WWII submarine the USS Ling survived the perils of a world war. Then in 1973 the old sub became the main exhibit of the New Jersey Naval Museum. Times have changed since then, however. Moored on the Hackensack River, the Ling has in recent years been beset by various issues, including damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. But as we’ll see, the submarine’s potentially terminal problems aren’t down to natural causes.
In its heyday, the Ling was a U.S. Navy Balao-class submarine. The Navy commissioned 120 of these vessels, making them the most numerous of all American sub types during WWII. At the heart of the Balaos, diesel-powered engines fed electric generators, and these in turn operated electric motors that turned the propeller shafts.
Philadelphia’s William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Company started construction of the Ling in November 1942. And her official launch – presided over by one Mrs. E. J. Foy, wife of the captain of the U.S. battleship Oklahoma – came in August 1943. Then, after the launch, the sub went for its final fit-out at the Navy Yard in Boston, Massachusetts.