Ashtabula AO-51 - History

Ashtabula AO-51 - History

Ashtabula

A river that rises in the northeastern corner of Ohio and meanders in a generally westward direction some 40 miles before emptying into Lake Erie. A county and a town named Ashtabula are also located in Ohio.

(AO-51: dp. 25,440; 1. 553'; b. 75'; dr. 32'4"; s. 18.3 k.; a. 15" 4 3", 8 40mm., 8 20mm.; cpl. 298; cl. Ashtabula; T. T3-S2-A1)

Astabula (AO--51) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 717) on 1 October 1942 at Sparrows Point, Md., by the Bethlehem Steel Co.; launched on 22 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Adolph Augustus Berle, Jr., the wife of the Assistant Secretary of State; and acquired by the Navy on 7 August 1943; and commissioned the same day, Comdr. Louis J. Modave in command.

Following shakedown in the Chesapeake Bay, the oiler sailed for Aruba on 10 September to take on fuel oil and aviation gasoline and then continued on, via the Panama Canal, to the South Pacific. After arriving at Tutuila, Samoa, on 22 October, she operated as a member of Service Squadron (ServRon) 8 in the South Pacific until 17 November. Ashtabula next sailed for the United States and entered the Long Beach Navy Yard on 1 December for an availability period.

The oiler sailed for Pearl Harbor on New Year's Day, 1944, and remained there until 16 January when she sortied with Task Group (TG) 58.1 for operations supporting the occupation of the Marsball Islands. Ashtabula anchored at Majuro lagoon on 4 February and operated from that atoll in support of the fast carrier task forces through mid-June. The ship then began participating in the the Philippine Sea and its aftermath, she fueled ships of Task in the effort to take the Marianas. During the Battle of Force (TF) 58 from 20 through 27 June and then retired, via Eniwetok, to the California coast for yard work which began upon her arrival at Terminal Island on 15 July.

The oiler got underway again on 28 August and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 4 September. She continued sailing westward and reached Eniwetok on the 17th. After a two-day respite, the vessel headed for the South Pacific and arrived at Purvis Bay on the 24th where she spent the remainder of the month in fueling duties. Ashtabula's next assignment was to support the first American forces to fight for the liberation of the Philippines. She sailed, via Humboldt Bay and Kossol Roads, to Leyte Gulf and began fueling units of TG 77.2 on 23 October. Late the following afternoon, three Japanese torpedo planes attacked the oiler. One of them dropped a torpedo which hit Ashtabula's port side. Although the explosion caused no fires or personnel casualties, Ashtabula soon developed a 16-degree list to port. Skillful counterflooding righted the ship and allowed her to resume operations. On 27 October, the vessel was detached from Task Unit (TU) 77.7.1 and headed for the west coast of the United States. Follow stops at Kossol Roads, Humboldt Bay, and Pearl Harbor, Ise reached San Pedro, Calif., on 15 December and was drydocked at Terminal Island for repair of her torpedo damage,

The oiler departed the California coast on 28 January 1945, touched at Pearl Harbor on 3 February, and arrived at Eniwetok on 12 February. She reported to ServRon 10 for duty and remained there until 5 March, when the ship sailed for Ulithi. On the 10th, Ashtabula was reassigned to ServRon 6; and, three days later, she got underway for fueling operations at sea for the warships of the Fast Carrier Task Force, TF 58. On 5 April, Ashtabula's bow struck Thornton (AVD-1 1) amidships and caused considerable damage to the seaplane tender. Ashtabula returned to Ulithi on 9 April and underwent minor repair work from 10 to 17 April There, the oiler once again returned to the control of Serv on 10.

For the duration of the war, Ashtabula operated in the Ulithi area. In mid-August Japan capitulated; and, on the last day of the month, the oiler headed for Okinawa, but soon moved on to Jinsen, Korea, where she arrived on 11 September. For the next six months, Ashtabula operated between ports in Korea, Japan, and China while supplying and fueling American warships. In March 1946, the oiler made a cruise, via Singapore and Ceylon, to Bahrain. She returned to Japan in April. In June and July, she again visited a Mideastern port, Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia, to replenish her oil bunkers. Ashtabula got underway for a voyage back to the United States. After pausing briefly at Pearl Harbor, the ship arrived at San Pedro on 18 December.

Ashtabula began 1947 with a cruise to Guam and returned to California on 27 January. For the next two years, she continued operations between the west coast, Hawaii, and the Marshall Islands. This circuit was interrupted by a visit to Ras Tanura and Bahrain in June 1949. The oiler returned to the Orient in October 1948 and once again operated between the west coast and Hawaii from July 1949 until June 1950. During this time, she provided towing services from Pearl Harbor to southern California ports in addition to transporting fuel. On 28 June 1950, Ashtabula headed north from Long Beach, Calif., bound for Alaska. Upon arriving at Dutch Harbor, the ship fueled two survey vessels operating in the area. After a brief stop in Point Barrow, Alaska, she returned to Long Beach on 19 August.

The vessel lay at anchor there until 27 September, when she sailed for Pearl Harbor with a load of aviation gasoline and fuel oil. Due to the growing conflict in Korea, Ashtabula was ordered to proceed immediately to Sasebo, Japan. There, she loaded provisions for American troops stationed in Taiwan, and then delivered them to Keelung. Beginning in November, Ashtabula put to sea to supply fuel and provisions to ships of the 7th Fleet. She continued t ese activities until August 1951, when she returned to Long Beach.

The ship got back in action in the Far East in November, refueling bombardment forces around the 38th parallel and, later, assisted in the evacuation of Hungnam, Korea. In March 1952, she sailed to Long Beach for an overhaul, but was back at Sasebo by early October.

That November, while in Sasebo for an availability, Ashtabula was damaged by twin explosions caused by acetylene torches which i nited gasoline fumes. Three sailors were killed, and the foward well deck was seriously damaged. After three months of work at Sasebo, the ship sailed to Long Beach for further alterations. In September 1953, she returned to the western Pacific (WestPac) and resumed replenishment duties.

