Cleveland (WJW) – From the air and on the ground, photos, many captured by Drone Ohio, reveal the first new plate being installed last week on the ballast tanks on the port side of the U.S.S. Cod, an area subjected to the worst corrosion.
“We kept our fingers crossed that maybe things wouldn’t be quite as bad as we hoped or thought they might be,” said Paul Farace, President of the U.S.S. Cod sub memorial.
Farace says there are also frightening indications that bacteria may be a factor in the wastage of the steel, at the splash zone.
“There are strains of bacteria that eats steel. And leave little, kind of orange-ish, pasty, iron-oxide residue. So that’s quite frightening,” he said.
It’s been a little more than a month since the floating WWII memorial was pulled out of its permanent home along Cleveland’s Lake Erie shores, heading to DonJon Shipbuilding’s massive dry dock in Erie for its first facelift since 1963.
And in a major show of hometown love, Cleveland-based Sherwin Williams donated hundreds of gallons of paint to assist in the restoration.
Farace adding, “Sherwin Williams stepping in and donating these expensive, but very high-tech and very necessary marine bottom coatings, they wear a Superman cape in our eyes.”
New steel, cut by a computer, is now being prepared for installation where rusty steel was recently removed.
And just like a puzzle, each piece of new steel is laser engraved with codes and numbers on the exact placement location on the vessel with master craftsmen and women making something old, new again.
“…we remind them daily just how necessary their work is to preserve Cod,” Farace said.