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NavSource Online: Army Ship Photo Archive


Barge, Large, Wooden Non Self-propelled:
  • Laid down, in 1944 as Helium a U.S. Maritime Commission Barge type B5-BJ1 (covered dry cargo barge) at Concrete Ship Constructors, Inc., National City CA
  • Launched in 1944
  • Delivered in March 1944
  • Allocated to the U.S Army, date unknown
  • Placed in service as BCL-3051
  • Retired from US Army service, date unknown
  • Final Disposition, The story of the ex-BCL 3051 (Shae’s Concrete Barge). Henry Shae of Island Fish and Salvage Company was told to remove his WWII U.S. Army surplus concrete barge BCL (Barge Cargo Large) 3051 from Honolulu Harbor. With limited options, he decided to anchor it off Waikiki. Heavy seas caused the barge to run aground on a reef on August 15, 1947. Shae was adamant to salvage his barge, even with many in disbelief and growing impatience. There was a huge legal battle of who is responsible for the removing the barge, which played out in the local newspapers. The process was slow. Some of the yacht clubs were calling the barge, “Diamond Head jr”, the beach goers “The Monster”. Shae’s barge was becoming a tourist attraction to the Matson passengers. Calling it Second Blowhole, since when waves hit the vessel the water would plume up, similar to Halona Blowhole.
    A year had gone by with the plan to dynamite the eye sore off the reef. On June 21, 1948 the barge caught fire. Possible from overnight fisherman or Mr. Shae salvage crew. Finally on July 28 dynamite was used to blow up the barge. The drama of Shae’s barge did not end there. In 1954 Henry J. Kaiser of the Kaiser Shipyard and Kaiser Permanente Health Care, develop Kaiser Hawaiian Village Hotel (now Hilton Hawaiian Village) in Waikiki. In 1955, Kaiser Channel was dredged to allow for catamaran boat tours. The sunken barge was a hazard to navigation when the channel was completed in 1956. The barge sat in 10 – 12 feet of water with the top only being 18 inches below the surface. The cost of totally removing the barge was impractical. The U.S. Coast Guard placed a buoy to warn of the wreck in 1956 and discontinued in 1980.
    Displacement 1,632 t.
    Length 265'
    Beam unknown
    Draft unknown
    Machinery unknown

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    391k Ex-U.S. Army Large Covered Barge BCL-3051 photos and newspaper articles. Blade Shepherd-Jones
    306k Ex-U.S. Army Large Covered Barge BCL-3051 underwater photo Blade Shepherd-Jones

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    Last Updated 10 March 2023