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USS Lapeer

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The USS Lapeer started her career as Patrol Craft 1138, a Submarine Chaser of 173 feet, built in Bay City, Michigan in 1943.  She did escort duty throughout the Pacific during WWII, including service in the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns.

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DCS Films: Lake Union Relics

After the war, the vessel was re-named USS Lapeer and held on reserve in the Columbia River.  In 1959, she was sold to the Alaska Aggregate Corporation, who re-designed her to be an icebreaker named Knik Bay (pictured below).  The wreckage of the Lapeer found in Lake Union are parts of the ship that were cut off during this renovation, including her pilot house and 60 feet of her bow.

Later, she was sold again to Belco Petroleum of Houston, Texas, who converted her to a tugboat named Mr. B. (pictured below).  Eventually, she returned to Naval service, but this time for the nation of Peru, where she is listed as being still in service today as the Buque Armada Peruana.

The pilot house of the USS Lapeer was dumped upside down in Lake Union.  What looks like a lamp hanging from the top of the picture on the left is actually the ship’s binnacle, presumably the same one that helped steer her through the dangerous waters of the Pacific during WWII.

Diver on USS Lapeer Wreck, photo by Chris Borgen

Mr. B in Seattle, 1977, photo by Harry McDonald

Interior of USS Lapeer Wreck, photo by Dan Warter