Saturday, April 1, 2023

Ontario shipbuilding WW2



Anonymous said...

One question — with the shipyards being on the Great Lakes, how did the vessels get out to salt water?

Mister G said...

Thanks for the question. Long before the Seaway project there were a series of canals built along the rapids from Cornwall and Montreal dating back to the late 1700s!

Anonymous said...

I knew about the several Welland Canals over the years, but they wouldn't have helped a shipyard in Toronto.

I live in Wisconsin, where the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company north of Milwaukee built 28 Gato- and Balao-class submarines for the Navy in WW 2. These too needed to get out to salt water. After launch these sailed down Lake Michigan to Chicago and were put into a floating drydock which took them to New Orleans via the Chicago Sanitary Canal, the Illinois River, and the Mississippi.

Lots more here:

My wife and I spent a night aboard the USS Cobia, a Gato sub afloat at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. (The Cobia, however, was not built in Manitowoc, but is the same as the Gatos that were.) That was quite an experience.

The Navy also converted two side-wheel passenger ships to aircraft carriers, but these remained on the lakes. One of the pilots who trained on a lake carrier was George H.W. Bush. Some 130+ aircraft went into Lake Michigan; some were retrieved.