Where is USS PREBLE?

Many people have been asking "What happened to the PREBLE."  Well, she is no more.  She was originally sold for scrap in 1992.   The company that bought her had problems and she reverted back to the government.   She was sold on 2/10/1999 as scrap to International Shipbreakers of Brownsville, TX for $85,000.   Shipmate Ed Pate emailed me that the status of the ship had changed in the Naval Vessel Register.  She was repossessed by the Navy again and the Dismantlement contract awarded to Metro Machine Corporation on or around 03/20/2002.  The following is part of a message that I received from Mr. Harry Lewis of Metro Machine Corp in response to my query about the PREBLE's status:

"It's good to hear from you. NAVSEA 333 has contracted with us, Metro Machine Corp., to dismantle and recycle the ship. Prior to this contract, the Navy had custody of the ship in the back channel here in Philadelphia.  To help defray the cost of dismantling, we are permitted to sell anything we can off the ship either by auction on ebay or direct offer, if the offer is reasonable. During the dismantling process, pictures are taken of the modules as they come off. All modules, guns, missile launchers, fire control directors, propellers, shafts, etc. are barged across the river to Camden, where the pieces are cut up for recycling as scrap metal.  The biggest sellers both by offer and ebay are the diesel generators, air compressors, anchors, anchor chain, portholes, WT doors, and of course memorabilia items such as the train alarm you asked about.  For your web page, the ship is presently resting on keel blocks in Drydock 2 at the Philadelphia Naval Business Center (Philadelphia Naval Shipyard).  To date we have commenced removal of hull insulation and interference items, and started cutting access holes for removal of material. After a survey of paint systems, we will have to sandblast all areas of the interior that contain PCB paint systems, in accordance with EPA regulations. Every piece of the ship has its own waste stream; e.g., PCB paint chips, asbestos insulation, PCB lubricants, fiberglass insulation, bilgewater, rubber gaskets, sonar hydrophones, rubber sound domes, fluorescent light bulbs; you name it, there's a waste stream for it, and it's all monitored by the Navy and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA."

Here is a photo of PREBLE in Drydock 2 prior to the Cofferdam being positioned.  The ship astern and to the right of PREBLE is the COONTZ tied up at Pier 5.

© Metro Machine Corporation

Click on the above picture to view full sized photo (323k)

The following 3 photos show Metro Machine Corp in the process of sand blasting the interior of the ship where PCB paint has been located (EPA requirement).  The superstructure, being aluminum, is being removed in modules after fiberglass insulation is removed.

Prepation for dismantlement (77k). (Provided by shipmate GMC Marty Geil USCG (Ret.))

© Metro Machine Corporation

Click on the above picture to view full sized photo (118k)

© Metro Machine Corporation

Click on the above picture to view full sized photo (456k)

© Metro Machine Corporation

Click on the above picture to view full sized photo (432k)

What was left of the bow prior to removal (118k). (Provided by shipmate GMC Marty Geil USCG (Ret.))

Removal of the bow (116k). (Provided by shipmate GMC Marty Geil USCG (Ret.))

© Metro Machine Corporation

 

© Metro Machine Corporation

Main Deck Transom

© Metro Machine Corporation

Port side Missile Checkout Area

Continued removal of the after portion of the ship (104k). (Provided by shipmate GMC Marty Geil USCG (Ret.))

Port side view of Missile Magazine Ready-Service-Ring (RSR). The RSR stored up to 40 missiles aligned fore and aft.
It rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise to allow missile selection (114k). (Provided by shipmate GMC Marty Geil USCG (Ret.))

What's left of the after part of the ship (120k). (Provided by shipmate GMC Marty Geil USCG (Ret.))

End-on view of one of the Missile Ready-Service-Rings after remova (115k)l. (Provided by shipmate GMC Marty Geil USCG (Ret.))

© Metro Machine Corporation

Main Deck Area over Fire Room #1

 

The ASROC (Anti-Submarine ROCket) launcher (83k). (Provided by shipmate GMC Marty Geil USCG (Ret.))

5"/54 MK43 Gun Mount shield (70k). (Provided by shipmate GMC Marty Geil USCG (Ret.))

© Metro Machine Corporation

Port Side shell area, Fire Room #1

© Metro Machine Corporation

The last section of the keel being removed ( below AC Machinery Room #2).  Rest In Peace. 

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Copyright© 1997-2016 by Tom Bateman
This page was last updated on 7/29/16 .