For the next 10 years, the oiler continued alternating deployments to WestPac with periods of upkeep, overhaul, and training at her home port, Long Beach. Ports of call in WestPac included Subic Bay and Manila, Philippines; Hong Kong; Sasebo, Kobe, Nagasaki, Yokosuka, and Kagoshima, Japan; Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and Buckner Bay, Okinawa.

During the first half of 1964, Ashtabula continued her peacetime routine. On 2 August, she was in the Gulf of Tonkin refueling destroyers Maddox (DD-731) and TurnerJoy (DD-951) just a few hours after North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked Maddox. She spent most of August fueling ships of the 7th Fleet in the South China Sea. Upon completing her WestPac cruise, Ashtabula returned to Long Beach.

However, for the next eight years, the oiler continued to serve in waters surrounding Vietnam during her regular deployments to the Far East. She provided fuel and supplies to units of the 7th Fleet, while operating out of the ports of Subic Bay and Kaohsiung. Between tours in the Orient, she returned to Long Beach for leave and upkeep.

In 1968, Ashtabula underwent a major reconfiguration. A 400-foot midsection, built entirely new from the keel up, was inserted and welded between her original bow and stern. This replaced the old 310-foot midsection and increased the vessel's liquid cargo ca pacity by over one-third. Her new configuration closely resembled that of a more modern type of ship, the replenishment oiler. She continued her Vietnam service through August 1972, when she made her last line swing off Vietnam. The ship returned to Long Beach on 9 December. Following an availability period at Long Beach and training exercises off the southern California coast, Ashtabula once a sailed west on 4 October 1973. While at Subic Bay, she received orders to proceed to the Indian Ocean operating area. In early December, Ashtabula provided services to Hancock (CVA-19) and Oriskany (CVA-34) as well as other members of their task continuous days at sea, Ashtabula arrived at there, the oiler got underway to us ships in the Gulf of Siam. On 7 a three-week voyage to her home port. She spent one month in upkeep, then sailed to her new home port, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and spent the rest of the year in overhaul and refresher training.

Ashtabula began another WestPac deployment on 8 February 1975. She took part in Operation "Seafox," a joint SEATO exercise with six other nations. Her next assignments were Operations "Eagle Pull" and "Frequent Wind," held off the coast of Vietnam. On 11 May, she was ordered to Cambodia to support the rescue of Mayaquez, an American merchant ship that had been captured by communist forces. In late July, the oiler returned to her home port, where she spent the next 10 months in upkeep and local operations.

Ashtabula sailed for WestPac on 21 June 1976. Ports visited included Subic Bay; Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan; Hong Kong; and Keelung, Taiwan. The cruise was highlighted by a joint training exercise with ships of the Japanese Maritime SelfDefense Force. The oiler arrived back in Pearl Harbor on 15 December and spent the first two months of 1977 providing services to ships in the Pearl Harbor area. In March, she headed west to rendezvous with and refuel a task group built around Coral Sea (CV-43). On 2 April, the ship returned to Pearl Harbor and commenced an overhaul period which was completed on 28 February 1978.

Ashtabula sailed to Alameda, Calif, on 10 March to hold a series of qualification trials, returned to Pearl Harbor on 14 April, and began refresher training. She got underway on 30 June for the Far East and called at Song Kla and Pattaya, Thailand; Subic Bay; Sasebo; and Fremantle, Australia. While in Australia, Ashtabula participated in Exercise "Sandgroper," which was held in conjunction with the Australian and New Zealand navies. The oiler then proceeded to Singapore and Hong Kong for liberty calls and closed the year in upkeep at Guam.

Back at Pearl Harbor on 18 January 1979, Ashtabula began eight months of underway training, local operations, and inspections. At the end of August, she embarked upon a six-week cruise to the west coast to conduct underway replenishment qualification trials and then participate in Exercise "Kernel Potlatch II," a joint United States-Canadian operation to test and evaluate plans for the common defense of North America. At the conclusion of the exercise, the oiler called at Esquimalt, British Columbia,on 6 October. After a three-day visit, she headed back to Hawaii on the 9th and arrived in Pearl Harbor on the 16th.

Local operations in the Hawaiian Islands occupied Ashtabula's time for nearly the entire first nine months of 1980. On 28 September, the oiler embarked upon another tour of duty in the western Pacific. Steaming by way of Guam in the Mariana Islands, she entered Subic Bay in the Philippines on 15 October. Her deployment was marred at its outset by engineering casualties that required a two-month repair period at Subic Bay. On 12 December, she completed repairs and, the following day, put to sea to begin underway refueling service to the ships of the 7th Fleet. For the next four months, Ashtabula operated in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Sea of Japan, refueling American warships assigned to the Far East. The oiler made visits to several Japanese ports-Sasebo, Yokosuka, and Iwakuni-as well as to Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands and Chinhae in Korea. She also returned periodically to the base at Subic Bay. On 15 April. 1981, Ashtabula departed the Philippines to return to Hawaii. She arrived in Pearl Harbor on the 30th.
After 51 Subic Bay on 5 January 1974.

Following a two-month, post-deployment standdown, the ship resumed local operations in the Hawaiian Islands at the end of June. She remained so employed until the end of October when she stood into Pearl Harbor to conclude her last underway period for 1981. The oiler spent the first four months of 1982 carrying out missions in the Hawaiian operating area. On 30 April 1982, she embarked upon her final deployment to the Far East. That tour of duty lasted a little more than three months she returned to Pearl Harbor on 5 August. Soon thereafter, Ashtabula began preparations for inactivation. Decommissioned at Pearl Harbor on 30 September 1982, she was subsequently towed to Suisun Bay, Calif., where she joined the Maritime Administration's National Defense Reserve Fleet. As of the beginning of 1987, Ashtabula-still property of the Navy and carried on the Navy list-remained berthed at Suisun Bay.

Ashtabula was awarded eight battle stars for World War II service, four battle stars for Korean action, and eight battle stars for duty in the Vietnam conflict.


