Friday, June 1, 2012

1954 Destroyer Piers Naval Station Norfolk

This a 1954 aerial photograph of the piers (called the "Destroyer Escort Piers" during World War II) at the southern end of Naval Station Norfolk. As one can readily see, the piers are packed with destroyers, submarines, and support vessels. There are sixty-two destroyers, fourteen submarines, two destroyer tenders, two submarine tenders, and several other auxiliary vessels, including ocean tugs. The surface warships represent the myriad of different vessels that were built between 1941 and 1947. Visitors are encouraged to provide identification of ships if they spot one they know is in the picture.

This picture was taken during a period of the Cold War that policy makers referred to as "maximum danger." Though an armistice had ended active combat operations in the Korean War, several other conflicts around the world were beginning to flare up, which required the U.S. Navy’s presence. Though many planned for global war to be fought with aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons, this picture demonstrates that smaller combatants still had a role.

3 comments:

Michael Sweeney said...

Large ship tied up at the top with destroyers could be the USS Amphion AR-13 or the USS Cadmus. Both were the same class. The Amphion may have been in the MED part of 1954. Both ships were home ported in Norfolk around this time.

Warren mitchell RD 3 said...

I was on the USS Owen DD 536 in 1954 and this was our home port. This was called Convoy escort piers. When we were in port this is where we tied up. I don't remember ever seeing this many destroyers at one time in port. Is there a date picture was taken? Thank you for posting. Warren Mitchell RD3

M. Clayton Farrington said...

Unfortunately the exact date the photograph was taken was not recorded. The only other information recorded with the image in our digital files was that it was taken at 3,000 feet.

If USS Amphion is in the photograph, January-February 1954 can be eliminated ( according to information listed on Hullnumber.com). Repair ships tended not to deploy that often. The more ships and submarines we can identify in the photograph, the closer we can get to exactly when it was taken.