(Image: US Navy, public domain)

California’s Suisun Bay, near San Francisco, has been home to the National Defense Reserve Fleet¬†since the 1950s. Better known as the ghost fleet, this collection of World War Two-era military and merchant vessels has included troopships, tankers and, most famously, the mighty battleship USS Iowa (BB-61) – now set to become a museum ship at the Port of Los Angeles. In this impressive series of photographs, we’ll take a look at the ghost fleet from the air.

(Images: Telstar Logistics (see website), cc-nc-3.0)

Though technically ready for reactivation, it’s unlikely these mothballed ships will ever return to service. Due to environmental concerns, a plan is in place to remove the rusting vessels from Suisun Bay, set to be completed in stages between 2012 and 2017. Meanwhile, a submarine graveyard belonging to America’s Cold War adversary the Soviet Union continues to pollute the icy waters of the Arctic Circle.

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