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PUGET SOUND NAVY YARD,
1. By Reference (d) the U.S.S.NEVADA was assigned availability at this Yard for repairs and alterations as approved by the Bureaus - Commandant to recommend date of completion. The ship arrived in the Navy Yard on 1 May, and after a survey of the extent of the battle damage, repairs, and alterations necessary, a tentative date of completion of 1 October was recommended to the Department by Reference (c). By Reference (b) the U.S.S.NEVADA was assigned a tentative date of completion of 1 October. Progress conferences indicated the practicability of completing the work toward the latter part of October.
2. On 1 September, a re-estimate was made of the U.S.S. NEVADA situation especially with regard to the remaining electrical work to be accomplished. The magnitude and slow progress of this work could not be properly evaluated nor was it fully evident or realized until the other large items of conversion neared completion. As a result, the Commandant had to recommend a date of completion and readiness for sea of 23-28 November, Reference (a).
3. Every effort will be made to better this date and another estimate will be submitted 1 October. As indicating the size of this job and the steps being taken to expedite the work, the following is pertinent:
There are currently employed on the U.S.S.NEVADA about 750 employees from the Electric Shop. Enlisted men are regularly used for the actual manhandling of cable into place, under the direction of electricians. Mechanics from other trades are being employed, regardless of strict trade cognizance, on such work as installation of junction boxes, switch boxes, and the like. A barracks with beds for approximately 200 men has been set aside exclusively for electricians, new employees whom the Commandant hopes to procure through extensive advertising in the Northwest and through an appeal to other Navy Yards for a loan of such electricians as can be
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spared for two months. In addition, all electricians who can possibly be spared from the important construction work on shops, store houses, and the like, currently underway in the Yard, have been transferred from Public Works shops to the Electric Shop. By these means the Commandant hopes to build up the force of electricians available to the U.S.S. NEVADA by middle or late September to approximately 1000 employees. In addition, upon the completion of the NASSAU in September and the windup of electrical work on the ALTAMAHA, several hundred more electricians will become available to U.S.S.NEVADA work.
4. There remain about 600,000 feet of cable to be pulled; new and repaired motors, junction boxes, switches, and the like, to be installed, connected up, and tested; forward and after distribution panels and diesel generator switchboard panels to be completed, installed, connected up, and tested. In the case of the switchboard panels, essential material is still missing although acceptable promised dates of delivery are now known. A careful estimate, job by job, discloses that 75,000 to 80,000 man days of electrical work remain to be accomplished in the Electric Shop and on the ship.
5. As of possible application to the U.S.S.CALIFORNIA and U.S.S.WEST VIRGINIA (vessels also submerged for months), the following items of work in connection with the U.S.S.NEVADA are of interest - some 20,000 man days of scaling were necessary to clear the ship of oil soaked paint and rust; many tons of oil and water soaked cork and other insulation had to be removed from the ship before work proper could be started; hundreds of items of Title "A" material, equipment, and parts had to be ordered, priorities obtained, and follow up made, in order to obtain an overall picture of material deliveries as bearing upon completion date.
6. The difficulties of properly estimating a date of completion in the case of ships which have been submerged is clearly evident as a result of this Yard's experience with the U.S.S. NEVADA.
7. While not pertinent to the completion date of the U.S.S. NEVADA, the Commandant and other officers in the Yard are impressed by the enormous consumption of man power and materials which these overhauls necessitate. On the current refit of the U.S.S.NEVADA, for example, a total of about 800,000 man days of effort will have been expended upon her when completed. This is sufficient work to convert two and one-half C-3 cargo vessels to
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small aircraft carriers. It is sufficient manpower to construct completely three 2100-ton destroyers or approximately four small escort vessels.
8. On the U.S.S.TENNESSEE overhaul, just started, the consumption of steel for the new blisters and new armor on the second deck alone represents several hundred tons more than that required for an ACV (CVE) conversion; and is, roughly, enough steel for three 2100-ton destroyers. The same will be true of the U.S.S. CALIFORNIA and the U.S.S.WEST VIRGINIA; and this comparison omits consideration of all the new topside steel to be used on these refits - new turret roof plates, steel for the new 5" gun foundations and other miscellaneous jobs.
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National Archives & Records Administration, Seattle Branch
Record Group 181, 13 Naval District Commandant's Office Central Subject Files, 1942
Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.
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