1960 - 1969
(click on picture with blue border for a larger view)
April 30, 1946    

 While the following pictures and information is not specifically about the Great Sitkin, the incident took place while the ship was pier side Naval Ammunition Depot, Earle, NJ during cargo operations.  It shows how dangerous our job of handling ammunition was.


  On April 30, 1946, USS Solar (DE-221) was berthed at Leonardo Pier 1 to discharge ammunition.  Shortly after 11:30, three explosions blasted the ship near her Number 2 upper handling room.  Her Number 2 gun was demolished and the bridge, main battery director and mast were all blown aft and to starboard.  Both sides of the ship were torn open and her deck was a mass of flames.  One officer and six enlisted men perished and another thirty men were injured, some very seriously.  These pictures are posted to honor the memory of the ship and her crew.

Pulling into NAD Earle just prior to the explosion

Port side looking bow to stern

Starboard side from the water. Picture shows the extreme destruction of the ship. The explosion folded the forward third of the ship over at more than a 90 degree angle.
Jun '46 - Dec '47
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Jan '47 - Atlantic cargo exchange
Caribbean ports visited were Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama City & Balboa and Trinidad.
Last updated on: 06/01/07