So, You THINK You've Seen the USCG Cutter INGHAM MUSEUM?
Posted by Matty on July 1, 2014, 15:46:52
Edited by board administrator July 1, 2014, 20:25:31
--Originally Posted 7/1/14-- |
NOT if you haven't visited her recently - like, in the last 5 years - since she's re-established in Key West, FL (as above): you haven't! Because I just toured her last week (hey, Bill!), and she is vastly improved - both inside and out - than what I had seen earlier, up at Patriot's Point, SC.
Not only is she smarter and cleaner - again, both inside and out - indeed her paint all spotless, with more going on even as I visited - but there is significantly more on display, as well. The interior tour now includes 3x- to 5x as much as (IIRC) before, including audio guides and a killer little video mash-up - complete with frames of Ingham herself, during WWII - sampled right out of "Victory At Sea": just like we do, here at ModelFleet!
AND - for any of you longing as I have been, to see a real-live, vintage Single-3in50cal Open-Mount deck gun in-person, they've managed to snag not just one but two of them. One of which, outstripping even the above picture, has already been mounted aboard - likewise restored to pristene condition - on the 02-level forward. With a pair of Saluting Guns on the 03-level, as well.
Below-decks, there are at least as many if not more models than before - including a beautifully-done Revell 72-scale TypeVII depicting U-626: the U-boat sunk by Ingham (with a single depth-charge, apparently!) while escorting Iceland Convoy ON152, 12/15/42. (Merry Christmas!)
Of course, those of you who have visited Ingham before already knew (at least some of) the above. For those who haven't, be advised she is a historic ship.
Launched 6/3/36, Ingham was well in-service before WWII:
Click on Image to Enlarge
Above are the two earliest pics of her that I could find - from before the close of 1936. Including this rare and gorgeous shot of Ingham's original main armament of 5in/50cal Open-Mount guns: same as the casemate guns of your Arizona (and cousins), at Pearl Harbor.
Ingham proceded to serve truly throughout WWII - in every theater - and well beyond (see below), accordingly going through a near dizzying array of changes in fit and paint:
Click on Image to EnlargeAt left, sometime in 1942 Ingham's forward 5in/50 has been replaced by the classic USN 5in/38 - this one, at this moment, partially shielded - with another in a tub on the fantail, and 3in/50s (4x) now occupying both the 02- and 03-levels forward, as well as in two raised tubs, aft - among many other structural changes. This is the fit - and this striking chevron-dazzle, the camo - in which she fatally tagged U-626, off Iceland. At center photographed 10/11/44 - repainted yet again, and with 3-inchers replaced by Twin-40mms and/or Mk51 Director tub and HedgeHog Box, forward - Ingham would go on to serve in the Pacific landings as an Amphibious Command ship, notably at Leyte Gulf, among many others. Already at that point far more accomplished in WWII than most USN ships, Ingham - seen at right in 1953 back in the North Atlantic on "Ocean (Weather) Station" - would continue in service, retaining much of her late-WWII weaponry but with many changes to splinter-shielding, including full-turret enclosure of the forward 5-incher, removal of gun tubs and added/restored plating especially around the bridge - painted back, of course, into peacetime white.
Which service - and refits - she continued to see, right up through the 30-year mark:
Here seen in the mid-'60s, note Ingham had by then received a tripod-mainmast with large radar, and raised deckhouse at its base, and lost all (heavier) guns except the forward 5-inch turret. Nevertheless, she would in this fit go yet one last time into a hot fight: off Vietnam in the late '60s. Finally, retaining pretty much the same fit Ingham would finish out her whopping 52 years(!) of service with the rescue - right back off Cuba, where she started - of immigrants in the Mariel Boat Lift.
That's what I mean when I say "historic": this vessel USCGC Ingham - sole remaining hull to have sunk a U-boat - is on a par with Enterprise CV-6, as one of those most deserving preservation, of all time. Except (unlike Enterprise) in Ingham's case they did save her - and are continuing it now better than ever before - down in Key West!