Photo of the Week
April 27, 2008
I recently purchase this photo from a Naval Vessel photo collector. I have always been fascinated with the way these big boats were taken through the locks. The Yorktown, an Essex Class Aircraft Carrier always caused problems when transiting the Canal, especially the locks.. The Aircraft Carrier Essex itself, was known to knock down many of the concrete light poles in the locks and damaging the Control House. I have some photos of this that I will post at another time.
This photo shown for this week's photo of the week has a official caption on the back of the photo that reads:
July 11, 1943 Gatun
Locks, Panama Canal Zone
Stan Piet Collection U.S. Navy National Archives. (80-GK-15334)
Comments after publication by CZ Images visitor and contributor Andrew Fraser:
"Another great picture this week. You are correct, that is camouflage netting. I remember riding the train during the war and the netting was very prominent at Pedro Miguel where the locks was so close to the railroad station. The netting at Pedro Miguel was directly behind the train station. It was black and green burlap woven into large netting.
Locking the Essex class carriers is what caused the Canal to remove the center wall light stanchions and the control towers had clay tile shingles and extensive eaves to keep the balcony around the tower dry during the rainy season. I don't know if there still in place but they replaced the tile eaves with hinged steel plates which could be dropped down if they had a transit that would have hit the eaves.
I remember when the Midway was first locked through, they had to remove antennas as well as the side elevators, and use 1 inch rope as bumpers in order to get it through. I think that was the last time they tried to put that class of carrier through.
I'll tell you being a kid on the Zone during the war was a fascinating experience!"
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