Tin Can Sailors
News from the
Historic Naval Ships Association
USS Lexington No Longer in Debt to City
Posted: Feb 14, 2012 7:11 PM
KRIS Corpus Christi News
- It was a big day for the U.S.S. Lexington as caretakers of the
aircraft carrier delivered the final bond payment for the Grey
Members of the Landing Force 16 Task Force, which originally
petitioned the Navy to bring the ship to town more than 20 years
ago, were pleased to deliver the balance of the $3 million bond
Since 1992, seven million people have visited the bayside museum.
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Johnson takes helm at
December 27, 2013
Suzanne Weiss, Herald Times Reporter
— Friends and colleagues call him “Wisconsin Johnson.” A play on
“Indiana Jones,” the nickname dates back to Rolf Johnson’s
dinosaur-digging days, evidence of which can be seen in his corner
office at the
These days, Johnson, 57, has his eyes on what’s beneath the surface
of the water rather than under the earth. Bringing with him more
than two decades of working on Great Lakes-related issues, Johnson
became CEO of the museum in early November.
He replaces Norma Bishop, who retired in October from the
executive director position she held for eight years.
Ties to Manitowoc County
“For over 20 years, I’ve had my eye on running this museum in part
because of my passion for the Great Lakes and also the community,” Johnson said.
Although he grew up on Milwaukee’s
east side and now lives in Green Bay, he’s no stranger to Manitowoc County.
His family owns a wildlife sanctuary north of
overlooking Lake Michigan, where he
has a cabin and plans to move soon with his wife, Elda Brizuela.
Miniature dinosaur skeletons join nautical
artifacts displayed in his office, which affords a view of the
River. His “prized
possession” is a framed American flag that once flew on the
Battleship Wisconsin at Nauticus, a maritime-themed science center
and museum in Norfolk, Va.
As the museum’s deputy director and chief operating officer from
2007-11, Johnson was responsible for opening the battleship for
public exhibits, interpretive programming, events and below-deck
When he speaks, his enthusiasm for the
— and its fully restored World War II submarine, the USS Cobia — is
evident, as is his experience in the media. Johnson, an Emmy
award-winning producer and former host of a
public radio talk show, is already channeling these talents into his
new job as he makes media appearances and meets local officials.
Sitting behind his new desk, Johnson said he’s now in “sponge mode.”
He is soaking up the museum’s operations and initiatives and taking
an objective look at the museum as a whole before he makes
recommendation and begins “shaping the next chapter of this museum’s
history,” he said. “It’s a big ship with a small rudder. If you
decide to turn a museum, it takes time.”
The entire museum industry is undergoing change, Johnson said.
“I’m looking through the lens of the museum writ large and looking
at the challenges that all museums are facing and this museum is
facing,” he said.
Among the challenges are changing audience
expectations, remaining relevant to the community, operating the
museum like a business, incorporating the latest technology into
exhibits and programming and retaining good museum governance, he
“I have to look at all of that, from the day-to-day operations to
sustainability to how we reflect the needs and interests of our
audiences,” Johnson said, calling the museum an “economic engine for
Museum-goers were once primarily “aficionados of maritime history,”
but now include teachers, students and tourists, he said. Among his
missions is to reintroduce the museum to the community. That being
said, the museum also must “play on a national stage,” Johnson said.
Sure to draw attention from near and far is the museum’s 50th
anniversary in 2019, he said.
Another significant endeavor he looks forward to is gathering
support for the creation of a National Maritime Sanctuary, a region
that would encompass area underwater archeological sites and area
port cities and institutions, including the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.
Wearing more than one hat
While 35 years ago, museum heads were primarily scholars and
everything else “took care of itself,” today’s museum leaders need
to concern themselves with more than the exhibits, collections,
educational activities and programming, he said. They must seek
mission support, which includes overseeing membership solicitations,
grant writing, gate receipts and in, his case, revenue from
submarine overnights and the museum gift shop.
A museum CEO must be a “marketer, fundraiser,
cheerleader, coach and mentor to staff and still have some academic
chops, some scholarly cred,” he said. “I love that challenge. I did
not come here to maintain the status quo. I honor and respect the
work of the former directors, but I have to now build on those
accomplishments. At the same time, I bring my skill sets and insight
to bear to put my own mark on the museum. It’s so exciting. It’s an
incredible time to be in the museum industry.”
Prior to joining the Wisconsin
Museum, Johnson was executive director
for the Neville
Museum in Green Bay.
Johnson began his professional career in 1978 as a vertebrate
paleontologist at the Milwaukee Public Museum.
He has since worked as a curator, media producer, environmental
educator, exhibit designer and, since 1992, in museum
As deputy director of Milwaukee’s
Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin, home of the
schooner Denis Sullivan, he was responsible for design and
development of exhibits and programming and for raising more than $1
million for schooner programs.
He also was director of development for the Glacial Lakes
Conservancy, a Lake Michigan-based land stewardship program
involving Manitowoc and surrounding counties.
“I want this to be my swan song,” Johnson said of his new position.
“I want this to be my last gig. I have a good 10 years in me. If I
can guide the institution through its 50th birthday and beyond, I’ll
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Plugging the leaks to make HMS Caroline shipshape
BY DERIC HENDERSON – 26 December 2013
VITAL weatherproofing repairs have started to secure HMS Caroline in
advance of major restorative work to turn the famous First World War
fighting ship into a floating museum in
The Belfast Telegraph has led the campaign to have the only survivor
of the historic Battle of Jutland preserved.
It came dangerously close to sinking during the big freeze of 2010
when pipes and radiators burst, but work is now under way to protect
it from the ravages of another potential harsh winter.
Deck timbers are being replaced to prevent the
risk of more flooding and a major internal inspection of space below
the water line is being carried out. Electrician Billy Hughes (53)
is satisfied everything possible is being done to halt further
deterioration before the main multi-million pound restorative
project is launched to get the ship ready for the 2016 centenary of
the Battle of Jutland, in which it was centrally involved.
"There has been some leakage, but we're doing everything we can to
get it wrapped up before the weather gets really cold and
miserable," said Billy.
Some 165,000 visitors a year are forecast when the light cruiser,
launched and commissioned in 1914 and currently at Alexandra Dock,
opens as a museum.
Captain John Rees, chief of staff at the Portsmouth-based National Museum
of the Royal Navy and project director, said the damage of three
years ago threatened to sink the ship which was owned at the time by
Caroline was the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland, the First
World War's longest sea battle.
When the war ended she became a static training ship based in Belfast, but was back in
action in the Second World War. She later returned to Belfast to resume a static role until being
decommissioned in 2011, making her the longest ship in commission in
the Navy after HMS Victory.
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Laffey Gun Mount
Posted by Holly Jackson on October 22, 2013 – 2:48 pm
Patriots Point visitors can now virtually travel decades back in
time and get a greater understanding of what it was like to be
inside the aft 5” 38 caliber gun mount of the destroyer USS LAFFEY.
Through an interactive exhibit that opened Monday, October 21st, the
experience comes to life, teaching visitors about the gun mount
which was destroyed by a kamikaze attack on April 16, 1945, killing
six crew members.
“This is the best way to bring the experience of working that gun
during an air attack to life,” Patriots Point Executive Director Mac
Burdette said. “Our visitors can look at static displays all
day and try to imagine the fear and adrenaline rush these young men
must have felt; but closing the door, cranking the sound on a video
of that time and bringing in the vibrations that came with the an
attack where 20 or more 55lb rounds were fired per minute – the
scene is practically alive again 68 years later,” he said.
exhibit is funded by the Tin Can Sailors, a national association of
destroyer veterans. Their contribution of $10,000 will provide
a new-age education and entertainment level to Patriots Point
visitors who can better appreciate what is considered to be one of
the best naval guns of WWII. The exhibit is a start to toward
the museum master plan and paves the way for where the museum is
headed over the next three years.
Check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/patriotspoint.org for
photos from the launch of the exhibit.
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officials research bid for World War II warship that's moored in
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 12, 2013 - 9:52 am EST
Illinois — Peoria officials say they
want a World War II warship moored in Indiana
to relocate to central
The (Peoria) Journal Star reports (http://bit.ly/18WApQw
examining how to get the decommissioned LST 325 tank landing ship to
relocate once its 10-year contract with
The ship is on
the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and was used in the Normandy landings at Omaha Beach.
The ship doubles as a museum and is among the last of its kind to
Manager Patrick Urich says the community is researching how much it
would cost to build a permanent dock for the boat, which
attracts as many as 10,000 visitors a year.
fall, it hit waterways to visit Indiana, Kentucky and
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maritime museum could be home to to ships from start, end of WWII
Posted: December 7, 2013
By Rob Moritz
NORTH LITTLE ROCK — A small maritime museum on
the banks of the Arkansas River,
which has been visited by more than 200,000 people since it opened
nine years ago, will be expanding soon in several directions.
Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, home to the USS Razorback, a
submarine that was in Tokyo Bay in September 1945 when the Japanese
surrendered, and a collection of Naval and other military
memorabilia, is being refurbished to house items from the recently
closed Arkansas River Historical Society Museum at the Tulsa Port of
Catoosa in Catoosa, Okla.
Museum officials also are hoping that the facility will soon be home
to the USS Hoga, a harbor tugboat which was at Pearl Harbor on Dec.
7, 1941, and helped move several battleships out of harm’s way from
the addition of the Hoga, the
North Little Rock
museum would be one of only two museums to have World War II-era
ships that saw action at the beginning of the war and at the end.
The other is in Honolulu.
city of North Little Rock acquired
the USS Razorback in 2004 and it, along with the maritime museum,
opened to the public in 2005.
“This will be the only place in the continental
United States that will have ships
that bookend World II,” said Michael Hopper, curator of the museum.
About 200,000 people have visited the museum,
said Steve Owen, a member of the Save the Hoga Committee. “We’ve had
people from 77 different countries come and visit the maritime
museum,” he said.
the past three years, more than 300 different school groups also
have toured the museum and submarine, Owen said, adding that both
are important to the city and state.
“It’s of historical significance for two reasons, remembering those
who fought to keep our country free, but also from an educational
standpoint,” said Owen. “A lot of times when you’re teaching kids
about history, it’s one thing to teach in a classroom, but when they
can actually get out and touch, see and feel history it brings it to
fundraiser to help cover the $195,000 cost of having the Hoga
transported from northern California was to be held
last Saturday, weather permitting. Saturday was also the 72nd
anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
North Little Rock Chamber Executive Director Terry Hartwick said
last week the fundraiser would be held on the same days as a
scheduled Jimmy Buffett concert at the Verizon Arena, just a few
Owen said the nonprofit group that operates the museum is about
$50,000 short of covering the cost of getting the Hoga moved by
ship. The outside of the tug was recently refurbished at Mare Island
Shipyard in Vallejo, just north of
“The entire bottom was redone, and from the
water line up to the mast,” Owen said. “It looks close to the way it
looked in 1941 during the attack (on Pearl Harbor) as you can get.”
refurbishing of the tug cost about $250,000, about $150,000 of which
was in-kind work done by U.S. Navy veterans who volunteered to help
restore the vessel, Owen said. The rest was paid for with donations.
all goes well, the Hoga will be loaded onto an ocean-going
transportation barge sometime in January and arrive in
in February, Owen said.
will probably stay in New Orleans for a couple of weeks for a little
more work, then we’ll have to just wait for the right barge company
to bring it up the Mississippi,” he said.
said tug could arrive at the
North Little Rock
museum in March or April.
said the Hoga still has a 9-foot-long dent on the starboard bow
which occurred when it was pushing the USS Nevada out to sea during
the attack on Pearl Harbor.
After WW II, the Hoga spent 40 years as an
Calif., fire boat before it was
mothballed by the U.S. Navy, Owen said, adding that the tugboat has
been designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark and is on the U.S.
National Register of Historic Places.
Hopper said the Hoga was the original World
War II vessel that former North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Henry Hays
tried to bring to Arkansas.The Navy awarded ownership of the Hoga to
the city in 2005, about three years after Hays began trying to
acquire it. Because of the Hoga’s frail condition, however, the cost
of getting the boat transported has been an obstacle.
Hopper said Wednesday the items from
Museum are mainly papers and other
documents collected by people who were involved in the initial
planning and construction of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River
Navigation System, which stretches from northeastern
Oklahoma through Arkansas to the Mississippi River.
have 255 document boxes … that are full of documents,” he said.
“Right now we’re going through all those documents trying to get a
handle on what we have.”
Some of the artifacts include some of the shovels that used in
groundbreaking ceremonies at some of the lock and dam sites, as well
as samples of commodities that are shipped up and down the
Hopper said the museum is now closed and will reopen March 1. The U.S.S.
Razorback, however, is still open for tours.
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USS Slater given preservation award
The USS Slater, a World War II destroyer escort, is on display in Albany harbor.
It is the only World War II-era destroyer escort still afloat.
Posted: 12/07/13, 12:21 PM EST |
>> The USS Slater and the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum have
been recognized with a New York State Historic Preservation Award.
The award was announced Dec. 5 by the New York State Office of
Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Established in 1980,
the State Historic Preservation Awards are given each year to honor
excellence in the protection and rejuvenation of
New York’s historic and cultural resources.
“The historic preservation awards recognize
the efforts and achievements of individuals, organizations, and
municipalities that make significant contributions to historic
preservation efforts across the state,” State Parks Commissioner
Rose Harvey said. “This year’s awards demonstrate the outstanding
commitments, hard work, and strong partnerships that have made
preservation an important tool for community renewal, economic
development, and job growth in New York state.”
USS Slater’s citation reads, in part, “The USS Slater is the only
World War II era destroyer escort still afloat and has become one of
the finest naval ship exhibits in the country, drawing thousands of
visitors to Albany’s
riverfront. The project’s great success is a testament to the
effectiveness of the museum as well as the commitment of its
volunteers. In addition to being an educational asset, the Slater
has become an important patriotic symbol, honoring all those who
serve the country in the military, especially the United States
The ship has been painstakingly restored to her 1945 configuration.
Visitors feel as though the crew are simply on “shore leave” and may
return at any time. The ship was designated a National Historic
Landmark in 2012. The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum, a private,
non-profit organization, owns, maintains, and operates USS SLATER.
The Museum receives no regular government financial support, but
relies on the generosity and patriotism of individuals, foundations,
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Historic FDNY Fire Boat May Be Evicted
600-Ton Ship Could Be Scrapyard Bound
December 6, 2013
GREENPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A very large
piece of New York City
firefighter history may soon be forced to take its final voyage to
WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported, Suffolk County
officials threatened to evict an historic fire boat docked in
While the search continues for a new home for the historic boat,
many hold out hope the 600-ton ship will be able to stay.
put a lot of work into it already and we hate to see it just go,”
ship volunteer Rich Delani told Xirinachs. “It would be a shame,
like any historical building or monument or whatever to see it just
go away and be destroyed.”
county has ordered the boat out of a dock it controls and subleases
to Greenport. The village board is scheduled to act on what to do
say the rusted tourist attraction is an eyesore, but others
think the boat’s good for Greenport, it should stay,” said a local
barber. “Because Greenport’s old and rusted and it’s not polluting
nothing. Fix Greenport up too, along with the boat.”
The boat’s been docked in Greenport since July.
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WWII-Era Japanese Submarine Found in
Dec 04, 2013
A team of researchers
discovered a World War II-era Japanese submarine the length of a
football field in August off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, officials said.
Terry Kerby, of the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory, the
organization that found the submarine, said they had to wait to
unveil their discovery to the public until they had complete
confirmation of the submarine's identity.
After a back-and-forth between the U.S. State Department and the
Japanese government, it was determined the submarine was the I-400,
KITV-TV, Honolulu, Hawaii,
couldn't really see the tell-tale sign number I-400 painted on the
side like we saw with the other subs, but we saw features of it that
match it up with the I-400," Kerby said.
Kerby said the team found the submarine by following a cable they
found about three miles from Barbers Point in 2,300 feet of water.
"There was a communications cable and it was coming out of the
space and so we knew it was pretty big and so we followed this cable
and out of this darkness came this massive bow, and it was a
thrill," he said. The submarine was one of five Japanese submarines
docked at one time in Pearl Harbor. The U.S. Navy sank the vessel,
which was big enough to hold three
airplanes with foldable wings nose-to-tail, the newspaper said.
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If SS United States fails to get job, it may be sunk
By Geoff Mulvihill
The Associated Press
© November 28, 2013
future is still uncertain, but the SS United States is getting a
below-the-deck makeover to make it more appealing for developers
interested in turning what was once the world's fastest ocean liner
into a massive dockside attraction.
Workers began a project in October to remove tanks and other
materials from the belly of the ship to make way for modern
utilities systems that would need to go in to transform it. There's
a second objective to the project, which is expected to last well
into 2014: selling the materials to raise the $50,000 to $60,000 it
takes each month to maintain and insure the vessel.
The SS United States Conservancy, the
nonprofit group that owns the ship, warns that if its grand plans do
not come together quickly, there might be no choice but to sell the
historic liner as scrap.
