Monday, August 04, 2008

Giants of the Chesapeake II

General Frank S. Besson, Jr. was a noted army commander specializing in logistics, engineering, and transportation support. His contributions were felt in World War II and post-war Japan and included the rehabilitation of the entire Japanese rail system. He developed a roll-on/roll-off technique for rapid loading and discharge of vehicles from watercraft.

In 1987, two years after General Besson's death, the Army completed and deployed a new class of logistic support vehicles or LSV's. This configuration was designed for direct deployment of cargo to shallow water terminals or undeveloped coastlines and inland waterways.

Although these ships are over 270 feet long, they are capable of landing in 4 feet of water. Here is LSV 1, the General Frank S. Besson, Jr., the namesake of its class.

Officers and crew alike watch the tiny boats pass on the steamy Chesapeake afternoon.


SzélsőFa said...

Interesting photos, Jason.

Sarah Hina said...

There is something almost graceful about these hulking giants being able to slide so close to land. I'm glad Besson could be honored in a way he would have appreciated.

I like the zoom progression of the photos, too. I wonder if those crew members ever get tired of looking out over the water.

Aine said...

I still wonder if those men saw you pointing your high-powered lens at them. And, if so, what they were thinking....

Seeing them pass by us reminds me sharply of the power of perspective. They are but specks in the wide ocean, but in the bay they have inescapable presence.

JaneyV said...

My God they're enormous! Did you say they can dock in 4' of water. How amazing. It's such a pity they make them in such dull colours though!

ChrisEldin said...

I love learning something new. Thanks for sharing this. And I agree with Sarah about the grace of these ships being able to navigate so close to land.

jason evans said...

Szelsofa, thanks. :)

Sarah, what's really weird is to see one going through the C & D Canal a couple miles to the north. A ship like this no more than 50 yards from land.... As for the sailors, I suppose they never tire of looking. The sea is an endless dream.

Aine, I think each one of them is alone, if only for a few minutes. A happier place. A warm day. Much like that one.

Janey, yes, 4 feet! That's incredible. I'm nervous taking our tiny boat into 4 feet of water.

Chris, my pleasure. I like sharing these little things that I stumble across.

The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

4 feet of water? That's incredible. Would love to see one of these things in action.