States: Memorials Listing

Website about the BALAO sail dedication
from Naval Undersea Warfare Center
Posted here 28 October 2002

More BALAO links and info

USS BALAO conn returned to WASG.DC

Return of the BALAO
By Dr. Roderick Speer, PhD., Material Donation Manager

Article Source

On Saturday 8 June 2002 the Navy Yard welcomed back an old friend, the ex-USS BALAO (SS 285). The submarine conning tower or "sail" had stood in various places around the Yard over the years since 1963. Her condition steadily deteriorated. Some portions of her steel skin were little more than painted-over masking tape. There was much perforation and rusting: frail would best describe the World War II veteran of 10 war patrols which had sunk 7 Japanese ships and later starred in the 1959 movie "Operation Petticoat."

In the summer of 1998, BALAO (what was left of her — her hull had been sunk years before) was craned into an LCU from Little Creek and taken to the Norfolk area for restoration.

The BALAO had been entrusted to NAVSEA by the Navy Curator, on the pledge that we would restore and maintain her, as the Navy Museum had been unable to do.

Restoration was performed by Unidyne Corporation. Some five and a half tons of steel, 4,000 individually installed rivets, 1,900 feet of teak wood, and 7,100 man hours went into the result. The 69-year old gray lady now rests renewed on the river front side of NAVSEA’s headquarters building (197), an abiding memorial to the submarine service and the command that oversaw her development and construction.


Latest Updates and Links:

22 August 2002 --- The latest on the BALAO Sail and dedication.
From:    Ron Williams   Commander District 3 - USSVI

The sail is installed in its permanent place at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC. Location is right behind the NAVSEA HQ building.

The dedication of the sail will be on Friday 27 September 2002 at 1400 hours. Reception/refreshments afterwards. The Navy Museum will be open for visitation after the dedication.

At this time the guest speaker is RADM. John Butler USN, Commander, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Deputy Commander, Undersea Technology (SEA-93).

This is all the info I have at this time. As plans come together will provide more updates.

Gary Walker's collection of BALAO sail restoration pictures

Gary's miscellaneous collection of BALAO photos