Prior to World War II, a local agriculture company had become very skilled at building barges to haul grain. In 1942, because of this company's pre-war successes and also because of a large employment pool in the local area, the US Navy selected Savage, Minnesota as a location for building ships.
In order to handle the shipbuilding, the Minnesota River, which normally has a depth of 3.5 feet, had to be dredged for 14 miles to ensure a minimum depth of 9 feet.
Originally, the Savage shipyard was contracted to build six ships, but by the end of the war, the plant employed 3,500 personnel and built eighteen ships and four tugboats over the course of four years.
USS Agawam under construction in Savage in May 1943
The primary ships built at Savage were Patapsco-class auxiliary oil and gas carriers (AOGs). These ships were manned by a crew of 131, had a length of 310 feet, a width of around 48 feet, and a draft of 15 feet. They were capable of carrying 1,880 tons of gasoline and ammunition. They cruised at a speed of 15.5 knots.
USS Agawam deck work conducted in Savage
The launching of the USS Genesee (AOG-8) in Savage in September 1943
The first ship, the USS Agawam, was laid down in September 1942 and launched in May 1943. Following this launch, she sailed down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, where she was fitted with the final touches before commissioning. After a shakedown, these ships departed the United States for the south Pacific.
The USS Nespelen (AOG-55) under construction in Savage
The USS Nemasket (AOG-10) passes under the Lyndale Avenue Drawbridge on the Minnesota River in November 1943
The USS Nespelen (AOG-55) heading down the Mississippi River after launch
The USS Kishwaukee (AOG-9) with its camouflage paint job in the Savage shipwayd
The USS Chehalis (AOG-48) serving in World War II in 1944
It should be noted that many of these ships served in the US Navy for many years, taking fuel and ammunition to our troops in Korea and Vietnam. Many of these served in the US Navy up until 1975, when most were stricken and scrapped. A handful of these ships were transferred to foreign navies, such as Greece, Colombia, and Taiwan, where many served into the early part of this century. One ship, USS Nemasket, remained in reserve status until she was scrapped in 2006. The last ship in service from the Savage shipyard was the USS Pecatonica (AOG-57), who served in Taiwan as the Chang Bai (AOG 307/507) until 2008.
USS Chewaucan serving in the US Navy in 1968
USS Nemasket in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet near San Francisco prior to scrapping in 2006
The ROCS Chang Bai (formerly USS Pecatonica) serving in the Taiwanese Navy in 2006
Answer the following questions to complete the coordinates.
A = The last digit of the designation of the USS Tombigbee when she served as part of the Greek Navy as the Ariadni
B = AOG designation number of the USS Agawam
C = The month in which the USS Kishwaukee was launched
D = Day in July 1975 that USS Chewaucan was struck from the naval register
E = Day in March 1959 that USS Noxubee was decommissioned for the first time
F = Last digit of the year in which the USS Namakagon was transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy
G = Last digit of the year that USS Nemasket was struck from the naval register
H = Last digit of the USS Maquoketa AOG designation number
I = Last digit of the AOG designation number of the last ship launched from the Savage shipyard
J = Last digit of the AOG designation number of the USS Chewaucan
Cache is located at N 44 AB.CDE W 093 FG.HIJ
You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.