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(Some Guy)   Two of the most important ships in World War 2 never put to sea. The Great Lakes, maybe, but not to sea. Behold, the Cornbelt Fleet   (militaryhistorynow.com) divider line
    More: Cool, Aircraft carrier, World War II, Great Lakes, Michigan, United States Navy, aircraft carriers, Flight deck, freshwater fighting ships  
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1188 clicks; posted to Fandom » on 25 May 2022 at 4:05 PM (11 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



12 Comments     (+0 »)
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2022-05-25 4:25:38 PM  
Canada had better mind their manners. We're within striking distance.
 
2022-05-25 4:28:27 PM  
But it wasn't all smooth sailing for the Cornbelt Fleet. Despite steaming off the so-called Windy City, the air on Lake Michigan was often too calm to allow for safe carrier flying.

Should have trained them in Superior it would have been a much better ocean analog then L. Michigan.  Superior is larger, windier, wavier and far more unpredictable so closer to real life scenarios.
 
2022-05-25 4:38:31 PM  

Promo Sapien: Canada had better mind their manners. We're within striking distance.


I say it's payback time
media.wnyc.orgView Full Size
 
2022-05-25 4:41:36 PM  
That's a cool story.
 
2022-05-25 5:13:40 PM  
George H W Bush trained on one of those carriers.
 
2022-05-25 5:44:58 PM  

dennysgod: But it wasn't all smooth sailing for the Cornbelt Fleet. Despite steaming off the so-called Windy City, the air on Lake Michigan was often too calm to allow for safe carrier flying.

Should have trained them in Superior it would have been a much better ocean analog then L. Michigan.  Superior is larger, windier, wavier and far more unpredictable so closer to real life scenarios.


All true, but lacking facilities for much besides ore boats and those were critical to the war effort.
 
2022-05-25 6:08:12 PM  
Cornbelt subs learned that they could send & receive radio signals while submerged in fresh water.  Can't do that in salt water.
 
2022-05-25 7:19:58 PM  

dennysgod: But it wasn't all smooth sailing for the Cornbelt Fleet. Despite steaming off the so-called Windy City, the air on Lake Michigan was often too calm to allow for safe carrier flying.

Should have trained them in Superior it would have been a much better ocean analog then L. Michigan.  Superior is larger, windier, wavier and far more unpredictable so closer to real life scenarios.


I find that interesting since propeller aircraft of the era don't require much in the way of getting airborne since catapults weren't needed until the Jet Age.  I would think those ships could have steamed fast enough for planes to generate enough lift to launch.


/Former carrier squid
 
DAR [TotalFark]
2022-05-25 8:11:37 PM  
While I've sailed most of the seven seas, never sailed the Great Lakes despite having grown up there by the shores of the Saginaw Bay .... funny were life takes you ..... :-) ... k/dar
 
2022-05-26 3:18:30 AM  
Before Mayor Daley killed Meigs Field, the airport lounge there had massive models of these ships on display inside.

Pres. Bush flying off these has been covered already. There were so many bad landings and take-offs from these two carriers that the lake bottom is littered with very valuable fighter wrecks, pretty well-preserved. You can;t touch them, they are still owned by the navy, though back in the 80's they did allow one plane, a Grumman Wildcat, i think- be recovered for museum purposes.

What the article didn't get into was the sad story of the end of the carriers. One was supposed to be retained as a floating museum after the war. But it being Chicago, the security guards watching it  were paid to look the other way while scrap metal dealers completely eviscerated the ship stealing metal off it. There wasn't enough left to make a decent museum out of the hulk that remained, so it was hauled away to a  scrap yard.

Navy Pier was used as a University of Illinois campus post-war, while the new campus was being built. My mom and dad met while attending classes there. Later, Navy pier was used as the base for the Chicagofest concert celebrations during Mayor Byrne's term. That was a fun and amazing time and place. Barges with stages all up and down the pier on both sides, like a buffet restaurant of music acts, with beer halls and food vendors all down the center.  the pier is much classier now, and has a huge Ferris Wheel on it (those were invented/perfected in Illinois BTW), and it's a neat tourist place that's been nearly killed by covid lockdowns. But it's coming back now.  In  June there will be hydrofoiling sailing catamarans racing the GP world series there off the pier, going 50 MPH a few hundred yards away, much like the America's Cup races a few years ago.
 
2022-05-26 1:06:25 PM  

Any Pie Left: There were so many bad landings and take-offs from these two carriers that the lake bottom is littered with very valuable fighter wrecks, pretty well-preserved. You can;t touch them, they are still owned by the navy,


Superior I suspects
Never gives up her wrecks
When souvenir tourists go seeking

Though it's said on some days
There's a thin oily haze
From the wing tanks that may still be leaking
 
2022-05-26 4:58:49 PM  
All that remains of the Wolverine and Sable now are photos and some newsreel footage. like this...

....Welllll.....not exactly, and therein lies a CSB.

Wolverine's conversion work was done by the American Shipbuilding Company at their Cleveland and Buffalo yards.  The blueprints were kept at those yards until they closed, and eventually the company's archives were consolidated at the Lorain, OH yard.  When AmShip closed the Lorain yard in 1984 - and not incidentally putting my Dad out of a job after 19 years - the word came down to save only the blueprints and diagrams of AmShip vessels still in service.  Everything else - plans for nearly a thousand ships, going back to Eighteen Farking Eighty Eight - were to be disposed of.

Dad happened to be in the yard one day towards the very end, and he saw the crews tossing everything into a dumpster.  He poked his head in and saw, at the very top, the blueprints and plan books for Wolverine.  Dad grabbed them and several others, basically all he could carry, and made a run for it.  He kept all the other plans, but made sure that Wolverine's got saved - I believe they are currently in the possession of Bowling Green University in Ohio.  Sable's plans were in there too, but Dad couldn't get at them.
 
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