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Consists of several free standing piers forming 3 Deperming slips, barracks and process control building. It was built in the 1940’s.
I was here in 1967 wrapping cables around ships, mostly submarines at that time, for the deperming process and one of two commissarymen on the station. We had a fifty foot liberty launch to get back and forth from the station to shore. I had my car parked at the landing. The barracks consisted of a room full of racks, a tv, a pool room and a dining area with a small galley. We spent time watching ships sail up and down the river. While I was stationed there a fire started in the carpenter shop under the galley that spread to some of the berthing area. I was working on the automatic potato peeler in the galley, preparing the noon meal and smoke started coming up through the deck from below. When I ran down the ladder, the shop below was on fire, too much for a fire extinguisher to handle. There was an old coal fired crane that was working on the pier, it was on a barge next to the pier that adjoined the carpenter shop and galley and some sparks from it’s stack ignited the timbers and creosote under the pier and spread into the shop. Efficient damage control by the crew plus the aid of Navy and civilian tug boats with fire hoses, deck guns, helped to save the station. Due to some damage to the berthing area, some of the crew had to live in temporary barracks at the main Norfolk Naval Station until the repairs were made. The following link explains the deperming process and gives a bird’s eye view of the station on the Elizabeth River.
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