Ashtabula (AO-51) Class: Photographs

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Off Sparrows Point, Baltimore, Md., on 1 December 1943 just after commissioning.the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 19 March 1940 after her preliminary conversion there.
The assisting tug is Justine of the Curtis Bay Towing Company. Tugs like this appear in many photos of ships built or converted at Baltimore.

Photo No. 19-N-55696
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

Fully loaded circa 1944.
Her anti-aircraft armament has been upgraded to include four 40mm twin mounts.

Photo No. 19-N-72463
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

Probably shown just after her completion in February 1945.
Note the Baltimore harbor tug assisting.

Photo No. 19-N-79035
Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-LCM

Underway circa 1949.
Much of her antiaircraft battery, including all of the guns and gun platforms on the bow, have been removed.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

Underway in April 1957.
Note the hoses suspended from the booms at all four fueling stations to port and the destroyer alongside to starboard.

Photo No. USN 1015706
Source: Shipscribe

Underway on 13 February 1959 after refueling USS Tarawa (CVS-40).
The aft refueling stations on both sides have been strengthened and transformed into a large goalpost mast, an enhancement that was also applied to other Navy oilers in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Photo No. USN 1045536
Source: Shipscribe

In the Pearl Harbor channel on 17 April 1964.
Three of her after refueling stations (two to port and one to starboard) have been strengthened by providing heavier kingposts with large angled tops. The ship's armament has been reduced to two 3"/50 guns, both aft.

Photo No. KN-9500
Source: Shipscribe

Underway circa the 1970s as a civilian-manned MSTS replenishment tanker. Note the reinforced refueling stations aft.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

The fully assembled ship undocking on 6 August 1968 during her "Jumbo" conversion at the Bethlehem Steel Co., Baltimore Yards.
In a series of dockings and undockings, the stern was detached from the old ship on 4 June 1968 and joined to the new midbody on 8 June, then the bow was detached from the old midbody on 16 July and joined to the new ship on the same day.

Photo No. NH 85040
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

Underway after her "Jumbo" conversion in the late 1960s.

Photo No. Unknown
Source: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

Underway in Hampton Roads, Virginia, on 11 August 1969 after her "Jumbo" conversion.


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This area had long been inhabited by indigenous peoples. After the American Revolutionary War, the United States mounted the Northwest Indian War to push Native American peoples out of what it then called the Northwest - the area of the Midwest south of the Great Lakes and west of the Appalachian Mountains. The success of this military effort resulted in more European Americans entering Ohio and nearby territories.

The site of Ashtabula was settled by such European Americans beginning in 1803. The city was incorporated in 1891. [7] Located directly on Lake Erie and developed as a port for trade, the city contained several stops on the Underground Railroad. This informal, secret system was the means by which anti-slavery supporters helped escaped African-American slaves reach freedom in Canada in the years before the American Civil War. While Ohio was a free state, many refugee slaves still felt at risk of slavecatchers here, particularly after the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was passed. It required enforcement and cooperation by residents of free states to return escaped slaves and was biased toward slavecatchers, requiring little documentation of their claims. Among the Underground Railroad sites in Ashtabula is Hubbard House, one of the handful of former surviving termination points. Refugee slaves stayed in a basement of the house adjacent to the lake and then left on the next safe boat to Canada, gaining their freedom once they arrived in Ontario.

The city's harbor has been important as a large ore and coal port since the end of the 19th century, and integral to the steel manufacturing that was developed around the Great Lakes. Lake steamers and barges, built at shipyards along the Great Lakes and setting new records for size and tonnage, delivered cargoes of iron ore from the Mesabi Range in Minnesota. This continues as a coal port a long coal ramp is visible in the harbor. Ore shipments are unloaded from 'lakers' (Great Lakes freighters) and shipped to surviving steel mills in Pennsylvania. Industrial jobs have declined since the late 20th century with much steel manufacturing moved offshore.

An electric street railroad was built by Captain John N. Stuart in 1883. However, in July 1890, the city council dispossessed him of the street railroad and associated franchises via a disputable court decision. Shortly after, 600-700 men started to tear up and remove the tracks under the cover of darkness. [8]

Many European immigrants, particularly from Finland, Sweden, and Italy, were attracted to the industrial jobs in Ashtabula in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as they could learn and accomplish tasks without having a great command of English. Ethnic rivalries among these groups were once a major influence on politics and daily life in Ashtabula.

In 1915, Ashtabula became the first city in the United States to adopt a form of voting called proportional representation. This was an addition to the council-manager charter, originally passed in 1914, and served as a model for the National Municipal League. [9] Twenty-four more cities would go on to use this single-transferable-vote (STV) system, with five in total in Ohio. Ethnic rivalries were one reason for the city's switch, as STV enabled minorities to win political office. [10] [11] Another factor was disunity in the incumbent Republican Party. Voters repealed the system in 1929, using it for the last time in 1931. Despite two failed repeal campaigns in 1920 and 1926, [12] political bosses and parties that lost power under STV eventually restored plurality voting, otherwise known as 'winner take all.' [11]

A substantial percentage of the current residents are descended from those early 20th-century immigrants. The population in the City of Ashtabula grew steadily until 1970 but has declined in recent years due to industrial restructuring and loss of jobs. Since the late 20th century, the city has become a destination for Hispanic or Latino immigrants, who by the 2010 census made up 9.3% of the population. (See 'Demographics' section below.)

Tragedies Edit

Construction of railroads connected Ashtabula to a national network that contributed to its success as a port. On December 29, 1876, one of the nation's most notorious rail accidents occurred, known as the Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster, Ashtabula Horror, or Ashtabula bridge disaster. As Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway Train No. 5, The Pacific Express, crossed the Ashtabula River bridge, the Howe truss structure collapsed, dropping the second locomotive and 11 passenger cars into the frozen creek 150 feet (46 m) below. A fire was started by the car stoves, and of the 159 people on board, 92 were killed and 64 were injured.

