I am currently looking for a missing ship, LV-95/WAL-519 Relief. This ship was a lightship meaning that it was essentially a mobile lighthouse that was sent to places where it was either too impractical or expensive to build a permanent light structure. The duty of these vessels was vitally important. WAL-519 was used as a relief lightship meaning that it was sent to relieve other lightship stations so the other lightships could be dry docked and serviced, the relief lightship would then take over the station during this time. WAL-519 was based both at Edgemoor, Delaware and Cape May, New Jersey. It was used to relieve lightships at Barnegat, Five Fathom, Overfalls, and Delaware.
WAL-519 was used in this way from 1946 until it’s decommissioning in 1965. After the vessel was decommissioned it was transferred from the Coast Guard to the Victorian Village Development Corporation of Cape May, New Jersey. Their goal was to put this former lightship on display as a floating Museum Ship. (See “Museum Ships Series” on this blog) This either did not happen or only happened for a brief time. Apparently, the vessel was moored “for some period of time at a dock on Ocean Drive. It was before you get to the Middle Thoroughfare Bridge.”
My personal research about this vessel has been extensive and ongoing but, I am asking for help. If you are reading this blog and from the Cape May, New Jersey area and have any recollection, information about either the WAL-519 and the Victorian Village Development Corporation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask a grandparent or a relative if they remember. Photographs would also really help!
I am trying to find out what the final disposition of this lightship was as history about it is rather incomplete and if you read other parts of my blog here, I am not a fan of historical “plot holes.” According to the written records, I have gone through so far including those of the Coast Guard, the history about this vessel ends when it was donated. Thank you! The full story of trying to find this ship will be posted later in this blog.