I was just looking at some pictures of the USS Des Moines on her way to the breakers. I can understand why she’d not been picked up as a museum ship, especially with a sister ship already as a museum. However I happen to feel, looking at her, that she’s possibly the most beautiful USN warship ever. And makes for a nice runner-up to the Kreigsmarine’s Prinz Eugen* for the world title.
Do any other dopers care to speak up about their favorite naval vessels? (Based on aesthetics, not necessarily combat prowess.)
By no means do I think this is an exhaustive list, nor authoratative. Just my own tastes.
*Yes, I know that Prinz Eugen was for a short year the USS Prinz Eugen, on her way to Operation Crossroads, but I really have trouble thinking of her, even then, as a USN vessel.
Lucky dog. (Of course, I got to tour the Wisconsin while she was still in comission, so…)
(blinks) Elegance? Los Angeles class, or Ohio class? Crimped off gutter pipe is crimped off gutter pipe. (grinning) Seriously, I know why naval architects went to the Albacore type hulls, but I find them about as interesting as modern automobile design - the constraints of building for silent running have left the modern submarine about as interesting as dog poop to me. Aesthetically. (Now talk to me about natural circ reactor plants…)
The nicest navy ship I’ve ever seen was one of those minesweepers we had built in Wisconsin when were were keeping the Gulf clear for the re-flagged oil tankers during the Iran-Iraq war. It was mostly wood to protect agianst magnetic mines, so it was nice and cool and quiet inside, and looked like the inside of a log cabin compared to the steel pipe and sheet metal ship I was living in at the time. And it had a small, laid-back crew, so the place was a mess like a college dorm.
The Iowa class battleships look a bit odd from above. They have kind of a skinny prow and a fat stern. On the other hand, they are pretty much the most deadly battleships ever. Here are some photos, there’s a good overhead shot at the bottom.
My google-fu is lacking this morning and I couldn’t find a decent photo; but Cousteau’s Calypso is a pretty vessel. I grew up watching The Undersea World Of Jacques Cousteau, so the ship is special to me. (Incidental to Slithy Tove’s post, Calypso also was a wooden minesweeper. She was built in Seattle during WWII.)
The LaMoure County was a utilitarian vessel. I would not call her attractive in any way.
And I did a six-month deployment in company with her in 1996, and knew a lot of her crewmembers well, so it isn’t as if I don’t respent LSTs or their crews. But an ungainly looking thing is an ungainly looking thing, even if it gets the job done.
The new Arleigh Burke destroyers, on the other hand, are lovely things.
I have to say, too, that what happened to the LaMoure County was a crying shame.
Basically, by the end of her long career she was only being used for the annual UNITAS exercise with South American naval forces, which is when I worked with her. It was during this cruise in 2000 that she ran aground in Chile.
She was towed to Talcahuano, a major Chilean port, where it was determined that repairs would not be economically feasible. She never saw American waters again.
She was stripped of all usable equipment and sensitive material, and during the UNITAS exercise the following year she was towed to sea and used as a gunnery target. She’s now below more than 1800 fathoms of blue Pacific.
Better than being turned into Gillette products, but sad nevertheless.