A rail ferry, also named Ashtabula, used to run from Ashtabula to Port Burwell, Ontario. [13] The ferry was launched in 1906 and operated successfully for many decades. It collided with the steamer SS Ben Morell in September 1958, causing the ferry to sink. [13]

On August 10, 1955, a natural gas leak was ignited by electrical equipment or lighting in Andover, Ohio a neighboring town. The resulting explosion destroyed a restaurant and five other buildings. 21 people were killed, and 15 injured. [14]

In the 20th century Ashtabula developed rapidly as a major shipping and commercial center because of its access to Lake Erie and nearly 30 miles (48 km) of shoreline.

During the 1950s, the area experienced growth with an expanding chemical industry and increasing harbor activity, making Ashtabula one of the most important port cities of the Great Lakes. Other historical industries in the area included a Rockwell International plant on Route 20 on the western side of Ashtabula, which manufactured brakes for the Space Shuttle program, and the extrusion of depleted and enriched uranium at the Reactive Metals Extrusion plant on East 21st Street.

Due to such industrial uses, however, there was extensive environmental contamination. The Ashtabula River and harbor were designated as a significant Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency in the late 20th century. A multi-year process of environmental cleanup of toxic wastes and soils was needed cleanup concluded with river dredging in 2012–2014.

Ashtabula Harbor hosts an annual 'Blessing of the Fleet' community festival. This Blessing of the Fleet began as a practice of priests for Catholic Portuguese and Irish fishermen and tugmen who had settled in Ashtabula. During the 1930s, the Blessing was a small, almost private affair in early April conducted by a few tugmen, their parish priest, and an acolyte, according to their traditions. It took place annually when the Great Lakes were free enough of ice to be open for regular traffic. By 1950, this event was held as a public ceremony under the auspices of Mother of Sorrows parish. In 1974, the Blessing of the Fleet became a community affair, with all of Ashtabula's religious and harbor community participating.

The United States Coast Guard Station and the Ashtabula Maritime & Surface Transportation Museum, located in the old lighthouse keepers home, help to preserve Ashtabula's maritime heritage.

Norfolk Southern used the port for one its coal piers. The coal pier became idled in 2016 due to declining demand for coal. [15]

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 7.91 square miles (20.5 km 2 ), of which 7.74 square miles (20.0 km 2 ) (or 97.85%) is land and 0.17 square miles (0.44 km 2 ) (or 2.15%) is water. [17]

Ashtabula is bordered by Lake Erie to the north and has a prominent harbor where the Ashtabula River flows into the lake. The Ashtabula Harbor was a primary coal harbor and still serves to ship. It has two public beaches: Walnut Beach, near the harbor, and Lake Shore Park, originally a Public Works Administration project during the Great Depression, on the opposite side of the harbor.

Part of the city lies in Ashtabula Township, and part lies in Saybrook Township.

The Ashtabula area receives a considerable amount of snow throughout the winter, with the average snowfall being 68 inches (173 cm). Much of the snow comes from lake-effect snow bands from the Great Lakes.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1830229
1840704 207.4%
1850821 16.6%
18601,418 72.7%
18701,999 41.0%
18804,445 122.4%
18908,338 87.6%
190012,949 55.3%
191018,266 41.1%
192022,082 20.9%
193023,301 5.5%
194021,405 −8.1%
195023,696 10.7%
196024,559 3.6%
197024,313 −1.0%
198023,354 −3.9%
199021,633 −7.4%
200020,962 −3.1%
201019,124 −8.8%
2019 (est.)18,017 [4] −5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census [18]

2010 census Edit

At the 2010 census there were 19,124 people in 7,746 households, including 4,724 families, in the city. The population density was 2,470.8 inhabitants per square mile (954.0/km 2 ). There were 9,087 housing units at an average density of 1,174.0 per square mile (453.3/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 82.0% White, 8.9% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 3.3% from other races, and 5.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.3%. [3]

Of the 7,746 households, 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 19.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.0% were non-families. 32.9% of households were one person, and 13.3% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.03.

The median age was 37 years. 26.4% of residents were under the age of 18 9.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24 23.9% were from 25 to 44 25.8% were from 45 to 64 and 14.7% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.6% male and 52.4% female.

2000 census Edit

At the 2000 census, there were 20,962 people in 8,435 households, including 5,423 families, in the city. The population density was 2,775.9 people per square mile (1,072.0/km 2 ). There were 9,151 housing units at an average density of 1,211.8 per square mile (468.0/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 84.69% White, 9.79% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.51% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was 5.32% of the population. 16.5% identified as of Italian ancestry, 14.6% as German, 9.2% as American, 8.1% as Irish, and 8.1% as English, according to Census 2000. 93.1% spoke English and 5.4% Spanish as their first language.

Of the 8,435 households, 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.9% were married couples living together, 17.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.7% were non-families. 30.6% of households were one person, and 13.3% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city the population was spread out, with 27.6% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% 65 or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.3 males.

The median household income was $27,354 and the median family income was $33,454. Males had a median income of $28,436 versus $22,490 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,034. About 17.8% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.2% of those under age 18 and 13.6% of those age 65 or over.

