Luke Jackson

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Chasing U-boats
Luke Jackson

Small State, Huge Contribution

I believe that these images of WWII sub-chasers being built and launched at Shelburne Shipyard, in Shelburne, Vermont are important because it shows our state's important contribution to the United States Navy. Compared to larger states, Vermont's contributions may seem very small, but for our state's size, the many sub-chasers that were built right here in Vermont was no small contribution.

As many of us probably know, our Navy was essential to our country's victory during WWII, especially in the fighting for the Atlantic and the Pacific. Knowing that my state of Vermont was able to contribute to this victory on two different sides of world is very honoring. In many cases, I'm sure, Vermont is forgotten to even be a state, let alone, forgotten for all its amazing contributions to the Second Great War. Many Vermonters may not even know that Vermont had any significant contributions other than the basic bond drives and rallies, and the contribution of men and women to the war effort. I believe that Vermont needs to be better recognized for all its contributions, especially to that of the United States Navy.

Throughout the war years, Donovan Contracting, a company out of Michigan, built many different Sub-Chasers at Shelburne Shipyard in Shelburne, Vermont, for the United States Navy. This company built the some ships that were part of the SC-497 class of Sub-Chasers during the war. Many of these sub-chasers were transferred for use by the US's allies during the war, which, in Vermont's case, consisted of France and the USSR. This class of sub-chasers, the SC-497's, were designed for off-shore patrol and anti-submarine warfare. The primary enemy of these vessels and their primary target were German U-boats, as many of them were commissioned to European countries and to fight in the Atlantic, but there were also some that fought against Japanese submarines too. Out of this class of sub-chaser, sixteen were lost during WWII, but none of the boats lost were the ones made in Vermont. Some of the SC-497 class vessels that were made in Vermont included the Sub-Chasers SC-1030, SC-1029, and SC-1504, among many others.

When these ships were finally ready for launch, the event was made into a big deal in Vermont, where many people showed up to celebrate the completion of these ships, and Vermont's contribution to the fight in the oceans during WWII. The ships were draped with bunting and covered with American Flags made to go along with the very strong sense of nationalism in the United States at the time. The Sub-Chasers SC-1030 and SC-1029 were commissioned for service in the war on November 16, 1942, and then transferred to France for use by their navy during the war. This ended these Sub-Chaser's service directly to the United States Navy during WWII. After their transfer, SC-1030 and SC-1029 were re-named CH-136 and CH-123 by the French Navy. The sub-chaser SC-1504 was launched on April 16, 1944 and commissioned for service in the war in May 31, 1944, but shortly after it was transferred to the USSR for service to their navy on July 11, 1944. That ended the SC-1504's service directly to the US Navy. These ships greatly contributed to both our own navy's success in WWII, and the navies of other nations, specifically the French Navy and the Soviet Navy. That is how our state of Vermont contributed to World War II.