World War II “ghost boat” emerges in drought-stricken lake
▶ Watch Video: Bringing home the lost Marines of Tarawa
Low water levels in California’s drought-stricken Shasta Lake have revealed the long-lost wreckage of a ship that served in World War II. The U.S. Forest Service says the amphibious Higgins landing craft — referred to as the “ghost boat” — appeared last fall in the drought-stricken reservoir.
Markings on the boat’s side confirmed it was used on the USS Monrovia, the battleship that served as Gen. George Patton’s headquarters during the invasion of Sicily. Dwight D, Eisenhower, who planned and oversaw the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, was also on board the ship at one point.
The ship went on to serve in several missions, which reportedly included the invasion of Tarawa, where more than 1,200 Marines died in just 76 hours.
The USS Monrovia eventually sank in shallow waters off an island in the Pacific Ocean.
The “ghost boat” was salvaged and somehow ended up at the bottom of California’s largest reservoir.
“There is more to discover of its history and obviously its time on Shasta Lake, and still the circumstance of its sinking remains a mystery,” the Forest Service wrote.
The boat will be restored and will eventually be displayed at a museum in Nebraska.
Higgins Industries in New Orleans built several thousand landing craft between 1942 and 1945. Around 1,500 “Higgins boats” were deployed at Normandy.
California is enduring a drought that scientists are calling the worst in 1,200 years. In July, another sunken boat dating back to World War II emerged from a shrinking reservoir that straddles Nevada and Arizona.