Ghost Fleet


Today I had to do a round trip drive to San Jose to inspect some video transmission equipment and back to Chico all in a few hours. Coming back, I was in stop and go traffic coming across the Benicia-Martinez Bridge (which is being rebuilt)which carries I-680 across Suisun Bay and had a fair amount of time to look at the Ghost Fleet kept by the Navy there.

Officially known as the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) they have all sorts of ships there including the WWII battleship USS Iowa, merchant ships, and an aircraft carrier. There are also some WWI steam ships there too, many in a state of decay.

I was reminded of a boat trip I took down the Delta a few years ago where I got up close and personal with these ships. Some were impressive, others downright spooky. I also remeber finding the crossing of the old Sacramento Northern Electric Railway which went all the way to Chico, and up the Esplande. I’ll tell that story another time.

In the meantime here are some pictures and links of the Ghost Fleet.


Several destroyers and merchant ships, plus a tug.


The USS Iowa BattleShip BB61, soon to be moved to Stockton for restoration and display


Another view of the USS Iowa


Carrier USS New Orleans and merchant ships

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David Walton
March 29, 2007 12:21 pm

I fished for sturgeon and stripers for many years in and around the “mothball” fleet. It is a ghost of what it once was. A favorite spot was around the Glomar Explorer which was right near the bridge on the northeast side until it was finally dismantled a decade or so ago.
*** Moderators note: FYI Wikipedia has a fascinating story about the Glomar Explorer and its covert role in recovering a Soviet submarine.

April 3, 2007 7:09 am

Correction The BB-61 IOWA is not going to Stockton. If you go to google and look up USS IOWA you’ll see that Stockton does’nt have a place to berth her its all over the internet.
*** I’ll check it out

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