Included here is a photo of the USS Sumter APA-52, the ship that carried the Landing Craft PA-52 #22 which lies at the bottom of Lake Washington
I heard from the president of an Amphibious Attack Boat Group – a group of guys who use to be LCVP operators in WWII.
I wrote them some time ago about the LCVP we found in the lake, and asked if they had any info on it. I communicated that our LCVP was identified as PA 52-22.
They indicate the PA52 designation means the LCVP we have was once a part of a ship named Sumter. In doing further research the Sumter carried 36 landing craft all of the PA 52 designation. Ours was Landing Craft # 22 on that ship.
Over the weekend we made the initial dives on the landing craft; we had 7 divers total including myself. Two of the divers were armed with video cameras so we shot lots of above and under water video – should make for a good DVD compilation.
The landing craft is generally intact and it is sitting upright on the bottom with the ramp down. It appears it was scuttled on purpose rather than by accident, with a few long purposeful gashes in its side and most of the equipment removed. Normally the LCVP would be armed with 30cal machine guns, but they were missing (only the empty turrets remain – one of them on the floor of Lake Washington next to the wreck).
If you view the schematic in the prior entry (below) you can see what I am talking about. Fuel tanks, towing pad, ramp latch, etc. These are the type of items that remain. We did manage to get numbers off the wreck and are now in the process of researching them: “PA 52-22.” If you know landing craft or have the ability to search their history I would appreciate the help with this one.
After the exploration of the landing craft we moved over to a favorite of mine, the ferry boat Dawn. This wreck also sits upright on the bottom of the lake and is generally in good shape. It’s a spooky wreck compared to the landing craft, because you can go inside. If you click on the photo of the Dawn that I’ve included below you can see it’s big square windows. Imagine being deep in Lake Washington and swimming through one of those windows, the heavy steel tanks on your back barely fitting through, scraping the sides of the window as you slither in. Now you are inside and you can see only what your light shows you in a focused beam. It is a disconcerting feeling to know there is ceiling above you but you can’t see it unless you point your light straight up. We entered through a window near the stern and exited out a breezeway door at the bow. Shot some great video of this wreck as well.
Got a chance to get out on the lake this past weekend with Innerspace and we picked up a scan of what we believe is a Navy landing craft.
36ft long, 11ft wide. Depth on this one is only about 90ft.
The wave in the side scan towards the front of the boat is caused by surface waves. It was kind of choppy out there with a significant amount of boat traffic.
The other attached images are historical photos for context.
Should be fun to get out on this one; see if we can get numbers and research its history.
Probably dive it this Saturday.