In the fall of 1943 a U.S. Navy destroyer was allegedly made invisible and purportedly teleported from the harbor in Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, to the Naval Station at Norfolk, Virginia. This incident has become what is known as “The Philadelphia Experiment” and although many researchers have tried to locate records from within the Naval Archives of the US Naval Historical Center, no documents have ever been found that confirm the event ever took place.
This naval vessel, believed by many to have supposedly been involved with the experiment, was the USS Eldridge.
The USS Eldridge DE-173 was a Cannon class destroyer escort launched on July 25, 1943 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company of Newark, New Jersey. She was commissioned on August 27, 1943 at the New York Navy Shipyard, and was assigned to escort duties in the Atlantic until May 1945, when she was assigned to service in the Pacific
The Cannon class destroyer escorts were built primarily for ocean anti-submarine warfare escort service during World War II, and served as escorts for cargo ships. Because of their diesel-electric tandem drive, they were also known as DET type escorts. The USS Eldridge DE-173 was named after Lieutenant Commander John Eldridge, Jr., who was killed in action in the Solomon’s, on August 7, 1942, and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
After the USS Eldridge DE-173 was commissioned, she stayed in New York Long Island Sound until September 16, 1943. She sailed to Bermuda on September 18, 1943, and stayed near Bermuda while undergoing sea trials and training. On October 15, 1943, as part of a convoy, she left the Bermuda area for New York. The convoy arrived, in New York harbor, on October 18, 1943. The USS Eldridge DE-173 remained in New York harbor until 1 November 1943, when it was part of the escort for Convoy UGS-23 New York Section.
On November 2, 1943, the convoy entered the Naval Operating Base at Norfolk, Virginia. On November 3, 1943, the same convoy departed for Casablanca, where it arrived on November 22, 1943. On November 29, 1943, the USS Eldridge DE-173 departed Norfolk as one of the escorts for Convoy GUS-22, headed for New York Harbor. This convoy arrived at New York harbor on December 17, 1943. The USS Eldridge DE-173 remained in New York waters, engaged in training exercises, until when it December 31, 1943, sailed to Norfolk ships. During with four other this time frame, Historical the US Naval Center has revealed information this statistical from the vessel, the operational archives of deck the USS log, and the war diary of Eldridge 173, DE-173.USS Eldridge DE-clearly showing that it was never in Philadelphia.