The Book. The Mountain. Everything in between.

The USS Mount Hood

For a few months now, my daughter has been on a huge shipwreck kick: the Titanic, the Lusitania, the Bismarck, and most recently, the Edmund Fitzgerald. We’ve been reading about them, watching movies about them, talking about them, and just about everything else, bordering on obsessing about them. It’s been interesting, because while I’ve long known the basic details of most of these famous shipwrecks, there’s so much more behind their surface stories that makes them even more fascinating.

I got her a book out of the library today all about shipwrecks — her eyes lit up with fireworks when I handed it over — and it gave me a topic idea for today’s post. (I’m participating in Michelle Rafter’s 2012 WordCount Blogathon, so I’ve been challenged to post every day for the entire month of May. And let me tell you, it can be a challenge some days.)

That topic: The USS Mount Hood (AE-11).

The USS Mount Hood (AE-11) in 1944. Public domain Image accessed from Wikimedia Commons.

It’s not a ship I really knew much about, but I did come across its name when I was writing On Mount Hood. And yes, it was named after that Mount Hood.

When the shipwrecks book gave me the idea to write a post on the USS Mount Hood, I also didn’t expect the ship to have any kind of shipwreck link or story. But it does.

Image accessed from Wikimedia Commons.

I won’t retell the story here. but here’s the introduction to the Wikipedia entry on it:

USS Mount Hood (AE-11) was the lead ship of her class of ammunition ships for the United States Navy in World War II. She was the first ship named after Mount Hood, a volcano in the Cascade Range in Oregon. Soon after 18 men who had left the ship for shore had reached the dock, the USS Mount Hood exploded in Seeadler Harbor at Manus Island on 10 November 1944 killing all men aboard, obliterating the ship itself, and sinking or severely damaging 22 smaller craft nearby.

I haven’t told Madeline about the USS Mount Hood yet, but I’m sure I will. And when I do, I’m sure she’ll want to learn every single thing she can about it — and so we will.

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