The Ashtabula Area School District serves Ashtabula (its high school is Lakeside High School). Kent State University at Ashtabula is located in the city, providing a local campus of this institution. As for private schools, Ashtabula or Saybrook is home to Saint John School, a K–12 school under the Diocese of Youngstown which has incorporated Ashtabula's previous parish schools and independent Catholic high school as one institution. [19]

Ashtabula has a public library, a branch of the Ashtabula County District Library. [20]

Ashtabula County Medical Center (ACMC) [21] is a multi-specialty hospital located in Ashtabula County, Ohio. [22] ACMC serves the people of the county and the surrounding areas in northeastern Ohio. it is an affiliate of the Cleveland Clinic system. [23]

The hospital operates the county's only behavioral medicine unit, and a sleep disorders lab, as well as many specialized services. The attached "Ashtabula Clinic" provides outpatient care in the specialties of pediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine, pulmonary, neurology, psychiatry, sleep disorders, cardiology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, general surgery, orthopedics, urology, ENT, podiatry and oncology. ACMC operates satellite clinics in the county of Ashtabula. In December 2008, ACMC added the first Cardiac Catheterization Lab (commonly known as the Cath Lab) in Ashtabula County. ACMC provides OB/GYN care and maternity/birthing services in a newly renovated maternity unit. [24]

During World War II, the United States Navy used the names of rivers with Indian origins for an entire class of fleet oilers, which are used to replenish vessels while underway at sea. USS Ashtabula (AO-51) was commissioned in 1943 and served until 1982. Ashtabula was awarded eight battle stars for World War II service, four battle stars for the Korean War, and eight battle stars for duty in the Vietnam War. Partially scrapped in 1995, Ashtabula was expended as a target in fleet exercises on October 15, 2000. She has been the only Navy vessel to bear the name Ashtabula. [25]


Retaliatory airstrikes

Operating on his authority as Commander-in-Chief, Johnson had retaliatory strikes launched against the DRV. Whether it was his lack of military experience and his unwillingness to listen to military advisors, or that his concern for domestic politics overrode tactical considerations, he went on national television to announce the airstrikes, while some of them were still inbound to their targets — which could have been alerted by his broadcast. According to H.R. McMaster, Johnson would not delay his television broadcast because he wanted it to be sure to make the late evening news, and the deadlines for morning newspapers. [6]

McNamara and Johnson appeared to believe that deliberate attacks had taken place. Senior military and intelligece officials, however, increasingly doubted the circumstances. They included LTG Bruce Palmer (Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, U.S. Army), Ray Cline (deputy director for intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency), and the Director of the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern affairs, as well as more junior staff. Some of the junior staff were to become much more prominent, such as Alexander Haig and Daniel Ellsberg. Cline said, however, ". we knew it was bum dope we were getting from the United States Seventh Fleet, but we were told to give only the facts with no elaboration on the nature of the evidence. Everyone knew how volatile LBJ was. He did not like to deal with uncertainties." [7]


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World War II [ edit | edit source ]

Ashtabula (AO-51) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 717) on 1 October 1942 at Sparrows Point, Maryland, by the Bethlehem Steel Co. launched on 22 May 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Adolph Augustus Berle, Jr., the wife of the Assistant Secretary of State and acquired by the Navy on 7 August 1943 and commissioned the same day, Comdr. Louis J. Modave in command.

Following shakedown in the Chesapeake Bay, the oiler sailed for Aruba on 10 September to take on fuel oil and aviation gasoline and then continued on, via the Panama Canal, to the South Pacific. After arriving at Tutuila, Samoa, on 22 October, she operated as a member of Service Squadron (ServRon) 8 in the South Pacific until 17 November. Ashtabula next sailed for the United States and entered the Long Beach Navy Yard on 1 December for an availability period.

The oiler sailed for Pearl Harbor on New Year's Day, 1944, and remained there until 16 January when she sortied with Task Group (TG) 58.1 for operations supporting the occupation of the Marshall Islands. Ashtabula anchored at Majuro lagoon on 4 February and operated from that atoll in support of the fast carrier task forces through mid June. The ship then began participating in the effort to take the Marianas. During the Battle of the Philippine Sea and its aftermath, she fueled ships of Task Force 58 (TF㺺) from 20 through 27 June and then retired, via Eniwetok, to the California coast for yard work which began upon her arrival at Terminal Island on 15 July.

The oiler got underway again on 28 August and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 4 September. She continued sailing westward and reached Eniwetok on the 17th. After a two-day respite, the vessel headed for the South Pacific and arrived at Purvis Bay on the 24th where she spent the remainder of the month in fueling duties. Ashtabula's next assignment was to support the first American forces to fight for the liberation of the Philippines. She sailed, via $3 and Kossol Roads, to Leyte Gulf and began fueling units of TG 77.2 on 23 October. Late the following afternoon, three Japanese torpedo planes attacked the oiler. One of them dropped a torpedo which hit Ashtabula's port side. Although the explosion caused no fires or personnel casualties, Ashtabula soon developed a 16-degree list to port. Skillful counter-flooding righted the ship and allowed her to resume operations. On 27 October, the vessel was detached from Task Unit (TU) 77.7.1 and headed for the west coast of the United States. Following stops at Kossol Roads, Humboldt Bay, and Pearl Harbor, she reached San Pedro, California, on 15 December and was drydocked at Terminal Island for repair of her torpedo damage.

The oiler departed the California coast on 28 January 1945, touched at Pearl Harbor on 3 February, and arrived at Eniwetok on 12 February. She reported to ServRon 10 for duty and remained there until 5 March, when the ship sailed for Ulithi. On the 10th, Ashtabula was reassigned to ServRon 6 and, three days later, she got underway for fueling operations at sea for the warships of the Fast Carrier Task Force, TF 58. On 5 April, Ashtabula’s bow struck Thornton (AVD-11) amidships and caused considerable damage to the seaplane tender. Ashtabula returned to Ulithi on 9 April and underwent minor repair work from 10 to 17 April. There, the oiler once again returned to the control of ServRon 10.

For the duration of the war, Ashtabula operated in the Ulithi area. In mid-August, Japan capitulated and, on the last day of the month, the oiler headed for Okinawa, but soon moved on to Jinsen, Korea, where she arrived on 11 September. For the next six months, Ashtabula operated between ports in Korea, Japan, and China while supplying and fueling American warships. In March 1946, the oiler made a cruise, via Singapore and Ceylon, to Bahrain. She returned to Japan in April. In June and July, she again visited a Mideastern port, Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia, to replenish her oil bunkers. Ashtabula got underway for a voyage back to the United States. After pausing briefly at Pearl Harbor, the ship arrived at San Pedro, California, on 18 December.