"It's a great fixer-upper," said Susan Gibbs, executive director of
the SS United States Conservancy and the granddaughter of William
Francis Gibbs, the ship's Philadelphia-born designer, on a tour of
ship was built by Newport News Shipbuilding and launched in 1952 as
the world's fastest ocean liner. After it went out of service, it
was docked for many years in Norfolk.
to use the ship - as long as three football fields and a monument to
shimmery aluminum and the sleek lines of mid-20th-century Modernism
– has been a conundrum for more than 40 years.
SS United States still holds the record for speediest trans-Atlantic
voyage. The ship was partially funded by the Navy with the idea that
it could be converted one day into an extremely efficient troop
it was never called into service by the government. And by 1969,
after carrying four presidents, Prince Rainier of
Monaco, Elizabeth Taylor and a million other
people across the Atlantic, it was
retired from its regular duties.
hulking ship has been berthed on the Delaware River in
since 1996, its once-bold red, white and blue paint faded and its
iron oxidizing in a pier across the street from a shopping center.
Over the years, plans to make the SS United
States into a cruise ship have failed, partly because it was
designed for speed, not slow-moving recreation, and is narrower than
modern cruise ships.
conservancy used a $5.8 million gift from a
philanthropist in 2010 to buy the ship. The group's vision is
different from others that came before. It wants to turn it into a
multi-use attraction, perhaps with restaurants, a hotel and banquet
facilities, along with a maritime-historymuseum.
retired naval ships - including the New Jersey
in nearby Camden and the Intrepid in New York - have been
turned into museums. But the high overhead costs of keeping a boat
afloat, even if it's stationary, can bring financial difficulties.
Despite fundraising efforts, the ship's owners would have a
difficult time paying basic bills without selling some scrap.
There is at least one model for the sort of development the SS
United States owners have in mind. The SS Rotterdam opened three
years ago with a hotel, museum and school in its namesake city in
Thomas Basile, a consultant with the conservancy, believes it would
be feasible in New York City or
Aboard the ship, Basile said, it's in better shape than it appears, and a
level in the navigation bridge shows that it's not hewing either
way. "It's benefited from being over-engineered," he said.
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'Ghost Fleet' losing another ship
By Jessica A. York/Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 11/26/2013 01:01:19 AM PST
A crop of ships once standing ready for a call
to action in times of national emergency is dwindling to a mere
shadow of itself.
morning, the USS Willamette will be towed from
Bay's National Defense
Reserve "Mothball" Fleet, leaving only 11 obsolete vessels in its
32-year-old former U.S. Navy replenishment oiler will be taken to
San Francisco for hull cleaning, then on to Brownsville, Texas
for dismantling by All Star Metals, LLC, who paid $1.5 million for
relic ships' removal from
Bay's fleet, one of three
across the country run by the U.S. Maritime Administration, came as
a result of a lawsuit settlement between the federal government and
several environmental watchdog agencies in 2010.
The ship removal process is about two years
ahead of the settlement's schedule, aided by the metal recycling
market's turnaround in recent years. In most of the removal
contracts, the government is compensated by ship scrappers for the
vessels, instead of vice versa, as in the earlier years. The fleet
has been pared down from 57 obsolete vessels in October 2009, with a
deadline of full removal by Sept. 30, 2017.
dwindling ship supply also comes at a time of sea-shift for Mare
Island, which until recently housed a maritime company using two of
the U.S. Navy's former giant dry docks for ship repair, recycling
and contained hull cleaning. That company, going by several names
since its 2011 arrival -- most recently Mare Island Shipyard LLC --
ended its lease with developer Lennar Mare
Island last month.
Replacing the company as of Nov. 1 is East Coast shipyard-owned Mare
Island Dry Dock LLC.
Several of Mare Island Shipyard's former employees have found new jobs
with the new company, workers have told this newspaper. It remains
unclear whether Mare Island Dry Dock might consider competing with
BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair to scrape sloughing toxic
paint chips and local marine growth from the obsolete vessels before
they are towed to Texas for scrapping. In an interview in
August, Mare Island Dry Dock vice president Steven Park said the
company, aiming to employ as many as 100 in its first year, will
focus first on ship repair work.
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City's downtown development board backs bringing USS Adams
to Jacksonville as a floating museum
Posted: November 21, 2013 - 7:48pm
By David Bauerlein, The Florida Times Union
Outside the Adams Class Museum in downtown Jacksonville, a painting
stands on an easel depicting what the Northbank riverfront would
look like with the USS Charles F. Adams docked as a year-round
“Coming soon to Jax,” says a sign attached to the painting.
This week, the city’s Downtown Investment Authority signed off on
the concept, joining the City Council and Mayor Alvin Brown in
backing the years-long drive to bring the USS Adams to
The authority’s board unanimously approved a resolution that
highlighted how the ship could attract people to downtown and
highlight Jacksonville as a Navy town.
The city isn’t committing any financial support for the venture,
which is being spearheaded by the nonprofit Jacksonville Historic
Naval Ship Association.
“They’re the ones who have to do the capital campaign,” authority
CEO Aundra Wallace said at the authority’s Wednesday board meeting.
But getting the city’s buy-in on the concept will make it easier for
the group to achieve its $3.4 million fundraising goal, said Dan
Bean, president of the nonprofit group.
He said “financial stability is the last hurdle,” and the city’s
support will help people “realize the ship is going to come.” He
said the Navy has already agreed to donate the USS Adams, which is
moored in Philadelphia, once the group shows it has the
financial ability to undertake the project.
The push to bring the retired USS Adams to
dates back to 2008 and originally envisioned a site on the Southbank
near the Acosta
Bridge. But that would have required
building a pier at a cost of about $6 million.
The latest concept would dock the ship on the Northbank at The
Shipyards, which is a stretch of riverfront between the downtown
core and Metropolitan Park.
The city took ownership of The Shipyards after a planned condominium
tower development fell through during the real estate bust.
The USS Adams would go alongside an existing pier, located across Bay Street from the
Maxwell House coffee plant.
Bean said Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
is a model of how using ships as waterfront attractions can blend
“They built their downtown around the ships,” he said.
He said the warship museum could attract about 150,000 visits a
year. Admission would cost $10. Bean said the ship also could be
used by youth groups such as Boy Scouts who currently leave the
state to make overnight stays on retired Navy ships in
Charleston, S.C., and
The goal is to have the ship in
and open for tours by the end of 2014.
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Why did a Virginia
museum open a new exhibit in its restrooms?
By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel
November 15, 2013, 8:15 a.m.
Mariners' Museum in Newport
News, Va., opened a new exhibit this month in an
unusual place: inside its eight restrooms.
Head of Its Time" explores the history of toilets on ships.
According to the museum, the idea for the exhibition started about
eight years ago and began as a joke. But museum collections and
programs chief Anna Holloway submitted a proposal that began: "There
is a certain experience that cuts across time, space, age and
ethnicity, though not necessarily across genders."
Still, how to tell the story of going at sea? The museum decided to
take a light approach and contacted
Norfolk, Va., newspaper cartoonist Walt Taylor to
provide cartoon-like panels on the got-to-go theme. The exhibit
space is restroom walls, urinals and the doors of toilet stalls.
Panels teach visitors the meaning of the word "the head," as ship
toilets are called, and what sailors used instead of toilet paper
back in the day.
what's the lesson here?
"I think we can all agree that the need for a toilet is a universal
experience," Holloway said in a statement. "This is just our way of
coaxing people into exposing themselves to maritime history -- and
hope they have fun and learn something while doing it."
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Navy ship museum in Downtown cruises to victory in JBJ poll
Michael Clinton, Digital Producer- Jacksonville Business Journal
Nov 14, 2013, 11:31am EST
results are in and an overwhelming amount of Jacksonville Business
Journal readers want a naval ship museum in Downtown Jacksonville.
Earlier this month, the Downtown Investment Authority held a public
forum to gather resident input for its community redevelopment plan,
legally required framework for revitalization.
We thought, what better a way to get reader
input than by launching a
poll. We asked: Which suggested project should the city put its
behind first to revitalize Downtown?
total of 644 votes were cast, with more than 50 percent supporting
bringing the USS Charles F. Adams to Downtown as a naval history
The proposal was also mentioned several times during the forums.
Here’s a breakdown of the results:
Ferris wheel — 1 percent
An aquarium — 13 percent
A convention center — 12 percent
A naval ship museum — 62 percent
A casino — 7 percent
Other — 5 percent
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Edinburgh ‘could bring in thousands more’
by IAN SWANSON, Edinburgh News
THOUSANDS more visitors could be drawn to Edinburgh’s waterfront if
HMS Edinburgh joined the Royal Yacht Britannia as an attraction in
Leith, a tourism expert said today.
