The dry docking and rehabilitation of USS Cassin Young (DD 793), a World War II-era Fletcher-class destroyer berthed at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston National Historical Park, has been approved by the NPS design advisory board and is currently in the funding cycle for Fiscal Year 2009.
Planning money was allocated last year to begin surveys and analyses to determine the scope and preferred methods of work for the project. Park staff worked closely with personnel from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to develop a condition assessment and scope of work for the project and a marine surveyor conducted a detailed underwater assessment of the ship, which indicated that there is up to 70% loss of the original thickness of the hull in some areas. Work will begin soon on a design scheme to double-plate the entire hull from the waterline to the keel.
When the ship enters historic Dry Dock 1 in the Charlestown Navy Yard, one of the first such naval structures in the country, park rangers and education specialists will have a unique opportunity to interpret an actual ship dry docking for some of the more than 2.7 million annual visitors to Boston NHP.
Although USS Cassin Young was built at San Pedro, California, it is typical of the many Fletcher-class destroyers constructed in the Charlestown Navy Yard during World War II. The ship was commissioned at the end of 1943 and first saw action in the Pacific in early 1944. USS Cassin Young took part in the landings in the Philippines, rescued survivors from the stricken carrier USS Princeton, and screened the American force that sank four Japanese carriers in the battle of Cape Engano. Off Okinawa, USS Cassin Young survived two separate kamikaze hits, one of which killed 22 crewmembers.
The ship was recalled to service in 1951 and underwent modernization at Boston on several occasions during the next decade before finally hauling down its commissioning pennant in 1960. USS Cassin Young has been in the parkâs Charlestown Navy Yard since 1978, where the National Park Service and many dedicated volunteers maintain the ship as a living memorial to the thousands of men and women who built, repaired and served on Navy ships throughout American history.