Ashtabula began 1947 with a cruise to Guam and returned to California on 27 January. For the next two years, she continued operations between the west coast, Hawaii, and the Marshall Islands. This circuit was interrupted by a visit to Ras Tanura and Bahrain in June 1949. The oiler returned to the Orient in October 1948 and once again operated between the west coast and Hawaii from July 1949 until June 1950. During this time, she provided towing services from Pearl Harbor to southern California ports in addition to transporting fuel. On 28 June 1950, Ashtabula headed north from Long Beach, California, bound for Alaska. Upon arriving at Dutch Harbor, the ship fueled two survey vessels operating in the area. After a brief stop in Point Barrow, Alaska, she returned to Long Beach on 19 August.

Korean War operations [ edit | edit source ]

The vessel lay at anchor there until 27 September, when she sailed for Pearl Harbor with a load of aviation gasoline and fuel oil. Due to the growing Korean War, Ashtabula was ordered to proceed immediately to Sasebo, Japan. There, she loaded provisions for American troops stationed in Taiwan, and then delivered them to Keelung. Beginning in November, Ashtabula put to sea to supply fuel and provisions to ships of the U.S. 7th Fleet. She continued these activities until August 1951, when she returned to Long Beach.

The ship got back in action in the Far East in November, refueling bombardment forces around the 38th parallel and, later, assisted in the evacuation of Hungnam, Korea. In March 1952, she sailed to Long Beach for an overhaul, but was back at Sasebo by early October.

On 20 November 1952, while in Sasebo for an availability, Ashtabula was damaged by twin explosions caused by acetylene torches which ignited gasoline fumes in her forward hold. Three sailors were killed, and the forward well deck was seriously damaged, the weather deck curling back towards the superstructure and the port hull blown open to the sea. After three months of work at Sasebo, the ship sailed to Long Beach for further alterations. In September 1953, she returned to the western Pacific (WestPac) and resumed replenishment duties.

For the next 10 years, the oiler continued alternating deployments to WestPac with periods of upkeep, overhaul, and training at her home port, Long Beach. Ports of call in WestPac included Subic Bay and Manila, Philippines Hong Kong Sasebo, Kobe, Nagasaki, Yokosuka, and Kagoshima, Japan Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and Buckner Bay, Okinawa.

During the first half of 1964, Ashtabula continued her peacetime routine. On 2 August, she was in the Gulf of Tonkin refueling destroyers Maddox (DD-731) and Turner Joy (DD-951) just a few hours after North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked Maddox. She spent most of August fueling ships of the 7th Fleet in the South China Sea. Upon completing her WestPac cruise, Ashtabula returned to Long Beach.

Vietnam War operations [ edit | edit source ]

For the next eight years, the oiler continued to serve in waters surrounding Vietnam during her regular deployments to the Far East. She provided fuel and supplies to units of the 7th Fleet, while operating out of the ports of Subic Bay and Kaohsiung. Between tours in the Orient, she returned to Long Beach for leave and upkeep.

USS Asthabula refueling USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) off Vietnam in 1966.

In 1968, Ashtabula underwent a major reconfiguration, or Jumboization. A 400-foot midsection, built entirely new from the keel up, was inserted and welded between her original bow and stern. This replaced the old 310-foot midsection and increased the vessel's liquid cargo capacity by over one-third. Her new configuration closely resembled that of a more modern type of ship, the replenishment oiler. She continued her Vietnam service through August 1972, when she made her last line swing off Vietnam. The ship returned to Long Beach on 9 December.

Following an availability period at Long Beach and training exercises off the southern California coast, Ashtabula once again sailed west on 4 October 1973. While at Subic Bay, she received orders to proceed to the Indian Ocean operating area. In early December, Ashtabula provided services to Hancock (CVA-19) and Oriskany (CVA-34) as well as other members of their task groups. After 51 continuous days at sea, Ashtabula arrived at Subic Bay on 5 January 1974.

Following a brief availability there, the oiler got underway to replenish a group of amphibious ships in the Gulf of Siam. On 7 March, she began a three-week voyage to her home port. She spent one month in upkeep, then sailed to her new home port, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and spent the rest of the year in overhaul and refresher training.

Ashtabula began another WestPac deployment on 8 February 1975. She took part in Operation Seafox, a joint SEATO exercise with six other nations. Her next assignments were Operation Eagle Pull and Operation Frequent Wind, held off the coast of Vietnam. On 11 May, she was ordered to Cambodia to support the rescue of SS Mayaqüez, an American merchant ship that had been captured by communist forces. In late July, the oiler returned to her home port, where she spent the next 10 months in upkeep and local operations.

Ashtabula sailed for WestPac on 21 June 1976. Ports visited included Subic Bay Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan Hong Kong and Keelung, Taiwan. The cruise was highlighted by a joint training exercise with ships of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. The oiler arrived at Pearl Harbor on 15 December and spent the first two months of 1977 providing services to ships in the Pearl Harbor area. In March, she headed west to rendezvous with and refuel a task group built around Coral Sea (CV-43). On 2 April, the ship returned to Pearl Harbor and commenced an overhaul period which was completed on 28 February 1978.

Ashtabula sailed to Alameda, California, on 10 March to hold a series of qualification trials, returned to Pearl Harbor on 14 April, and began refresher training. She got underway on 30 June for the Far East and called at Song Kla and Pattaya, Thailand Subic Bay Sasebo and Fremantle, Australia. While in Australia, Ashtabula participated in Exercise "Sandgroper," which was held in conjunction with the Australian and New Zealand navies. The oiler then proceeded to Singapore and Hong Kong for liberty calls and closed the year in upkeep at Guam.

Back at Pearl Harbor on 18 January 1979, Ashtabula began eight months of underway training, local operations, and inspections. At the end of August, she embarked upon a six-week cruise to the west coast to conduct underway replenishment qualification trials and then participate in Exercise "Kernel Potlatch II," a joint United States-Canadian operation to test and evaluate plans for the common defense of North America. At the conclusion of the exercise, the oiler called at Esquimalt, British Columbia,on 6 October. After a three-day visit, she headed back to Hawaii on the 9th and arrived in Pearl Harbor on the 16th.

