IRCWCC Ships History

Many years ago, I had some ships in the model warship hobby. This is the only documentation I have of these that I have rescued from the Internet Archive (Thanks Internet Archive).

First Ship

Northampton Class - USS Augusta

The Northampton was a WWII heavy cruiser that I purchased used from another battler when I first got started. I attempted to scratch build the USS Tuscaloosa but quickly realized, I had no idea what I was doing. The plans for the Tuscaloosa are now lost as well. The web was still in its infancy but Steve Baker put me in touch with Austin Keels. Austin sold me the USS Augusta in July of 1977. I was able to get it "seaworthy" on September 14th, 1997. The Augusta had yet to be driven on a lake. It was not until my first combat experience that I learned if it could work at all.

I was able to participate in my first battle on October 18th, 1997 on Lake Davis in Orlando, Florida. It was a very rough start. I had several aborted attempts to get her going. It was not until the second battle of the day, that she hit the water. In seven minutes she was resting comfortably at the bottom of the lake. This was a position that she would regularly see while I ran it. The ship ran at a slower speed than allowed (death for a heavy cruiser) and was unreliable (mostly my wiring job).

For her first sortie, she took 42 holes above the waterline, four on and eight below - on the starboard side. The port side had a single hole that was below the waterline. The next day, she lasted a bit longer on the water. She survived the whole first sortie but sunk during the second without having taken more damage. Of the issues for the first battle, I knew I needed a working pump and a watertight box that worked. I battled this ship for several years. Including its second battle in Waynesville, North Carolina. The Augusta had a new paint job, new wiring and dual stern guns. The Augusta again had a series of minor technical problems. By the second battle on Saturday, I was able to compete. A poor pump and only one functional gun, led to an early sinking. The battle on Sunday saw me sink twice more. This was my first event where I was a combatant and was able to fire with some effect with my stern guns. It was a very satisfying weekend.

The third battle for the USS Augusta was in June of 1998 at Plantaion Purvis. As the overwhelming majority of the ships were cruisers, I did not have to try to stay out of the way. For the first time, the Augusta stayed afloat the entire weekend. A functional pump, a working gun and two small bench electrical fires added to the excitement that I had. I still have work to do, but I feel that the Augusta was getting closer to being the ship I could rely on. But as many other things, I saw something shiny...

Attempted Ship

Virginia Class - USS Georgia

I saw the plans availible online and wanted to do it. But something made me hold back from trying it. For the IRCWCC rules, only the USS Rhode Island of that class was built within the time frame covered. It would be a small pre-dreadnought. I still have the plans and want to build it (if I ever get the spare time).

Second Ship

South Carolina Class - USS South Carolina

I purchased the hull and superstructure of a USS South Carolina Class Battleship from Rick Whitsel in 1998. This would be the first ship I ever built with a side mounted gun. The South Carolina had its combat debut in 1998. It made it's debut at one of the North Georgia Practice Sessions and fared rather well. Its second showing was less than hoped for. The South Carolina took quite a beating from Tim K's Lutzow. However, it did not sink. Instead, the rudder servo got wet and was unable to make the third sortie of the day. This was an unsanctioned battle at a pond that I don't remember where.

It made appearances in a Spring regional at Bart's house in Baxley, Ga (April 10th & 11th). I still remember the restaurant we went to. Massive steaks and a great time hanging out with the other battlers. Can't seem to remember the restaurant's name but it was located on a cow pasture. Then there was an incident that earned me the nickname Sparky. I had the South Carolina in the back seat of my car and it stayed there after some building session or a local battle. While driving around I-285 I had to slam on my breaks. This caused something to shift. I passed by a car fire and wondered why my car was starting to fill with smoke. A glance in the back seat showed that the SC had caught on fire as something shorted on the battery that I left in the ship. I had to put out the fire while driving in Atlanta traffic. Terrifying at the time, but rather funny now. The ship still bears the burn marks from this. The last region of the year was a summer regional in Lawrenceville, GA (June 26th & 27th, 1999). All in all, it was a good year for battling.

The year 2000 was a banner year for the South Carolina. It started with a Spring Regional at Bart's house again (April 29th & 30th). This one was a bit different as I had a tooth get cracked from a BB hit. Brat was awesome and fixed it at his practice as soon as everyone had left the battle on the 30th. The best part was being able to go to the MWC Nationals with it (July 10th to the 14th). It made it on the water Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. As normal for my ships, it sunk in every battle. Still, I had a great time. By the end of 2000, I had made some real improvements and was approaching competence. The year wrapped up with a November regional again in Baxley (Nov 4th and 5th).

Sadly, I had sold this ship to Tim K at some point. Yet, It was required from him in 2020, the year of the virus. It is mostly gutted at this point and in need of a serious refit.

Third Ship

Almirante Latorre

After battling a cruiser and the South Carolina, I wanted to play with something bigger. Also, I wanted something unique. I found the Chilean Battleship Almirante Latorre. After getting the plans, Lou M built the initial fiberglass hull for me during the summer of 2000. Over that winter, I built the stern gun accumulator tanks and some gun interrupters. During February and March of 2001, I finished all of the internal systems, sheeted the hull and fleshed out most of the superstructure. It may have been finished and saw one battle in 2001 but I seriously doubt it. The history of this one is kind of murky in my memory. I remember having it on the water at least once. Sometime later, I peeled off the painted balsa and reapplied it but never got around to repainting it. It sat on a shelf in the garage.

Fourth Ship

USS Des Moines

After getting the Chilean ship up and running, I bought a Des Moines from someone (Lou M maybe?). The hull was cut and the stuffing tubes were mounted. The superstructure had been blocked out in balsa. After purchasing it, it promptly went on a shelf. It followed me in my move to Loganville but still remains on a shelf. It really wouldn't take much to get her operational. I actually have the spare parts to make her operational.

Fifth Ship

Cleveland Class - USS Cleveland

I bought this in 2020 - the year of the virus from Tim K. It is at 99% completion. I need to test the guns and resheet the boat. This will be my son's first ship. It has dual stern guns. It is pretty much ready for the water despite the few holes in the hull. It will need speed testing to make sure it is fast enough. I bought new batteries for it and hope we can get it on the water for a Fall Regional.

Sixth Ship

USS Mississippi

This ships was bought with the Cleveland from Tim K. It is functionally in great shape but needs some work on the superstructure that I detailed elsewhere.

Planned Ships

Esso Pittsburg

My father once served aboard the Esso Pittsburg as a mess-man after his freshman year of college. He was able to watch Egyptian tank columns invade Israel in 1949. His return voyage got him back late for classes at the Citadel and he was in a bit of trouble for that. I have always wanted to build a model of this ship. It would make a nice convoy ship. More than likely, it will be built as a model and put somewhere in my office with some of my Dad's memorabilia.

More will be updated over time.

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