Re: DRGW Pacific Fleet Coal Contract

Bob Webber <no17@...>

06:36 PM 3/24/2005, Bob Webber wrote:
BTW, the term "Pacific Fleet" *sounds* like it would be fairly a large order, but, one has to remember what was going on during the time this order was put in place. Immediately after WWI, the same draw down that happened after WWII occurred, that is to say, most ships were laid up - the areas in the Delaware, San Diego and Vallejo Reserve / "mothball" anchorages were hull to hull with ships, many that had just been built (including those Cans that went to Britain as part of the famous Destroyers for Base leases deal in the early days of WW II). In fact, the Navy rotated Cans for 20 years, and had some that basically had little "mileage" on them even though they were 20 years old. Immediately before the war, the fleet was concentrate in the East. In fact, German ships were in port in San Francisco before and during the war (before US involvement and up and down the coast of Mexico without a lot of involvement of the US Navy. All of this is to say that the demand for fuel - any fuel - was not that large. Certainly not what you might expect when first reading that note.

(Although I believe it was well before the 30's - the US was one of the first nations to convert to oil for many reasons, not the least being the labor, dirt, and advantages in speed in refueling and ability to do so much easier at sea. If you ever have seen photos of a war ship (painted white) after a visit fro ma collier, you would immediately agree - especially as it was an all hands job. On the other hand there was some studies as to the ability of the coal bunkers vs the oil bunkers to stop shell and torpedo fire - and the ability to reduce the threat of explosion. The offset is the ability for coal to spontaneously explode in certain instances, which is not a good idea when you are in a ship in the middle of the Pacific).

At 06:32 PM 3/24/2005, Bob Webber wrote:
At 06:30 PM 3/24/2005, you wrote:
I was told that DRGW had the contract to supply the Pacific Fleet with coal
up until the fleet's conversion to oil in the 1930s. Has anyone else heard
this? If so, I assume that the coal was delivered via UP.

Yes, the coal was from the Anthracite coal field north of Gunnison in the Crested Butte / Elk Mountain Area. Ironically, a lot of that are was and is owned (in terms of mineral rights) by the UP as a legacy of their owning the DSP&P.
Bob Webber
Bob Webber

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