Local operations in the Hawaiian Islands occupied Ashtabula's time for nearly the entire first nine months of 1980. On 28 September, the oiler embarked upon another tour of duty in the western Pacific. Steaming by way of Guam in the Mariana Islands, she entered Subic Bay in the Philippines on 15 October. Her deployment was marred at its outset by engineering casualties that required a two-month repair period at Subic Bay. On 12 December, she completed repairs and, the following day, put to sea to begin underway refueling service to the ships of the 7th Fleet. For the next four months, Ashtabula operated in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Sea of Japan, refueling American warships assigned to the Far East. The oiler made visits to several Japanese ports—Sasebo, Yokosuka, and Iwakuni—as well as to Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands and Chinhae in Korea. She also returned periodically to the base at Subic Bay. On 15 April 1981, Ashtabula departed the Philippines to return to Hawaii. She arrived in Pearl Harbor on the 30th.

Final operations [ edit | edit source ]

Following a two-month, post-deployment standdown, the ship resumed local operations in the Hawaiian Islands at the end of June. She remained so employed until the end of October when she stood into Pearl Harbor to conclude her last underway period for 1981. The oiler spent the first four months of 1982 carrying out missions in the Hawaiian operating area. On 30 April 1982, she embarked upon her final deployment to the Far East. That tour of duty lasted a little more than three months she returned to Pearl Harbor on 5 August. Soon thereafter, Ashtabula began preparations for inactivation.

Decommissioning and Disposal [ edit | edit source ]

Ashtabula decommissioned at Pearl Harbor on 30 September 1982. She was subsequently towed to Suisun Bay, California, where she joined the Maritime Administration's National Defense Reserve Fleet. Ashtabula was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 6 September 1991 and sold for scrapping in 1995. The shipbreaker, however, entered into default and Ashtabula, approximately 20% scrapped and missing her forward bow, part of the main deck forward, most of her forward superstructure and all masts and kingposts, was returned to the Navy on 27 September 1999. Ashtabula remained berthed at Mare Island Naval Shipyard until she was selected as a target ship in a SINKEX exercise on 14 October 2000. Ashtabula was subjected to eight RGM-84 Harpoon missiles, two RIM-66 Standard SAMs fired in the surface-to-surface mode, three helicopter-launched Sea Skua missiles, four Mk82 500 pound bombs, and nearly one hundred rounds of 3”, 100mm, and 5” gunfire from an armada consisting of one French, three British and three United States warships. Ώ]

Ex-USS Asthabula as target ship, 15 October 2000

Two Harpoon missiles and one Sea Skua missile found their marks, but Ashtabula remained afloat the next day. She was ultimately sent to the bottom after being fitted with demolition charges.

Ashtabula was awarded eight battle stars for World War II service, four battle stars for the Korean War, and eight battle stars for duty in the Vietnam War.

  • Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
  • American Campaign Medal
  • Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (8)
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Korean Service Medal (4),
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (4-Quemoy-Matsu, 9-Vietnam, 1-Korea, 1-Op. Frequent Wind)
  • Vietnam Service Medal (8)
  • Humanitarian Service Medal (1-Frequent Wind, 1-Snowgo, New York),
  • Philippines Liberation Medal
  • United Nations Service Medal
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

USS Ashtabula AO-51 (1943-1982)

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Product Description

USS Ashtabula AO 51

July 1965 - April 1966 Westpac Cruise Book

Bring the Cruise Book to Life with this Multimedia Presentation

This CD will Exceed your Expectations

A great part of Naval history. (Most Sailors consider the cruise book one of their most valued treasures)

You would be purchasing the USS Ashtabula AO 51 cruise book during the Vietnam War Era. Each page has been placed on a CD for years of enjoyable computer viewing. The CD comes in a plastic sleeve with a custom label. Every page has been enhanced and is readable. Rare cruise books like this sell for a hundred dollars or more when buying the actual hard copy if you can find one for sale.

This would make a great gift for yourself or someone you know who may have served aboard her. Usually only ONE person in the family has the original book. The CD makes it possible for other family members to have a copy also. You will not be disappointed we guarantee it.

Some of the items in this book are as follows:

  • Ports of Call: Subic Bay, Kaohsiung,Hong Kong, Sasebo and Yokosuka.
  • Brief History of the Ship
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Change of Command
  • Cruise Itiinerary (Dates and Ports)
  • Divisional Group Photos with Names
  • Random Notes from the Plan of the Day
  • Crew Roster (Name Rank and Photo pages Numbers
  • Many Crew Activity Photos
  • Plus much more

Over 403 photos and the ships story told on 76 pages.

Once you view this CD you will know what life was like on this Oiler in 1965-66.

Additional Bonus:

  • 6 Minute Audio of " Sounds of Boot Camp " in the late 50's early 60's
  • Other Interesting Items Include:
    • The Oath of Enlistment
    • The Sailors Creed
    • Core Values of the United States Navy
    • Military Code of Conduct
    • Navy Terminology Origins (8 Pages)
    • Examples: Scuttlebutt, Chewing the Fat, Devil to Pay,
    • Hunky-Dory and many more.

    Why a CD instead of a hard copy book?

    • The pictures will not be degraded over time.
    • Self contained CD no software to load.
    • Thumbnails, table of contents and index for easy viewing reference.
    • View as a digital flip book or watch a slide show. (You set the timing options)
    • Back ground patriotic music and Navy sounds can be turned on or off.
    • Viewing options are described in the help section.
    • Bookmark your favorite pages.
    • The quality on your screen may be better than a hard copy with the ability to magnify any page.
    • Full page viewing slide show that you control with arrow keys or mouse.
    • Designed to work on a Microsoft platform. (Not Apple or Mac) Will work with Windows 98 or above.

    Personal Comment from "Navyboy63"

    The cruise book CD is a great inexpensive way of preserving historical family heritage for yourself, children or grand children especially if you or a loved one has served aboard the ship. It is a way to get connected with the past especially if you no longer have the human connection.

