Re: Hooker Chemical, Tacoma

Chuck Soule

It's not uncommon to see mothballed flattops in Tacoma Tideflats air photos from the 40s, 50s, and maybe even into the 60s.  They were escort carriers built by the shipbuilding company at the tip of the peninsula that the Hooker Plant was on.  My understanding is that they were in the process of being completed when WW2 ended, and were mothballed right there without ever having been commissioned.  I may not be exactly correct about their service histories, but they were definitely mothballed in the immediate vicinity of the Hooker plant. 

When the Hooker plant was modeled on the PSMRE layout at the Washington State History Museum, the backdrop painted behind it included not only the stockpile of salt for the plant, but also paintings of a freighter directly behind the stockpile and an escort carrier to the left.  The ships copied after art on the tops of the boxes for model ship kits for an escort carrier and a freighter from the 40s-50s era.  I just tried to find a photo on the PSMRE site to no avail, and I can't go take pictures because the museum is closed for the duration.

My ramblings are getting a bit off track for freight cars, but I hope you find the context interesting.  We just HAD to have the Hooker plant on the PSMRE layout so we could appropriately switch chemical tank cars showing the Hooker paint scheme, especially with "Return to Tacoma" on them.

Chuck Soule

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