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"Boiler Explosion"
Submitted by Frank H. Stephan MM1c USN

We were in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and.were gathering the crew from Receiving Ships Schools and Barracks. They were returning from leave and homes.The Captain was fed up with the Navy Yard because the yard birds were destroying the ship. You canít believe the items that had been removed. If we stayed in the yard much longer the ship would have had to be scrapped. Captain Guthrie remained a gentleman but we made all haste to get out and go to the Todd Shipyard a mile away also in Brooklyn where he was in complete command and sentrys could control the pilferage .

For example one evening about five oclock as I was walking out toward the Sands Street gate in the huge crowd of yard employees, an employee walking in front of me slipped and fell on the side walk! Some of us near him tried to help him get up without success. We were impedeing traffic so the marines at the gate came over to get us moving. They turned the man over on his back with some difficulty and then tried to get him on to his feet; no luck. The Marine Sargent proceeded to unbutton the mansí overcoat and saw that the man had lead covered wire wrapped around his body.He accumulated as much as he could carry and then carefully walked to the Navy Yard gate to make his escape. Unfortunately for him but good for the war effort he lost his footing and fell down. He had apparently stood next to a reel of the wire and rotated his body winding it on his torso. The guards were unable to get him to his feet and as I was ushered out the gate , I could see him still laying on the sidewalk.

The following day, all hands were called to Quarters and the Captain announced the fact that we could no longer cope with being in the Yard and that we were moving the ship to the Todd shipyard where we could complete the rest of the touch up work that had to be done, after all he said if we are capable of fixing and repairing submarines, we should be capable of fixing our selves. Letís do it! The word was passed to set the special Sea Detail! The boilers were lit and steam was brought up, two yard tow boats came along side and the EURYALE got under way on its maiden voyage.

The Tow Boats stayed with us as we headed seaward as we passed the point where now the Varizono Bridge is located, an explosion was heard on board. The General Alarm sounded and all hands manned their Battle Stations. After a few minutes it was announced that we had a minor boiler explosion but that we had no injuries and that we could secure from General Quarters and set the special sea detail. The Tow boats came along side and took our ship from the port side and moved us into Todd Shipyard which we were adjacent to and we moored to the pier to which we were headed.

The explosion caused little damage. Some insulation was loosened and some fittings needed tightening . Our ship burns Diesel Fuel in the boiler which is the same fuel our submarines use which eliminates the need to have separate fuel oil supplies. One of our burners was not firing properly and was causing an accumulation of fuel in the bottom of the boiler which had ignited with a blast causing the problem. The Burner was replaced and relit and steam was brought back up with no problems.

We took advantage of the delay to enjoy a last Holiday Liberty and when we returned to the ship we loaded all our bar stock and last minute shipments that we had received before heading out to Panama and the Pacific Ocean.

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