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Name: Five Fathom Bank Lightship (LV108, WAL 530)   

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Nearest Town or City:
New Jersey, United States

Location: About 15 miles offshore from Cape May Lighthouse.

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Photo: Ted Smith
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This vessel was built at the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine and was commissioned in 1923. It served as the Five Fathom Bank Lightship 1924-1942 and 1945-1970. It is said to have been scrapped at Norfolk, VA, in 1975. Leonard Lobred of Bethesda, MD, writes: The Five Fathom Bank Lightship was anchored in the mouth of Delaware Bay and served there as a "station ship" during a part of WWII. I was sent to the Philadelphia Navy Yard in Aug. 1942 while the ship was being converted to Navy use. My personnel record indicates that I was detached from the Fourth Naval District (Philadelphia Navy Yard) and assigned to the Five Fathom Bank Lightship on Sept. 30, 1942. After the outfitting was completed, we were towed down the river (shortly after Sept. 30, 1942) and anchored inside the mouth of Delaware Bay where the station ship's function was to identify all incoming vessels as friendly and to make up convoys. Insofar as I can remember, all outbound commercial vessels were headed to New York, not directly across the Atlantic. I was detached from the Five Fathom Bank Light Ship in Feb. 1943. I assume that the ship was kept on station at that location for the duration of the war in Europe. This information may account for the 1942-1945 gap in the light ship's service.

This light is not operational

Date Deactivated: 1970

Current Use: Destroyed.

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