- Date: July 24, 2021
- Depth: 75'-130'
- Dive Boat: Gypsy Blood
- Max Divers: 14
- 2 Dives
- Departing from (Use for GPS) 1 Saint Louis Ave, Point Pleasant Beach NJ 08742
- Departure Time: 7:00am sharp
They are first come first serve. Putting it in your cart does not hold the space. You must fully checkout.
The USS Algol (AKA-54) was launched by the Moore Dry Dock Co., of Oakland, California, on February 17, 1943, for the maritime commission and christened as the James Baines. On November 27, of that same year the James Baines was transferred to the Navy and placed in partial commission. On December 3, the ship was converted into an auxiliary cargo attack vessel, and re-named the U.S.S. Algol. The vessel was re-named after the star that forms the head of Medusa in the Peresius constellation. In ancient Greek mythology, the Medusa was a fearsome creature with the power to turn anyone who looked upon her into stone. The Medusa's head was topped with coiling snakes instead of hair. The star Algol is also called Demon Star. This was the origin of her nickname the Steamin Demon. The Algol was 459'2; long, had a 63' beam and displaced 6,830 tons. She was powered by a single screw double reduction turbine to a top speed of 16.5 knots. Built as an attack cargo vessel the Algol was designed to assist in an amphibious invasion by carrying tanks, trucks and artillery to troops assaulting beachheads. The Algol also carried 24 landing crafts which were used to ferry equipment and attendant personnel from the vessel's five cargo holds to the beach. These landing craft were also used to evacuate wounded men from the invasion area. Her armament consisted of one 5; mount, four double 40MM mounts, and six double 20MM mounts. In addition each of her 14 LCVP boats had two 30 caliber machine guns and the 8 LCM boats had two 50 caliber machine guns. The Algol was massive and had eight decks bringing her height to nearly 100 feet. She was manned by 44 officers, 30 petty officers and 350 enlisted men.
The Algol was fully commissioned on July 21, 1944, with Lieutenant Commander A.T.Jones in command. On January 13, 1945, the Algol landed reinforcements from the25th infantry division in the Lingayen Gulf. On January 29, she landed assault troops in the Zambales, of Luzon. In April of the same year, the Algol participated in the Okinawa invasion. According to a history of the Algol compiled by her crew To everyone's amazement the trip was uneventful except for rough weather. When daylight came on Easter Sunday we could hear the rumble of the pre-invasion bombardment laid down by our Battlewagon's, Cruisers, and Destroyers. Our boat officers and crews who lead in some of the first few waves returned to the ship shortly before noon and reported the invasion was proceeding according to plan;. Her crew also reported that on April 6, the first large Kamikaze attack took place, ;we had the pleasure of seeing several sons of heaven join their ancestors;. After Okinawa the Algol returned to San Diego. She had participated in three amphibious invasions without having a single man wounded, without losing any landing craft and without any damage to the ship. The Algol then proceeded to transport cargo and passengers between Chinese, Philippine, Alaskan and west coast ports.
On March 2, 1946, the Steamin Demon was underway from Eniwetok, Kwajalein, Guamand Saipan. The Algol was carrying 47 Japanese POW's. Thirteen of the prisoners had already been tried, seven of which were to be hanged. According to her crewmembers history sheet ;the trip was uneventful except for a tidal wave and typhoon scare in Saipan;. The final paragraph of the crew's World War IIhistory reads as follows. This history may seem brief, and unexciting, but it covers some 110,979 miles of steaming, some in smooth water, some in rought. The Algol was inactivated on November 26, 1947, only to return toactive service on February 18, 1948. She returned to the Mediterranean then returned to the Pacific. On August 30, 1950, the Algol transported reinforcements and supplies to the Marines in Korea. On September 17, she participated in the invasion of Inchon. She also took part in the Wonsan invasion in October of 1950, and the Chinnampo evacuation on December 4, 1950.The Algol continued as part of the Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet until placed out of commission on January 2, 1958. During her service the USS Algol had received not only two World War II battle stars but five Korean battle stars.
After being decommissioned, the Algol was moth balled in the James River Reserve Fleet in Norfolk, Virginia. According to Bill Figley from the New Jersey Department Of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife, in 1983, the late Senator Edwin B. Forsythe petitioned the U.S. Maritime Administration to release a surplus Liberty Ship to New Jersey for use as an artificial reef. When a suitable Liberty Ship could not be obtained the Algol was substituted. On June 11, 1991, the Algol was towed from the James River Fleet to Willmington, North Carolina, where she was prepared by Eagle Island Marine to be sunk as a reef. The Algol's towers, and funnel were burned off soher relief on the ocean floor would not cause a hazard to navigation. She wasalso cleaned of all possible pollutants and all floatable material. All 22 fuel tanks were cleaned and all of her hydraulic lines were removed. Eagle Island Marine also removed machinery, portholes and other valuable metals that could be sold to help defray the project's expenses. On November 18, 1991, the Algol was towed from North Carolina to New Jersey's Shark River artificial reef sight.
To see the Video of the USS Algol being sunk watch this
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Once you reserve a space you are responsible for the full price of the charter, unless the space can be filled.
* Divers must be Advanced Open Water Certified & must carry a redundant air source.
* Cold water experience required
* Solo Diving is permitted for Recreational Diving only if you hold the proper certification.
Special Note To Divers - Times listed are actual departure times. Hint Hint, to reduce unnecessary stress and anxiety before diving, arrive a half-hour to forty-five minutes prior to departure. If not, the boat will leave without you! Enjoy your dives!!!!