Thursday, July 28, 2011

FEC Slip in Bicentennial Park is a Historical Site With a WW II History. By Geniusofdespair

County Commissioner Dennis Moss wants to fill in the FEC slip in Bicentennial Park. I don't think he or any of the other County Commissioners know the slip has a historical component. This was the location of the Submarine Chaser Training Center (SCTC) during World War II. The Chaser Magazine Cover from 1943, seen above, shows three slips depicted with a soldier with a hammer putting up a sign on the pier bordering the only remaining slip. The two slips on the left have since been filled in. Also see photo below of the three slips. The SCTC was downtown Miami's international graduate school of anti-submarine warfare during the World War II.

Are we going to throw away our history just so we have a place to put dredge fill? I hope this idea gets what it deserves, no traction.

(Click on photos and magazine cover to enlarge them)
As an ever-increasing number of students poured into the SCTC, McDaniel told the local press that its rapid expansion necessitated the procurement of more housing and additional space for the training center’s operations. The City of Miami permitted the Navy to build temporary dressing rooms and shower facilities for its personnel in Bayfront Park at N.E. First Street.
The subchaser center continued its expansion in the port as well. There had been damage to the engines of subchasers attributed to adulterated fuel and lubricants, so the Bureau of Ships required the SCTC to construct a fireproof laboratory on its pier with the appropriate testing and treatment apparatuses and personnel experienced in petroleum chemistry to analyze fuel and oil. That complex building had to be specially equipped with exhaust blowers to eliminate toxic fumes.
- Charles Rice

7 comments: said...

Thanks! What a great piece of research. I've lived in Miami forever and didn't know the origin of those slips.

milly said...

What a beautiful piece of historical account.

Anonymous said...

Before the military used the site during WWII, the area was the Port of Miami, and resumed being the Port of Miami after the war, until the 1060's.

Cato II said...

My father was in international trade. I remember going down to the piers and those warehouses as a kid with shipments to be loaded. I saw my first wharf rat and my first pair of breasts (on a girlie calendar over the warehouse managers desk). Plus, the smell of seawater and diesel. memories. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


That is the great historical significance? A slip where they docked some ships for subchaser training?

You have to be kidding?

History Bug said...

The full story about the sub-chaser base is in the Tequesta Journal.

This journal is published by the HistoryMiami Museum in Downtown Miami. They have them in their gift shop.

It reveals the true story about Miami during WW11 - it is pretty amazing to realize that German subs were lurking off Miami Beach and taking out ships in sight of the tourists on the beaches up and down the coast of Florida.

Anonymous said...

Umm, its a sailor with a hammer, not a soldier. The men and women in unform care about those distinctions, you know.