy and Marine Corps.
The presence of U. S. Navy Task Force 47 in the Great Lakes during the summer of 1959 served as a dramatic affirmation that a fourth seacoast has been added to the geography of the United States.
*Ports visited by TF-47: Alexandria Bay, N.Y.; Ashland, Wisc.; Ashtabula, Ohio; Bay City, Mich.; Buffalo, N. Y.; Cape Vincent, N. Y.; Cheboygan, Mich.; Chicago, Ill.; Clayton. N.Y.; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Mich.; Duluth. Minn.; Dunkirk, N.Y.; Erie, Pa.; Lorain, Ohio; Mackinaw City, Mich.; Manitowoc, Wisc.; Marinette, Wisc.; Menominee, Mich.; Marquette, Mich,; Massena, N.Y.; Michigan City, Mich.; Milwaukee, Wisc.; Montreal, Quebec; Muskegon, Mich.; Ogdensburg, N,Y.; Oswego, N.Y.; Port Colborne, Ontario; Port Huron, Mich.; Port Weller, Ontario; Put-In-Bay, Ohio; Rochester, N.Y.; St. Ignace, Mich.; Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.; Sheboygan Wisc.; Superior, Wisc.; Toledo, Ohio; Welland, Ontario; and Wyandotte, Mich.
GRADUATED from the Naval Academy in the Class of 1945, Lieutenant Commander Slaff was flag secretary and aide to Commander Destroyer Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet at the time of Operation INLAND SEAS. He is now on duty under instruction as a student at the U. S. Naval War College.
 
 
 
  • Howard Whiting

    The USS Kliensmith APD 134 Was the first US Navy ship armed to sail the Great Lakes after the war of 1812.Going into the lakes 30 days before the other ships Came in by the St. Lawrence Seaway.The Kliensmith was a high speed transport that worked with the frogman to explore the waterways and beaches for hazards for other Navy ships to come through into the lakes. May 1959. Crew called” Man of Wars Man” for being a member of the first Navy crew to sail an armed ship on the Great Lakes

 
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