Professor Joe Goldblatt, of Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret
University, said there was
strong potential for the retired Type 42 Destroyer to pull in new
tourists if it were to find its last berthing place in the Capital.
week ago the Evening News revealed the Ministry of Defence had
performed a U-turn and was willing to have direct talks with the
city council about a non-competitive sale of the warship. It had
previously insisted it would be put up for auction.
Following the change of heart, Britannia chief executive Bob Downie
suggested the ship could be secured for as little as £200,000 and
said the Britannia management would be interested in running it
alongside the Royal Yacht.
Professor Goldblatt said in the
United States ships were huge
visitor attractions. In San
Diego, former aircraft carrier the USS Midway
attracts almost a million visitors a year.
Professor Goldblatt said
museum ships were typically used not only as tourist attractions but
also hired out for special events – including fund-raising events by
companies, associations and charities.
he warned the crucial factor was how the ship was managed and
said: “It’s the management of these attractions which is critical.
The Royal Yacht Britannia has been successful because of the
exemplary management and marketing it has had.”
pointed to the museum ship USS Intrepid in
New York City which has had repeated money
problems despite being in a place with such a big population and a
huge number of tourists.
Professor Goldblatt said: “It’s because it has not had the same
quality of management and marketing that Britannia has enjoyed or
the ship in San Diego.
it shows it’s not just a case of sailing a ship into a port and
people will come and visit.
still requires strong marketing and management.”
Some 250,000 people a year visit Britannia and Professor Goldblatt
said having HMS Edinburgh close by could boost numbers by ten or 20
per cent. As the News reported yesterday, in McLellan’s
Edinburgh, the berth could also have a
beneficial knock-on boom for the Ocean Terminal.
The professor added: “Co-location is one of
the growing trends in visitor attractions – having two attractions
of a similar nature close together.
like in a shopping mall, people like to go to one place and use
their time efficiently to see as much as possible.”
Independent Lothian MSP Margo MacDonald, who has been lobbying for
HMS Edinburgh to come to Leith, has said she hopes the Scottish
Visit Scotland will
chip in to help the council secure the ship.
Fortress of the Sea
Edinburgh was built by Cammell Laird of
Birkenhead, launched on April 14, 1983 and commissioned
on December 17, 1985.
Known as the “Fortress of the Sea”, she served in the Second Gulf
War in 2003 and carried out a range of other duties.
underwent a £17.5 million refit in 2010, returning to the fleet in
October that year.
HMS Edinburgh was the last of the Type 42 destroyer to serve in the Royal
Navy and was decommissioned on June 6 this year after a farewell
tour of Great Britain, which ended with two days when she
was open to the public in
Back to top
Guard Works Hard to Preserve History
Nov 05, 2013
U.S. Coast Guard| by Lt. j.g. Dion Williams
Surrounded by turquoise waters and nestled in a corner of Key West, Fla.,
the 327-foot Coast Guard Cutter Ingham proudly displays the
service’s colors and is a reminder of the rich history of the U.S.
Commissioned Sept. 12, 1936, Ingham served 52 years throughout the
and Pacific oceans and participated in both World War II and the
Vietnam War. In 1985, Ingham became the oldest active duty and most
decorated naval ship serving the nation. Upon its decommissioning
May 27, 1988, Ingham was donated to the
Museum in Charleston, S.C.
Berthed alongside other notable naval vessels such as the USS
Yorktown, Ingham found itself forgotten in history, slowly slipping
away with time. However, in 2009, Ingham received a new lease on
life and was transferred to its new home in Key West and opened as the
U.S. Coast Guard Ingham Memorial Museum.
departure from Patriot’s Point, the cutter completed a period in dry
dock to repair, preserve and document its underbody hull condition.
Despite extensive work on the ship, there is till work to be done
and the Ingham is in a constant state of restoration in
During a recent mid-patrol break, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter
Decisive provided much needed support for a multitude of restoration
and repair projects.Decisive crewmembers overhauled the emergency
diesel generator’s cooling water pump, repaired the ship’s log
office air conditioner, polished and restored bridge equipment,
removed trash and completed general clean-up and organization of the
many spaces around the ship.
Decisive’s crewmembers were astonished to find
the functionality that still exists aboard the Ingham after having
been out of service for more than 25 years.
was actually shocked at the overall condition of the ship. For it to
have been decommissioned in 1988, it still looks amazing,” said
Petty Officer 1st Class Travis Moncrief, a yeoman aboard the
of Decisive’s engineers took part in the restoration of the
decommissioned cutter’s antiquated systems.
was a pleasure to participate in the restoration of a Treasury-Class
cutter,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Chase Spitzkopf, an engineer
aboard the Decisive. “I hope that our volunteer work encourages
fellow shipmates to do the same and I can’t wait to go back.”
a vast network of Ingham sailors and supporters spread out across
the country, the museum staff ensured the Decisive crew’s effort was
documented and placed on the museum’s Facebook page.
Many of those who once called Ingham home expressed their gratitude
with keeping the cutter’s legacy alive and preserving it for
“It was truly an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to assist
the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham Memorial Museum,” said Cmdr. Mark
Walsh, Decisive’s commanding officer. “Ingham’s legacy lives through
today’s cutter fleet and those cuttermen and women who diligently
carry out the mission every day.”
Back to top
Problem with wharf closes USS Salem in
Quincy until spring
By Patrick Ronan
The Patriot Ledger
Last update Oct 05, 2013
nonprofit company that owns the USS Salem at the
shipyard expects to lose one-third of its annual revenue while the
ship is closed for safety reasons.
The MBTA shut down access to the vessel – a
former Navy cruiser now serving as a museum – on Sept. 20 after
discovering that the wharf next to the ship was unstable. As a
result, the United States Shipbuilding Museum,
the private nonprofit that owns the
Salem, won’t host its Haunted Ship program,
the company’s biggest fundraiser of the year, which was supposed to
start this Friday.
MBTA owns the wharf as part of its
River shipyard commuter
Michael Condon, executive director of the nonprofit, said the ship
will likely be closed until the spring. He said losing the Haunted
Ship this month and a series of Boy Scout visits scheduled for
November takes away money typically used to pay the ship’s annual
oil and electricity bills – up to $50,000.
is a traumatic event for us because it ultimately removes a big
portion of our revenue stream,” Condon said.
response to the ship shutdown, Condon is planning several other
fundraisers to try to make up the projected losses. Also, he said
the MBTA will allow the shipbuilding museum to use the ferry station
parking lot to hold a haunted house during the last week of October.
The USS Salem, a Des Moines-class heavy
cruiser, was built at the Quincy shipyard in the 1940s. The Navy
commissioned it in 1949 and decommissioned it in 1959.
1994, the Salem returned to
and a year later was recommissioned as a museum. Tours and educational programming are offered
aboard the ship throughout the year.
During the summer, inspectors discovered that the piles supporting
the wharf and sea wall next to the USS Salem were deteriorating,
MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.
gangway used to board the ship runs over the wharf, and the T was
worried that a sudden failure of the wharf could injure someone on
“Temporary stabilization repairs will restore
vertical support of the wharf and lateral support of the sea wall
until long-term repair or replacement measures are taken,” Pesaturo
said, adding that the repairs will not have any impact on the T’s
ferry services out of
Condon said the nonprofit, which also has two part-time employees
and roughly 25 volunteers, leases its docking space from the MBTA.
But he said the state has agreed not to charge rent until the ship
impact of the ship’s closure was felt last week when a reunion for
former USS Salem crew members was held in the parking lot next to
“They have a liability, and I don’t blame them,” Condon said of the
MBTA’s decision to close the ship. “As much as we don’t like it, we
People can donate to the shipbuilding museum by visiting
Back to top
Storis Supporters See Ray of Hope in Saving Cutter
By Jay Barrett - KMXT, Kodiak
Posted on October 29, 2013 at 6:07 am
Fans of the retired U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Storis have been holding
their collective breath all weekend, hoping there might be a way to
prevent the scrapping of the ship in
Mexico. Documents were forwarded to
members of the Storis Museum
Saturday morning indicating the ship might contain too much
hazardous material to be exported under the federal Toxic Substances
Jon Ottman is a historic preservation
consultant and marine historian based in Michigan. He authored the
successful application to place the Storis on the National Register
of Historic Places.
says that while some PCBs were removed from the ship, more may be
contained in parts of the ship that would only be exposed and made
dangerous if the Storis were broken up
“The information that we have received indicated that the report
that was used to clear the vessel for export for scrapping was
flawed in that while the report had indicated the un-encapsulated
PCBs on-board the vessel was removed the report does not indicate
the other PCBs that would have been contained on the vessel in
various locations throughout the ship, such as paint, gasket
material, rubber insulation and various types of wire insulation
aboard the vessel, that’s all still on board the ship.”
Because of that, Ottman says the Storis should
not be exported to another country that might not have as strict
environmental laws as the U.S.
“It’s an unfortunate situation but it would appear the EPA, the
Unite States Coast Guard, the U.S. Maritime Administration and the
U.S. General Services Administration should have been aware of all
this, and they’re basically complicit in releasing a ship that
should not be going to a foreign ship breaker. They let her go.”
PCBs, or poly-chlorinated biphenyls, were once widely used in
electrical systems, paint and heat shielding until being banned in
1979 because of their persistent environmental toxicity and link to
Ottman says supporters of the Storis have contacted Alaska Senator
Mark Begich for assistance.
“At this point, Senator Begich’s staff are
trying to reach out to the EPA to see where the process went wrong
and what the situation is from that perspective. They’re also
reaching out to the Mexican authorities through the Mexican Embassy
to let them know the vessel is actually en route at this point so
that they can be aware that there is a contaminated vessel that is
en route to their country. They may have the opportunity, the
Mexican authorities, to turn the ship away because of what she
contains on board.”
Ottman says if the Storis can be kept from leaving the country and
the federal government can be convinced that the disposal was
flawed, the process could go back to square one:
“Because the GSA listed the vessel as a repairable ship and did not
indicate in their original listing for her on the GSA auction site
that she contained hazardous materials that would have to be handled
in a special fashion, or that should she be desired by someone for
ship-breaking, that it would have to be done domestically. Those are
all very serious shortcomings in the original General Services
current owners of the Storis are Mark Jurisich and John Bryan,
co-owners of US Metals Recovery of San Diego. They bought the
71-year-old ship at auction this summer for $70,100. The Storis was
taken under tow late Friday near San Francisco.
The Storis was commissioned in September 1942 and served until February
2007. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places last
Back to top
Old sailors work to prepare unique World War II ship for Fleet Week
By Robert Rogers
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 09/12/2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
09:50:40 PM PDT
-- Below deck, down the steep metal stairs,
the aroma of salt water, oil paint, naval fuel and cordite provides
a powerful blast of nostalgia to any old sea dog. Allan Jessop, a
square-jawed 71-year-old ("too old for Vietnam, too young for Korea," he says)
drives a power drill into the galley wall of the world's last
remaining World War II LCS combat vessel. Gordon Stutrud, another
volunteer, looks on. "There's something special about her," said
Stutrud, who was stationed off the shore of Cuba when the world stood at the brink of
nuclear war in 1962. "Every time I come aboard, the smell, the feel,
it all takes me back 50 years."Jessop and Stutrud are among the
handful of volunteers -- mostly retirees and Navy veterans --
working feverishly to have LCS 102 ready to sail on its own power
for Fleet Week in October. If these old-timers can complete their
mission, they say this 387-ton U.S. Navy Landing Craft Support
vessel, one of only 130 ever built, could become the largest World
War II combat ship still able to sail under its own power in the United States.
The National Association of USS LCS (L) 1-130
veterans group, which owns the 158-foot ship, has for years toiled
at Mare Island in
toward its goal of restoring the LCS 102 to full operation. "I don't
know that we'll make it to Fleet Week this year, but we will get
there," Stutrud said. "We would join the parade of ships, and it
would be glorious."
Jessop, in blue overalls and mopping his brow during a quick break,
was more firm.
goal is Fleet Week," he said. San Francisco Fleet Week, scheduled
Oct. 7-13, celebrates the Bay Area's rich naval tradition and honors
the men and women who served in the past and today. The event draws
tens of thousands of spectators each year. Dozens of World War II
ships have been restored and preserved as museums. The USS Iowa, the
battleship on which President Franklin D. Roosevelt made several
trans-Atlantic voyages, was recently tugged from
to Los Angeles
for installation as a floating museum. But because of costs, age and
modern nautical regulations, keeping a World War II ship seaworthy
has been seen as untenable. But not for the volunteers of LCS 102.
"It takes money and work to keep her going, but it's worth it,"
Stutrud said. The ship is already a historical marvel, a heavily
armed battle tank on water designed for maximum potency in the
hellish, close-quarters combat of the South Pacific. Built in Portland, Ore.,
in February 1945, it reached the Pacific theater for nine months of
World War II combat.
Specially built as an amphibious ship for island battles in the
Pacific, the "Mighty Midget" was heavily armed to lay close-range
supporting fire for landing forces on beaches. The flat bottom and
skegs were designed to let the ship beach itself and remain intact
to re-enter the water.
of the 130 built were destroyed in battle, Jessop said, and the
subsequent 68 years has whittled the original population down, so
all that remains is the nearly pristine craft they labor on today.
"The ones that were destroyed were mostly
taken out by kamikaze boats," said Jessop, himself a survivor of a
heart attack and cancer. "You can't imagine how terrible the
firefights were." That more ships and crews weren't lost is probably
owed to the vessels' firepower. The LCS 102s bristled with more guns
per ton, "The kamikaze planes
weren't able to get too close," Jessop said with a half-smile.
Theship faced enemy fire in Borneo,
Philippines, Iwo Jima and
Okinawa. After the war, it was lent to
for use in its small civil defense navy and renamed the Himawai. In
1966, it found a new home in
Thailand, where it was used by the
Thai navy and called the Nakha, which means "serpent," until 2007.
In 2007, the National Association of USS LCS (L) 1-130 bought the
ship and had it towed to
crusty bandof volunteers has toiled for years, raising money and
fixing everything they can on the vessel. They fire up the engines
once a month and have new radar and radio equipment they are set to
install. To make it seaworthy, they'll need to shore up instability
in the propeller shafts, mount sophisticated radar equipment and do
some electrical and sewage work, but they're close.
Jeff Nilsson, executive director of the Historic Naval Ships
Association in Tidewater, Va., said he knows of a
handful of World War II ships still able to sail in U.S. waters, but
none are like the LCS 130. "There are some
and Victory ships out there that can get underway, but they aren't
combat vessels, and the guns they had are gone," he said. "There are
a few small PT boats out there, too."
The menacing guns still swing on the turrets,
giving the ship the guise of an instrument of war. The gun sights on
the anti-aircraft cannons still resemble spider webs, and shells up
to 35 pounds are stored below -- sans gunpowder, of course.
volunteers think a voyage will raise the profile, draw more funding
and enhance the ship's prospects as a self-sustaining, working
attraction. They'd like to move from their $1,200-per-month dock in
Vallejo to less expensive, more accessible digs in
Petaluma, Napa or San
recent afternoon, a former brigadier general and military historian
named David Henley came from
to visit the ship he'd heard so much about. As the volunteers kept
up their race against time to restore the ship, Henley marveled at
the gem tucked on the
tip your cap to these guys," he said. "If they can get her to glide
through the water again, what an accomplishment."
Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726. Follow him at
Visit the ship
The LCS 102 is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays,
Thursdays and Saturdays. Volunteers will give visitors tours of the
ship and show educational videos. Admission is free, but donations
are accepted. The ship is located at
1080 Nimitz Ave.
at Mare Island, behind Building 117.
Back to top
Group trying to bring retired aircraft
carrier to R.I. as a museum
September 09, 2013 11:30 PM
By TATIANA PINA
Providence Journal staff writer
MIDDLETOWN — A vote last week by the Middletown Town Council in support of
bringing the retired aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy to Rhode Island to use as a museum will help
move the project forward, according to the president of the Rhode
Island Aviation Hall of Fame.
6-to-1 vote doesn’t commit the town but it shows the Navy, which
will decide if the group can have the ship, that the local
government is in support of the effort, said Frank Lennon, the
president of the non-profit Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame.
Lennon said the group, which has been working since 2010 to bring
the aircraft carrier to Rhode Island, hopes to
dock the ship on federal land at the naval station. The plan is to
locate the carrier at the Navy’s northernmost pier and move the
fence line so it is accessible to the public. This plan would free
visitors from having to go through the Navy base’s strict security.
The next step for the group is to come up with
a proposal to move the fence line, Lennon said. He said the group
expects to have a proposal within about two months.
Lennon said bringing the aircraft carrier to
Rhode Island would produce jobs and attract
visitors to the state and will not cost residents.
Lennon said $10.5 million in a conditional federal loan guarantee
and pledges have been identified from money that was to go to the
project at Quonset Point before the Navy decided to scrap the Saratoga. He said $25 million to $35 million
would be needed to pay for the project and that the group will
commence to raise money.
The John F. Kennedy, known as Big John, was the last conventionally
powered aircraft carrier built by the Navy and once carried 4,600
crew members and 70 combat aircraft. It was active in both
wars and the war in
and decommissioned in 2007.
Back to top
dream in peril
Cutter could come to Toledo — or be scrap
BY SAM GANS, TOLEDO BLADE STAFF WRITER
The fate of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Storis, which was built in
Toledo, finally appeared settled in early June after six years of
The Storis, one of America's
most accomplished and longest-serving vessels, was on the verge of
returning home to Toledo
to become the site of an educational and historical museum. Now,
however, the ship seems headed to another end: The scrapyard.
But not if the Storis
Museum can help it.
The Storis’ nearly 65-year run began on April 4, 1942, when it
plunged into the water at the Toledo Shipbuilding Co. yards.
Its most notable achievement came in 1957 when it was one of three
ships that were the first American vessels to circumnavigate North
America via the Northwest Passage.
The ship served in the Atlantic Ocean
in World War II, protected the Alaskan coast from Soviet threats
during the Cold War, and spent much of its later years performing
search and rescue operations and fisheries enforcement before it was
decommissioned in 2007. Its impressive career earned it a spot on
the National Register of Historic Places on Dec. 31,
But the Storis was sold by the General Services Administration to an
unidentified buyer — most likely the head of a scrapping company —
at auction for $70,100 on June 27, despite the nonprofit
Museum's efforts since
2007 to secure the ship through both congressional and
Storis Museum President Jim Loback said he found out June 7 the ship
would go to auction. Before that, he thought his organization, which
is based in Juneau, would have an
opportunity to acquire the ship from the GSA, which was told by the
Coast Guard it could start the disposal process in May.
“It was surprising because [the GSA] told me that they were all
working to see if there was some way to give us the ship and then
they put it up for auction,” said Mr. Loback, 81, who served on the
Storis in 1956 and 1957.
According to the GSA, the disposal process consists of screening the
vessel for possible transfer to federal and state agencies as well
as eligible nonprofit organizations. If no eligible recipients
express interest, the vessel could be sold publicly.
Mr. Loback said when he asked why the ship was put to auction, he
was told his organization did not qualify for transfer because GSA
rules state that a museum must be owned and operating for one year
with at least one full-time paid employee to be an eligible
nonprofit group. Mr. Loback, who resides in Fountain Valley,
Calif., said that creates a troublesome
“That's kind of a dumb rule for a ship because you're going to use
the ship as a museum, and that's going to be the house and
everything else for it,” he said.
There was even more confusion after the auction, because the reserve
— the undisclosed minimum amount of money set prior to an auction
that's needed for a bid to be accepted — wasn't met.
Mr. Loback said he hoped this would mean more time for the Storis Museum
to raise funds to purchase the vessel in a second auction with a
lower reserve. However, the June 27 bid was still accepted to save
taxpayer dollars and deter future government costs, according to an
emailed statement from GSA regional public affairs officer Saudia
The buyer will have 10 business days to take the vessel once a
certificate of financial responsibility is submitted and approved.
The Storis currently sits in Suisun
in northern California,
where the ship has been since its decommissioning.
Now the only hope for the
Museum to save the ship is
through the winning bidder. The GSA has not released the bidder's
name per privacy laws, but Mr. Loback said he was contacted by the
winner about buying the ship. Mr. Loback did not wish to identify
the bidder for fear of harming negotiations.
The museum had attempted to acquire the ship from 2008-12 through
congressional action, but no bill was passed to transfer the ship
from the Coast Guard to the
Storis Museum, secretary Joe Geldhof said.
“We wanted to get Congress involved and have Congress pass it,
because you don't have to deal with the shenanigans of the
bureaucrats,” said Mr. Geldhof, 62, a lawyer in
As discussions proceeded between the Storis
Museum and the GSA in early May, the
museum reached out to the Last Patrol, a local nonprofit group
formed in 1995 that has tried unsuccessfully to bring ships for a
museum to the Toledo area. On May 16,
the Storis Museum and the Last Patrol formed an
official legal partnership.
In early June, the two parties agreed the ship would be docked in Toledo, not Juneau, because
it was more cost-efficient and because of the
Maumee River's fresh water, low tides, and more
“The plan for the ship coming to the Great
was to use it as a museum ship and as a training vessel for the U.S.
Naval Sea Cadet Corps.
... We wanted to have the ship back operational to help train the
young kids; they range from 10-18,” said John Nowakowski, 49, of
Swanton, a former Marine and commanding officer of the Last Patrol.
All that was left was transferring the ship from the GSA to the
Storis Museum, which the museum and the Last Patrol thought would
happen once they obtained funds necessary to repair and maintain the
“We kept being told that we had anywhere from six months to a year
to get everything in line,” Mr. Nowakowski said. They actually had
just a few weeks before the auction.
Mr. Geldhof said he realizes the chances of buying the ship from the
winning bidder are not good.
“The Storis is worthy of one last effort and we're going to give it
a shot. We'll see how that goes,” Mr. Geldhof said. “We haven't
given up the ship yet, and until it's actually under the torch, cut
up, we'll keep trying to save it.”
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North Korea to put US spy ship captured in 1968 on display
USS Pueblo, seized off North Korean coast and still listed by US as
commissioned navy vessel, to be unveiled at war museum
AP in Pyongyang
Thursday 25 July 2013 06.20 EDT
The only US navy ship being held by a foreign government is expected
to go on display this week as the centerpiece of a North Korean war
With a fresh coat of paint and a new home along the Pothong river,
the USS Pueblo – a spy ship seized off North Korea's east coast in
the late 1960s – will be unveiled at a renovated war museum to mark
what Pyongyang calls Victory Day, the anniversary of the signing of
the armistice that ended hostilities in the Korean war 60 years ago
The ship is North Korea's
greatest cold war prize, a potent symbol of how the country has
stood up to the great power of the
United States, once in an all-out
ground war and now with its push to develop nuclear weapons and
Many of the crew who served on the vessel, who spent 11 months in
captivity in North Korea, want to bring the Pueblo home. Throughout its history, they
argue, the navy's motto has been "don't give up the ship".
The Pueblo is still listed as a commissioned navy vessel, the only
one being held by a foreign nation. But the US has made little effort to get it
back. At times outsiders were not even sure where North Korea was keeping the ship or
what it planned to do with it.
incident is a painful reminder of miscalculation and confusion, as
well as the unresolved hostilities that continue to keep the two
countries in what seems to be a permanent state of distrust and
preparation for another clash despite the truce that ended the
Already more than 40 years old and only lightly armed so that it
would not look conspicuous or threatening as it carried out its
intelligence missions, the USS Pueblo was attacked and easily
captured on 23 January 1968. Surrounded by half a dozen enemy ships
with MiG fighter jets providing air cover, the crew was unable to
put up much of a fight.
They scrambled to destroy intelligence materials but soon discovered
they were not well prepared for even that. A shredder aboard the Pueblo quickly became jammed with the piles of
papers anxious crew members shoved into it. They tried burning the
documents in waste baskets, but smoke quickly filled the cabins. And
there were not enough weighted bags to toss all the secret material
sailor was killed when the ship was strafed by machine gunfire and
boarded. The remaining 82, including three injured, were taken
prisoner. The North Koreans sailed the Pueblo
to the port of Wonsan,
where for the survivors the real ordeal began.
"I got shot up in the original capture, so we were taken by bus and
then train for an all-night journey to Pyongyang in North Korea, and
then they put us in a place we called the barn," said Robert Chicca,
a marine corps sergeant who served as a Korean linguist on the
Pueblo. "We had fried turnips for breakfast, turnip soup for lunch,
and fried turnips for dinner … There was never enough to eat, and
personally I lost about 60 pounds over there."
Although the ship was conducting intelligence operations, crew
members say most of them had little useful information for the North
Koreans. They say they were beaten severely during interrogations.
"The Koreans basically told us, they put stuff in front of us, they
said you were here, you were spying, you will be shot as spies,"
said Earl Phares, who was cleaning up after the noon meal in the
galley when the attack began. "Everybody got the same amount of
beatings in the beginning."
North Korea said the ship had
entered its territorial waters, though the US maintained that it was in
international waters 15 miles off the nearest land. The incident
quickly escalated. The US,
already deeply embroiled in the Vietnam war, sent several aircraft
carriers to the Sea of Japan and demanded the captives be released.
responded by putting members of the crew before cameras to confess
publicly. The crew members planted defiant codes into forced letters
of confession and extended their middle fingers in images sent
around the world. That led to further beatings when the North
Koreans figured out the gesture's meaning.
On 21 December 1968, Major General Gilbert H Woodward, the chief US
negotiator, signed a statement acknowledging that the Pueblo had
"illegally intruded into the territorial waters of North Korea" and
apologizing for "the grave acts committed by the US ship against"
North Korea. Before and after, he read into the record a statement
disavowing the confession.
The hostages were released across the demilitarized zone that
divides the two Koreas
two days before Christmas, 335 days after their capture.
The navy considered a court martial for the ship's captain,
Commander Lloyd M "Pete" Bucher, for letting the
fall into enemy hands without firing a shot and for failing to
destroy much of the ship's classified material. But he was never
brought to trial. John H Chafee, secretary of the navy at the time,
said Bucher and the other crew members had "suffered enough".
To this day members of the
crew say Bucher made the right decision, though years later his
second-in-command publicly questioned Bucher's decisions not to
fight. "It would have been nice to take out some of the guys, some
of them, and maybe go down fighting, but it would have been total
suicide," said Phares. "We never thought anything would happen, and
we weren't supposed to create an international incident."
In 2002 the former US
ambassador to South Korea Donald P Gregg said a North Korean foreign
ministry official had hinted at a deal to return the Pueblo. But when he later visited Pyongyang, he said he was
told the climate had changed and a return was no longer an option.
In January the next year, the Colorado
senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell reintroduced a resolution in
Congress asking North Korea to
return the ship. There has been no progress since, however – at
least none that has been made public.
"The ship was named after
Colorado, and they would have
loved to have the ship back," Chicca said. "It's very disappointing
to have it still there, and still being used as anti-American
The planned display of the ship by North Korea hangs over the heads of
the crew members who have long campaigned for its return. "I'll
never give up, but I don't think it's ever coming back," Phares
said. "It's just unfortunate that we got put in that situation, and
that the top brass blamed us, or blamed Bucher, for everything."
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Bid to Turn Fire Department Ship Into
a Museum Founders
By COREY KILGANNON
The New York Times
July 9, 2013
During its 72 years of service as a New York
Fire Department powerhouse boat, the 134-foot-long Fire Fighter was
a comforting sight at many harbor blazes and emergencies, including
the Sept. 11 attacks, when it helped supply water to firefighters at
when a group of historic-minded boat enthusiasts obtained the
decommissioned boat last October from the city for a $250 processing
fee, they assumed it would be easy to find a home along the
New York City
waterfront to set up the Fire Fighter as a museum ship.
has not been the case.
Their attempts to secure a berth in the city — including the
Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Bridge
Park and waterfront locations on Staten Island and along the West Side of Manhattan — have
Even a city-owned dock on
in the Bronx proved unavailable, said one of the buyers, Charlie
Ritchie, a youth counselor in
politicians should be ashamed of themselves,” Mr. Ritchie said.
“They had an important historical treasure here and they let it go.”
“There’s no more important boat in
New York City, and it should be there right
now,” he added.
Having come up empty in the city, a retired firefighter friend
mentioned the village of Greenport,
near the eastern end of the north fork of Long
Village officials there saw the boat’s potential as a tourist
attraction, and offered inexpensive dock space.
with the arrival of the busy summer boating season, controversy has
arisen, complicating the prospect of the Fire Fighter remaining in
“Everyone likes the idea that the boat has this history behind it,
but nobody wants to be the landlord,” said Mr. Ritchie, who along
with other members of the Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum group, as
well as a crew of retired Fire Department personnel once assigned to
the vessel, sailed the Fire Fighter in February from the Brooklyn
Navy Yard and tied it up at a village dock.
village officials, needing to make room for higher-paying yachts,
want to move the Fire Fighter to another spot, the Railroad Pier,
which sees tourist traffic.
But this idea has upset commercial fishermen
who rent space along the pier and who fear that the fireboat will
force some of them to move.
Other local residents and waterfront merchants have called the
Railroad Pier a dangerous and inappropriate place to dock an aging
fireboat that could pose a hazard — it could sink, leak fuel or oil,
or become ripped free during a severe storm.
potential environmental hazard here is quite large — nobody knows
the condition of the boat,” said Stephen Clarke, who owns Greenport
Yacht and Shipbuilding Company.
Costello, a local dockbuilder who has worked extensively on the
Railroad Pier, said it “was not designed for that size boat; it’s
the wrong spot.”
pier has been neglected and hasn’t been maintained,” Mr. Costello
Michael Osinski, who grows oysters commercially off his property
close to the Railroad Pier, said he feared that a leak from the Fire
Fighter could contaminate local waters and devastate his business.
worried that the vessel was “an accident waiting to happen” and a
potential liability for the village.
Perhaps the most prudent move, Mr. Osinski
said, was made by New York City officials when they got rid of
the boat and gave the new owners “just enough gas to get it to
Despite the opposition, the Village Board voted recently to let the
Fire Fighter dock at the Railroad Pier, as long as the boat’s owners
have the Fire Fighter pulled out of the water and inspected, which
would most likely cost more than $100,000, and obtain an insurance
policy covering environmental cleanup, in case of a spill.
the group seeking to turn the Fire Fighter into a museum said it did
not have deep pockets.
don’t think we’ll get a millionaire donor to save us, but we’ve been
staying alive on people donating fives and tens, and I’ll take
that,” Mr. Ritchie said, adding that despite the setbacks, large
crowds have turned out for free weekend tours of the Fire Fighter.
“With all the people showing up, we can hardly work on the boat,” he
of the visitors are former firefighters who were once assigned to
the boat, or their relatives, Mr. Ritchie said.
Fire Fighter is in good running shape, with most of its original
parts and features, including its two huge diesel engines and its
ability to pump roughly 20,000 gallons per minute of water, Mr.
On July 4, several retired firefighters helped
prepare and then operate the pumps to conduct a spectacular water
display for crowds along the town’s piers.
“It’s from the days of blood-and-guts firefighting,” Mr. Ritchie
said, listing exploits like having survived pier explosions and
being nearly crushed while fighting a fire that engulfed a military
ship in 1942.
Fire Fighter was used as both a display and for protection at the
1939 World’s Fair, in Flushing Bay, and was part of the parade of ships
during the 1976 Bicentennial celebration. It responded to the Staten
Island Ferry crash in 2003 and to the “Miracle on the Hudson” landing of the US Airways Flight 1549
now it sits in a limbo of politics and bureaucracy while Suffolk County
officials, who have the final say for complicated administrative
reasons, decide if the Fire Fighter can be moved to the Railroad
Ritchie sees Greenport as a worthy place to dock and restore the
Fire Fighter and to use it for educational and recreational sails
for the public, as well as programs for military veterans, students
“The boat’s got a life right now,” he said, “and to have it pushed to
another place would hurt us.”
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The First World War's last surviving battleship is on course
to be transformed into a floating museum after provisionally
securing a £12 million lottery funding boost.
The National Museum
of the Royal Navy is now confident HMS Caroline will be opened as a
"world class" visitor attraction ahead of the centenary of its most
famous wartime engagement - the 1916 Battle of Jutland off the coast
derelict vessel, which is currently docked in the same Belfast shipyards where the Titanic was built,
was in danger of rusting away before moves to restore it started to
build up steam last year.
The Heritage Lottery Fund gave initial
approval to a £12.2 million funding application to finance the
restoration - the largest ever commitment made by the HLF in Northern Ireland.
has pledged £845,000 in first stage development funding and, if that
work is completed as envisaged, the remainder of the money will then
museum would complement a variety of maritime attractions in Belfast's old shipyards, including the £97
million Titanic Belfast visitor attraction.
light cruiser, weighing 3,750 tons and measuring 446 feet, HMS
Caroline was part of the screening force that sailed out ahead of
the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet during the Battle of Jutland to
establish the position of the German battleships.
Captain John Rees, chief of staff at the
Museum of the Royal Navy
(NMRN), said the significance of the ship could not be overstated.
is a one of a kind, an iconic ship," he said.
"The only floating survivor of all the fleets - both German and
British - that fought in the First World War and the Battle of
A National Heritage Memorial Fund grant of just over £1 million will go
towards urgent preventative work to secure HMS Caroline.
An application for more funding is being made in order to proceed
with full restoration of the 446 ft ship.
Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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New York City
Appoints Employees to Serve as Seaport Trustees
By ROBIN POGREBIN
The New York Times
July 9, 2013
New York City has appointed three city employees to be
board members for the struggling nonprofit organization that runs
the South Street
as the city works to find a steward to help operate the museum.
But the Department of Cultural Affairs said on
Monday that the city had not formally taken control of the
organization, which remains an independent nonprofit.
maintain its standing as a nonprofit, the museum needs at least
three board members, Danai Pointer, a department spokeswoman said.
month the Museum of the City of
decided to pull out of running the institution, having deemed its
current condition unworkable. The museum has been struggling with
financial problems that were exacerbated by Hurricane Sandy.
