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Noah's Ark of Chu Lai
Here's an odd-looking craft which appears to have sailed straight out of the Bible into the harbor of the Chu Lai combat base. She looks very much like Noah's Ark, but she's all Navy. She's a kind of river houseboat, painted Navy gray. She's APL 5, moored at the LST ramp at Chu Lai.
Each Sunday morning at 1030, the crew's lounge becomes a chapel as U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Four's Chaplain John C. Haney, Jr., conducts Divine Service.
The congregation is comprised of a mixture of Marines, Seabees, members of shore parties, engineers, and Fleet sailors.
AT HOME IN VIETNAM - Odd-looking Navy 'houseboat' known as APL 5 has berthing space for 700 Navymen. Below: HARBOR HOME-These APLs (Auxiliary, Personnel Lodging), anchored two miles out in Da Nang harbor, furnish barracks for Navymen working in the area.
APL 5 is 260 feet long and 48 feet wide. Like Noah's Ark, she has no main propulsion system of her own. She must be towed by tugs and nudged into, mooring sites. She came from the Reserve Fleet, Guam, pulled by an oceangoing tug via Yokosuka, Japan, where she was recently outfitted to care more comfortably for the men of the naval supply activity. She has berthing spaces for 700. Her crew of 92 is commanded by Lieutenant (jg) Charles R. Newkirk and four other officers.
The APL's unique "ark-like" silhouette is the result of canvas awnings stretched across the boat deck from bow to stern. However, she has mounts for 4-inch/50 caliber machine guns for defense.
APL 5 has all new stainless steel galley equipment, modernized head facilities, and air-conditioned living spaces.
From a distance, moored as she is near the red sandy beach with its palm trees, the APL 5 looks very much like Noah's Ark come to rest at Chu Lai, South Vietnam.