Big Floating Crane and U.S. Submarine Service Memorial

The newspaper mentioned that the largest floating crane on the east coast would be coming to New London CT to disassemble the counterweight on the bascule style bridge on the Amtrak line across the Thanes River between New London and Groton CT.  So this morning (7 June 2008) I grabbed the camera and after breakfast we headed down to Groton and New London to shoot some  photos.

The day was very hazy as the weather was forecast to go from the mid fifties into the mid nineties over a twenty four hour period.

Groton is on the east side of the river and is home to the U.S. Navy Submarine Base.  The railroad bridge is several miles south of the sub base and just south of Interstate 95 which crosses the river via the Gold Star bridge.

DSC03773.jpg (79264 bytes)  DSC03774.jpg (175949 bytes)  This is taken from the east side of the river.  The towers are the new vertical lift bridge which is replacing the old bascule bridge. Turns out the crane tower which is seen in this photo is not the big lifter we had come to see but rather a lighter duty crane which was doing prep work.

DSC03775.jpg (156416 bytes)  We were under the north bound lanes of the bridge and this is the view from the underside.

DSC03776.jpg (101511 bytes)  A view of the south bound lanes

DSC03777.jpg (131362 bytes)  DSC03778.jpg (94796 bytes)  Across the river on the New London side is the U.S. Coast Guard Academy

DSC03781.jpg (114789 bytes) This is what we had thought was the big crane

DSC03782.jpg (200701 bytes)  Right by where we were taking photos is the U.S. Submarine Service Memorial to submariners "still on patrol".

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These photos are of the memorial pictured above.  I thought that the overall photo would be difficult to read so I took these close up sections.

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DSC03798.jpg (114428 bytes)  DSC03794.jpg (162143 bytes)  DSC03799.jpg (133176 bytes)  DSC03797.jpg (102841 bytes)  DSC03795.jpg (165237 bytes)  I asked the gentleman in the left photo if he was a submarine veteran.  He replied that he was and I extended my hand and thanked him for his service to our country.  I extend the same expression of appreciation to any veteran who may read this page.

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DSC03800.jpg (302826 bytes)  There are plaques like this for all the subs that are on eternal patrol.  I took this picture because it rang a bell in the distant recess of my mind.  Ah, now it comes back.  The movie Destination Tokyo starring Cary Grant was patterned after the exploits of the U.S.S. Wahoo.  If anyone has a relative who was lost in WWII in the submarine service feel free to contact me with the appropriate information and I will be happy to go down to the memorial and photograph the plaque and name on the memorial wall.

DSC03801.jpg (159695 bytes)  DSC03802.jpg (149155 bytes)  DSC03803.jpg (293576 bytes)  Inscribed on the memorial wall are the names of the sailors still on patrol.

DSC03805.jpg (95914 bytes)  DSC03812.jpg (74840 bytes)  This is the big crane we had come to see.  It will be moved into position to remove sections of the 1,000,000 pound counterweight later in the week.  I will try to get back down to photograph it in position.

DSC03806.jpg (92927 bytes)  This was the tug that brought the crane to New London

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DSC03811.jpg (92563 bytes)  This family of Canada geese casually strolled across the lower parking lot

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