    If your loved one is still with us, they might consider this to be a priceless gift. Statistics show that only 25-35% of sailors purchased their own cruise book. Many probably wished they would have. It's a nice way to show them that you care about their past and appreciate the sacrifice they and many others made for you and the FREEDOM of our country. Would also be great for school research projects or just self interest in Navy Ship documentation.

    We never knew what life was like for a sailor in World War II until we started taking an interest in these great books. We found pictures which we never knew existed of a relative who served on the USS Essex CV 9 during World War II. He passed away at a very young age and we never got a chance to hear many of his stories. Somehow by viewing his cruise book which we never saw until recently has reconnected the family with his legacy and Naval heritage. Even if we did not find the pictures in the cruise book it was a great way to see what life was like for him. We now consider these to be family treasures. His children, grand children and great grand children can always be connected to him in some small way which they can be proud of. This is what motivates and drives us to do the research and development of these great cruise books. I hope you can experience the same thing for your family.

    If you have any questions please send us an E-mail prior to purchasing.

    Buyer pays shipping and handling. Shipping charges outside the US will vary by location.

    Check our feedback. Customers who have purchased these CD's have been very pleased with the product.

    Be sure to add us to your !

    Thanks for your Interest!

    This CD is for your personal use only

    Copyright © 2003-2013 Great Naval Images LLC. All rights reserved.


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    Navy Oilers / Tankers

    Throughout history, the oiler/tanker ship has been an essential part of the United States Navy military operations. During World War II, these oiler &tankers were the homes to thousands of Navy personnel. Along with personnel, each oiler & tanker contained thousands of pounds of deadly asbestos. This asbestos was supplied by companies that knew the asbestos was dangerous and knew that, eventually, thousands of servicemen would contract terrible diseases from exposure to this mineral. But the companies chose profit over safety and hid those dangers from the navy and the servicemen.

    Asbestos was used frequently for the insulation of pipes, boilers, electrical fixtures and hull construction. It was also used as a fire retardant material in many areas aboard ship, including non-skid flooring on decks and on bulk head walls. The worst areas on oilers & tankers were in the fire, pump, and engine rooms where insulation covered the pipes and wiring. Some of the personnel most at risk include boiler tenders, electrician's mates, enginemen, machinist mates, pipefitters, and shipfitters.

    Many of the companies that supplied asbestos products to the navy have admitted fault and set up trust funds to compensate navy veterans. If you know someone who has mesothelioma, contact us to learn more about your rights.

    Below offers a list of some oilers & tankers that were commissioned between 1940 and 1990 and contained risks of asbestos exposure. Personnel aboard any of these ships or civilians that provided shipyard maintenance, repair or deconstruction may have been at risk of asbestos exposure.


    Ashtabula AO-51 - History

    Welcome to the court case management system of the Ashtabula County Courts. The public access records information viewed on Courtview reflects the docket entries and information required by Ohio law to be kept by the Ashtabula County Clerk of Courts, Eastern Area Court, and Western Area Court.

    There will be a delay between court filings and judicial action and the posting of such data by the Clerk of Courts, Eastern Area Court, and Western Area Court for some or all of the filings types. The information posted is believed to be accurate, however accuracy is not guaranteed. Ashtabula County Clerk of Courts records prior to May of 1993 are not available on Courtview. Ashtabula County Eastern Area Court and Ashtabula County Western Area Court records prior to January 1995 are not available on Courtview.

    Any errors or omissions should be reported to the appropriate court.
    Ashtabula County Clerk of Courts office (440) 576-3637
    Ashtabula County Eastern Area Court office (440) 576-3617
    Ashtabula County Western Area Court office (440) 466-1184

    In no event shall Ashtabula County, the Ashtabula County Clerk of Courts, Ashtabula County Eastern Area Court, and Ashtabula County Western Area Court be held liable for damages of any nature, direct or indirect, arising from the use of this Internet product including but not limited to loss of profits, loss of savings, business interruption, loss of business information or other incidental, or consequential damages or loss.


    Recorder

    Responsibilities
    Our office is responsible for the secure maintenance of all land records pertaining to ownership as well as all encumbrances or liens on the land. All records are accurately indexed so as to be readily accessible for persons searching land records in order to establish a chain of title. These records are utilized by the general public, attorneys, land title examiners, historians, and genealogists.

    Land Records
    The Recorder's Office contains the legal documents pertaining to the ownership of land located in Ashtabula County. Dating from 1795, the records reflect the birth of Ashtabula County and the growth of Ashtabula County. These records are vital to the work of land title examiners, attorneys, surveyors, and genealogists. Additionally, the Recorder's duty to safeguard these records is valuable to all citizens who own real estate within Ashtabula County.

    Record Keeping
    The duties of the County Recorder are very explicit under Ohio law. The Recorder is not authorized to prepare legal documents or to perform title examinations. Rather, the Recorder is responsible for maintaining specific documents in a permanent, secure, and easily-accessible manner for public use.

    Deeds, mortgages, easements, leases, land contracts, and certain types of liens are the primary records located in the Ashtabula County Recorder's Office. Other categories include military discharges, partnership certificates, powers of attorney, and subdivision maps.

    New & Old
    A visit to the Ashtabula County Recorder's Office offers an interesting blend of the old and the new. The walls of the research room are lined with tiers of leather books in canvas covers. Delicate handwriting on parchment paper, the proceedings of the Connecticut Land Company, and Civil War discharges await the history-minded individual. Yet, the newest technology in computer indexing and imaging is in place to locate and preserve today's real estate transactions.

    Message From Barbara
    The top priority of the Ashtabula County Recorder's Office is to provide efficient service. All telephone calls receive the personal touch, and walk-in customers are assisted by knowledgeable members of the office team. My staff and I welcome the opportunity to assist you. Please contact us today with your comments or questions.


    Watch the video: Ashtabula Maritime Museum: Part 1