Central Jersey Chapter of the Navy League

For all you folks who were around here in the early part of the century and remember Capt. Bobbie Scholley at NWS Earle, it was terrific to see her put on a great lecture for the Central Jersey Council of the Navy League last night. Arranged by Dr. Angus Gillespie, a great professor of history and fascinating ways to learn it at Rutgers, Angus invited Capt. Scholley to tell her adventures when she headed the dive team that brought up all the victims and salvaged 98 per cent of the wreckage of TWA 800 when it exploded off New York. The captain has made history more than once, starting from when she was only the fourth woman in the nation to be commanding officer of a ship. That was the Bolster, a diving and salvage ship she drove when she was a lieutenant Commander. At another time, she was on the salvage ship that brought up the turret from the Monitor of Civil War fame, and she was the first woman to head up a Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit. She served as Supervisor of Diving for the Navy in the late 1990s, and she was commanding officer at NWS Earle when the pier was busily engaged in sending ships and ‘equipment’ during the war then. It was amazing to hear her say that in the recovery of TWA 800, it was a joint effort of both military and civilian forces, and teamwork was the key to the great success of the mission after the awful tragedy. In that recovery, the team conducted 344 dives for a total of 1773 hours underwater and she’s so proud of the fact that everyone on the team put their hearts and souls into their salvage efforts in what became one of the largest diver assisted salvage operations ever. It’s no surprise Capt. Scholley is in the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Cheers to Dr. Gillespie and the Central Jersey Chapter of the Navy League for such a great program. If you want to learn more about the League, and all it does for all our seafaring services, go to INFO@cnjlus.org. A great organization.


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