'USS Wakefield' under tow, Boston, 1942


On September 3, 1942 in convoy from the United Kingdom to New York with more than 1,400 passengers and crew aboard, the U.S.S. Wakefield caught fire south of Nova Scotia. The fire was contained using new waterfog nozzles that had been flown out to the ship.

The same firefighting nozzles were used in training sailors on Little Chebeague Island in Casco Bay during World War II when the Navy had a large presence there.

When built in 1932 for United States Lines as the SS Manhattan, the ship that became the Wakefieldship was the largest liner ever built in the United States. In June 1941, she was chartered by the U.S. Navy.

In the picture, the ship is arriving at the Boston Navy Shipyard for repair in November 1942.

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