Collision
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On  Sunday, May 6, 1956, at approximately 3:14 PM the USS WISCONSIN BB-64 collided with the USS EATON DDE-510.  This happened off the Virginia Coast during heavy fog.  The following is a copy of the original Deck Log- Additional Remarks Sheet dated Sunday, 6 May 1956.  This Deck Log was obtained from the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. 

Following the Deck Log report are several comments and 27 pictures showing the aftermath of the collision.

Deck Log 1956.jpg (272070 bytes)

The USS EATON almost lost her entire bow.  Her forward engine room was flooded and she was towed stern first to Norfolk.

On a subsequent Deck Log it was noted that the injury report on Mr. Clarence E. Humphrey, Jr., civilian, stated it was a very minor abrasion to his right leg when he was thrown from the bridge.  Treatment was administered by the Wisconsin's Medical Officer.

Our Deck Log states, USS Eaton reported, " no casualties, except one". Actually there were two. George Wickham, a crewmember of the Eaton was injured , following is his account as to what happened to him.
"I WAS ON THE USS EATON.   AT THE TIME OF THE COLLISION I WAS  IN THE REEFER GETTING  VEGETABLES FOR THE EVENING MEAL. MY INJURIES WERE TO MY HEAD AND FACE. I WAS HANDED OVER TO THE WISCONSIN TO THEIR HOSPITAL. I RODE TO NORFOLK ON THE WISCONSIN. UPON ARRIVAL I WAS TAKEN TO THE PORTSMOUTH NAVAL HOSPITAL.  I WAS HOSPITALIZED FOR 30 DAYS. I THEN RETURNED TO THE EATON ON LIGHT DUTY AND LATER RETURNED TO PORTSMOUTH HOSPITAL FOR SKIN GRAFT.  GEORGE WICKHAM.      P.S. I FINISHED MY ENLISTMENT ON THE USS EATON"

Norfolk Naval Shipyard workers fitted a 120-ton, sixty-eight-foot bow section from the unfinished Iowa-class battleship Kentucky to the Wisconsin in record time.  Wisconsin was ready for service 16 days later and she departed for Spain on July 9th.

Do you think that the crew from the 1940's had an inclination that something like this would happen when they nicknamed the Wisconsin, WISKY?.
WIS (Wisconsin) KY   (Kentucky).   It is something to think about.

Our thanks go to the U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE for permission to use the following story on our website. 
Click on the following; R. L. Taylor story

The following pictures need no explanations.  A picture is worth 1000 words.
Photo credits:  #18 & 20  submitted by Otis Osborne
                        #19,23,26 & 27 National Archives
                        The remaining pictures submitted by Dom Menta

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C 01 USS Eaton DD-510 Collision.JPG (59561 bytes)
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C 02 USS Eaton DD-510 Collision.JPG (56755 bytes)
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C 03 USS Eaton DD-510 Collision.JPG (58310 bytes)
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C 04 USS Eaton DD-510 Collision.JPG (46476 bytes)
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C 05 USS Eaton DD-510 Collision.JPG (65925 bytes)
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C 06 USS Eaton DD-510 Collision.JPG (61956 bytes)
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C 07 USS Eaton DD-510 Collision.JPG (63609 bytes)
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C 08 USS Eaton DD-510 Collision.JPG (89854 bytes)
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C 09 USS Eaton DD-510 Collision.JPG (66517 bytes)
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C 10 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (49141 bytes)
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C 11 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (53931 bytes)
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C 12 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (71052 bytes)
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C 13 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (67892 bytes)
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C 14 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (63622 bytes)
Ervin Maule, R Div.
on right.
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C 15 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (67554 bytes)
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C 16 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (51037 bytes)
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C 17 USS Eaton DD-510 Collision.JPG (52405 bytes)
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C 18 USS Eaton DD-510 Collision.JPG (29474 bytes)
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C 19 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (55552 bytes)
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C 20 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (35825 bytes)
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C 21 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (52617 bytes)
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C 22 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (52323 bytes)
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C 23 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (63949 bytes)
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C 24 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (45752 bytes)
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C 25 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (45617 bytes)
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C 26 USS Wisconsin BB-64 Collision.JPG (43726 bytes)
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C 27 USS Wisconsin BB-64 With New Bow.JPG (59397 bytes)
June 8th Wisconsin leaving dry dock with new bow
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C 28 g670850.jpg (48053 bytes)
Next 3 Photos  from the National Archives.
Kentucky's bow underway to replace Wisconsin's damaged bow, 1956.
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C 29 h93589.jpg (47569 bytes)
Kentucky at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, VA., 24 October 1956
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C 30 h89297.jpg (40567 bytes)
Kentucky being towed to the Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, MD., for scrapping, 31 October 1958.
Kentucky's engines remain in service today.  Powering the fast combat support ships USS Sacramento (AOE-1)
and  USS Camden (AOE-2).
4/2002.
The following two pages appeared in the
"Shipyard Bulletin" May-June 1956
Published by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company Newport News, Virginia.
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32
33

The following 2 photos were submitted by
LTJG R. L. Taylor,
former officer aboard the
 USS Eaton.
USS Eaton in Norfolk Naval Shipyard, May 8, 1956
34

 

 

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This page was last updated on 01/22/14 .