Friday, April 18, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Underwater Demolition Teams at Work. In their mission at Okinawa, UDT member daubed aluminum paint on their bodies as camouflage to throw off Japanese marksmen. Photographed on the fantail of a fast transport (APD), circa Spring 1945.
USS Idaho (BB-42) Bombarding Okinawa with her 14"/50 main battery guns, 1 April 1945. Photographed from USS West Virginia (BB-48).
Saturday, March 29, 2014
The 90 + year-old "Benson Ford" a repurposed ore transport ship now serves as a vacation home, while hanging over a cliff on Lake Erie
Built in 1924 the Benson Ford was part of the Ford Motor Company's fleet of vessels carrying coal and iron ore across the Great Lakes for use in producing automobiles at the Ford Motor Company in Detroit. The interior was designed by Henry Ford and frequently Mr. Ford's friend, Thomas Edison was a passenger. The ship was decommissioned in 1981 after nearly 50 years of service.
After being decommissioned in 1981 it was left to rust for four years before the front part of the ship was removed and perched on top of cliff shown positioned on a great piece of waterfront property, with its bow extending over Lake Erie, for use by its owner as a vacation home.
Looking across the bow, which hangs 18 feet above the Lake, it gives one the feeling that the boat is once gain motoring across Lake Erie!
The four-deck, 7,000 square foot ‘vacation home’ is made out of the ship's forecastle, and includes the walnut paneled state rooms, dining room, galley, and passenger lounge designed by Henry Ford for his own personal use while on board.
The ship-house was originally owned by Frank J. Sullivan, but after trying and failing to turn it into a hotel in 1992, Sullivan eventually auctioned the building to father and son, Jerry and Bryan Kaspar, who still enjoy relaxing there while taking time off from work.
It has now been modernized with a garage, a game room, a bar, a state-of-the-art kitchen, and four bathrooms.
This impressive getaway is large, as it includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a captain's office and living room with panoramic views out across Lake Erie.
'I love the deck on the fourth floor. It's a great place to enjoy a cocktail overlooking the lake and the nearby cliffs, and to watch the sunsets is amazing from there.' Videographer Nick James, who conducts tours of the home, said, 'The most incredible part is standing at the helm with the way the boat hangs over the cliff. It actually feels like you are out on the open water.' I love the history that remains all around the Benson Ford. In the parlor, you can just imagine Thomas Edison and Henry Ford sitting there puffing on their cigars.' When you're there, it feels as though you are stepping back in time, and that those two famed gentlemen could appear at any moment.' An incredible beauty of a long-ago ship, still available for water lovers to see.