Forgotten Fleet

The Mothball Navy
If you are a member, log in to receive member pricing
Published:November 1, 1999
By Daniel Madsen (Author)

A pictorial history of the U.S. Navy's mothball fleet, this handsome book takes a rare look at the so-called fleet behind the fleet, from the end of World War II to the present. Through photographs of the ships and shipyards where they were laid up and brief ship histories, it tells the story of how these ships were paid off and preserved, how some were reactivated, and how most left the reserve fleet to be broken up. Additional photos of the ships in action remind readers that forgotten though they were while in mothballs, many made their marks on history.

Year after year the warships lay quiet and lifeless, like boarded up old houses once full of activity that had outlived their usefulness. The row upon row of mostly now-anonymous vessels, hatches sealed shut, offer a bleak contrast to the drama of their wartime operations. You can almost hear the wind whistling through the masts and superstructures stripped of radars. Below decks there is only the sound of the dehumidifiers, removing moisture from the air, retarding the buildup of rust and deterioration. Berthing areas, repair shops and radio rooms have been frozen in time, looking exactly as they did when sealed decades before. Among them are such well-known ships as the Enterprise and the Midway, as well as little-known ones like the Fall River, and some that were laid up almost as soon as they were completed, like the Oregon City. Here too are the frigates and nuclear submarines of a later age. These are the ships of the forgotten fleet, built for war but resting at peace in coastal parking lots on both sides of the country, their story told for the first time.

List Price: $36.95
Member Price: $29.56
Product Details
  • Subject: U.S. Navy
  • Hardback : 256 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (November 1, 1999)
  • ISBN-10: 1557505438
  • ISBN-13: 9781557505439
  • Product Dimensions: 7 X 10 in
  • Shipping Weight: 25.6 oz

Daniel Madsen is also the author of Forgotten Fleet: The Mothball Navy. He lives in Kenwood, California.

More by this Author

The attack on Pearl Harbor is a topic of perennial interest to the American public, and a long line...Read More
Forgotten Fleet
A pictorial history of the U.S. Navy's mothball fleet, this handsome book takes a rare look at the...Read More

Related Content

None found for this author.

Events and Conferences

None found for this author.

Customer Reviews

1 Review
Average Customer Reviews
4.00 Stars
good book
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
By: Ken Harrod
Excellent book,sometime rambles on somewhat.Alot of good history


Conferences and Events

WEST 2017

Tue, 2017-02-21 - Thu, 2017-02-23

San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA

Tuesday, 21 February - Thursday, 23 February 2017 Co-Sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute. Registration...

2017 U.S. Naval Institute Member Event

View All

From the Press

Taped Oral History Interview

Tue, 2017-02-21

Arnold L. Punaro

Meet the Authors & Book Signings

Tue, 2017-02-21

Admiral James Stavridis

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 135 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership