Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Calypso: Revival of a legend

Calypso - used as a ferry between Malta and Gozo in the 1940s.

Jacques Cousteau's research vessel for 46 years, the Calypso is now being restored at a French shipyard.

Thanks to the late Captain Jacques Cousteau's films and television documentary seriesm the nautical research ship Calypso has been turned into one of the most famously filmed and well-known vessel in the world.

Prior to Capt Cousteau's acquisition in 1950 when she was found in a Malta dockyard for surplus ships, she had been a World War II minesweeper operating with the 153rd Minesweeping Flotilla.

Built in Seattle, she was launched on March 21, 1942, Calypso was part of the American Lend-Lease scheme. In February 1943 she sailed from Seattle bound for Gibraltar via San Francisco and Freetown - a voyage of 16,000 miles. She took part in the initial assault convoy to the beaches of Sicily in Operation Husky escorting and supporting the vast Allied invasion, sweeping close to the beaches to enable the landing craft to move in.

In 1944 she was renumbered BYMS 2026 and based in Taranto, Italy. She was decommissioned in 1946 and laid up in Malta where she was acquired by Joseph Gasan, a Maltese businessman who used her commercially for a short period as a car ferry in the 1950s. Later her name was changed to Calypso G.

It had been Captain Cousteau's wish that Calypso would be restored to her former glory and end her days in the Mediterranean where he first clasped her wheel in 1951.

Edited from the article by John Buchanan Wednesday, 13th January 2010


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

I remember watching the Jacques Cousteau TV documentaries in the distant past of the early 1970s. Of course 'Calypso' was where the base for the undersea exploration at that time.

Thursday, 14 January, 2010  
Blogger Issack Rajan said...

Nice article. Lots of information. - Free Link Exchange Directory.

Sunday, 17 January, 2010  
Blogger Cathie said...

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Wednesday, 20 January, 2010  

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