Six second World War United States Aircraft carriers were Sept 17 at the centre of an investigation carried out by the United States Navy.
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Background: Six second World War United States Aircraft carriers were Sept 17 at the centre of an investigation carried out by the United States Navy. This followed a report that the hull of one of the carriers might have been smuggled from Hong Kong to Communist China.
The United States Naval shipyard in Brooklyn has sold six of the small aircraft carriers for scrap this year. Another, the Shamrock Bay was sold last year to the British owned Shun Fung Iron Works LTD of Hong Kong, and has already been scrapped.
Under United States Navy regulations, the Brooklyn Navy Yard can sell a surplus ship for scrap to an American concern, but if it is sold abroad, the seller must put up a bond of U.S. GBP50,000 and produce proof in 18 months that the ship has been scrapped. When sold, such ships must have their guns, radar and other important equipment removed. There is a ban on permitting any of the scrap teaching a communist country.
Reports that the hull had reached a foreign country was denied in Hong Kong. Marine authorities said it was impossible for the scrap carriers to have been smuggled away. And the Hong Kong companies which bought the carriers claim they are all accounted for - and have the pictures to prove it.
Four of the carriers - the 'Nehenta Bay', the 'Savo Island', the ???dashan Bay' are in the process of being pulled to bits, while the same fate awaits the recently arrived 'Mindoro'. The fifth, the 'Shamrock Bay' has already been scrapped. The ship which sparked the investigation was the 'Shipley Bay', which instead of being smuggled to China, was found to have been on the other side of the world - stranded with engine trouble in the American zone of the Panama Canal. It has since been towed to Balboa.