The USS Neptune (ARC-2) was built for the Maritime Commission by Pusey and Jones Corp., Wilmington, Delaware. Completed in February 1946, she was launched as SS William H. G. Bullard. She was acquired by the Navy in 1953 and converted at the Bethlehem Steel Co. Shipyard, Key Highway Plant, Baltimore, Md. New installations included electric cable machinery in place of steam, precision navigational instrumentation and a helicopter platform over the fantail. She was recommissioned in June, 1953, as the USS Neptune.
In 1982, Neptune put sea as pretty much a brand new ship. I don't know how long the work took, but I'm sure it wasn't done overnight. Some years back, I had looked up Neptune in Jane's Fighting Ships, and they mentioned that she had been rebuilt from the main deck up. From what Ramon Jackson has told me, it was even more extensive than that, with new engines, etc. In any event, I wondered how different she really was. Well, thanks to former Neptune Captain Carl Friberg for a nice post "modernization" photo that closely matches one I have that was taken before, we can see just how much difference there really is. Not just a nose job, as I had previously thought. Your tax dollars at work: Neptune is listed as stricken from the U.S. Naval records in 1992, and probably was abandoned prior to that.
Simply put, it seems obvious from these two
pictures that the anchors and hull (and the 2)
may be about the only things that remained the same. And even the hull was completely re-worked.
I guess portholes are a thing of the past. I know we sure liked them. JS
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