“During this time our hope is that a successor steward will take
responsibility for the museum’s mission and collection,” said Kate
D. Levin, the cultural affairs commissioner.
Officials said the three employees serving temporarily as trustees
had volunteered for the role. Two of them, Christie Huus and David
Sheehan, were appointed on behalf of the mayor’s office. The third,
Tracey Knuckles, was appointed on behalf of the cultural affairs
board, whose appointment was reported by the Wall Street Journal,
then named Jonathan Boulware, the museum’s waterfront director, as
an interim president who will oversee its operations and
collections, including its historic ships.
The museum is hoping to find another entity to take over the
organization. If no group comes forward, state officials will help
determine whether to close the museum or disperse its collection.
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Port Burwell officially opens HMCS Ojibwa as naval museum
By Ben Forrest, St. Thomas Times-Journal
Sunday, July 7, 2013 10:21:45 EDT AM
Gordon knew the day he turned 17 he would leave his home in Truro, Nova
Scotia and go to Halifax, and he knew that
when he arrived he would join the Royal Canadian Navy.
Gordon, 69, didn't join for romantic reasons. It was nothing like
the call of the sea that drew him, he said in an interview.
friend had joined the navy and told Gordon they gave sailors lots to
eat. They dressed them and looked after them.
“That's good enough for me,” Gordon recalls
saying. “I'm with you.”
joined and stayed in the navy over 30 years, about 15 of them aboard
the HMCS Ojibwa, which he helped officially open as a naval museum
in Port Burwell on Saturday morning.
Gordon, who retired with the rank of chief petty officer first class
in 1997, was on the first crew to ever work aboard the Ojibwa, a
Cold War submarine that was commissioned in 1965.
he was there with dozens of other submariners in Port Burwell on
Saturday to usher the ship into her new life as a museum, with about
300 dignitaries, volunteers and other veterans looking on.
was important for me to know that I had lived so much of her career
with my career,” Gordon said. “I wanted to see the end.”
Saturday's ceremony was a chance to celebrate the end of Project
Ojibwa – the campaign to bring the ship to Port Burwell – and the
launch of a museum of naval history in the small
Elgin County town.
“We're very pleased to finally be officially open and have the
public going through it,” said Project Ojibwa executive director Ian
“It's something that has been very important
for us for many years and now it can begin to become important to
the whole community and region.”
project began in 2009 and took four years of hard work to bring it
to where it is today, Raven added.
1,000 people have been through the submarine since its soft opening
on Canada Day weekend, and Raven said he hoped there would be
another 600 people through this Saturday.
There are plans to construct a museum building just east of the
vessel as soon as the museum can organize the financing, Raven said.
Plans call for a 15,000 sq. ft. building that will likely cost
between $3 million and $4 million, he said.
fundraisers are hard at work, and all funds are gratefully
received,” Raven added.
for Gordon, he was among the first to tour the HMCS Ojibwa on
Saturday and hoped to return to it later when no one else was
“That's when I'll be able to close my eyes and hear the voices, hear
the echoes, see the people operating, doing their things,” he said.
“That's when I can clearly see it. It's as clear as a bell, and I
love being in that space – in that particular place.
“I hate coming back to the reality of, 'Hey. It's over.' ”
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Two states eager to be new home for the historic USS Olympia
July 6, 2013 12:07 am
By Joann Loviglio / The Associated Press
-- Caretakers of a deteriorating piece of maritime military history
hope to have its future secured by next summer and continue working
to ensure it stays afloat in the meantime.
USS Olympia, a one-of-a-kind steel cruiser from the Spanish-American
War, ideally would have been dry-docked every 20 years for
maintenance but has not been out of the water since 1945. Since
taking stewardship of the National Historic Landmark from a
cash-strapped nonprofit in 1996, the Independence Seaport
Museum has spent about $5
million on short-term repairs, inspections and maintenance, but
cannot afford to keep the ship.
field of six organizations initially vying for the Olympia has been
narrowed to two preservation groups -- one in the San Francisco Bay
Area, where the 5,500-ton warship was launched in 1892, and one in
Port Royal, S.C., a strategic support post for the Atlantic fleet
during the Spanish-American War.
Both groups will continue refining their proposals until the
finalist is chosen next summer by an advisory team including
officials from the museum, National Park Service and Pennsylvania
Historical Museum Commission. The Navy will make the ultimate call
on whether to accept the advisory team's recommendation.
Officials have said without extensive repairs,
the rusting Olympia will sink at its moorings, be sold for
scrap or scuttled for an artificial reef. They put out a call in
2011 seeking nonprofits and foundations to take stewardship of the
weathered old cruiser, said to be the only steel warship in the
world still afloat.
"We're on a path to preservation ... but we have a long way to go,"
said Jesse Lebovics, manager of
finalist must demonstrate it has the expertise, location and money
to dredge the marina, tow the 344-foot-long ship to dry-dock,
restore it and establish an endowment for future upkeep. Estimates
have put that total price tag at $10 million to $20 million. The
deal also includes several thousand Olympia
artifacts and documents that also will require museum-level care and
chief curator Craig Bruns said.
have a vested interest in making sure the institution the
collections are going to is mature enough to care for these items,"
Mr. Bruns said. "A ship is a ship, but these are items donated by
families of sailors on the Olympia. It's their
closest connection to their ancestor."
Though the Olympia's condition
remains dire, caretakers continue their efforts to keep further
deterioration at bay until the transfer. In the past three years,
about $500,000 in donation-funded stabilization work has included
hundreds of patches to the leaky deck and corroded lower hull,
updated high-water and fire alarms, a new network of bilge-pumping
pipes in case of a hull breech, and repairs and maintenance to
"Everything we've done we've done well but they're still interim steps,"
Mr. Lebovics said. "The underlying problems remain and they're big."
Back to top
reorganizes amid money woes
By TAMMY WEBBER, Associated Press
Updated 2:16 pm, Friday, July 5, 2013
CHICAGO (AP) — Matt von Konrat is animated as he talks about a plant
specimen pulled from the vast botanical collection at the Field
Museum of Natural History. Documentation shows it was collected in
1996 in a Colombian rainforest and tested for compounds that might
be used to treat HIV, AIDS or cancer.
"Imagine if you made some amazing drug
discovery," von Konrat says, sweeping an arm toward cabinets holding
some of his department's more than 3 million specimens, including
ones collected by famed navigator Capt. James Cook in the 1770s.
"You would know exactly where (the plant) came from and its exact
identity" so you could find it again.
Best known for impressive public displays such
as Sue, the towering Tyrannosaurus rex that greets visitors in the
lobby of its Lake Michigan campus, the Field Museum's larger mission
always has been behind-the-scenes research on its 25 million-piece —
and growing — collection of birds, mammals, fish, plants, fossils
and artifacts. Field scientists travel the globe to retrieve
specimens that could produce medicines, document the effects of
climate change or explain the secrets of genetics.
the 120-year-old museum, founded during the 1893 World's Columbian
Exposition and named for department store magnate Marshall Field,
now is setting the scientific world abuzz for another reason.
Faced with almost $170 million in debt, the museum is cutting next
year's research budget 20 percent, including by shrinking its
science staff and merging departments. While natural history museums
across the U.S. are under pressure to stay
relevant to the public, the Field stands out for its financial woes,
experts say, and for speculation over whether the problems will
affect its future as a pre-eminent research center.
"It's one of the great natural history museums of the world and has
been for a very long time ... but it's on the verge of not being so
important," said Michael Donohue, curator of the botany department
University's Peabody Museum.
Since the beginning of the year, the museum's anthropology, botany,
geology and zoology departments have been merged into a single unit,
and by the end of the year, its science staff likely will have been
cut to 152, down from 170 earlier this year. That includes the loss
of six of 27 curators, with two others still considering whether
The museum's financial problems stem from a
decision over a decade ago to issue $90 million in bonds for
construction projects that included a subterranean storage center
for much of its collection. The museum's board assumed it could
raise enough money through a capital campaign to keep the museum on
when that didn't happen, it had to begin dipping into its endowment.
Finally, in December, the museum announced that it would cut $5
million from its budget — $3 million of that from the science
program — and would try to raise its endowment by $100 million.
Richard Lariviere, who took over as Field president in October, said
the museum's troubles, though real, are overstated, and the museum
will emerge stronger within two years.
have financial challenges, but ... we're in very good shape,"
reorganization, he said, will allow the museum to focus on the most
important research and foster more collaboration among scientists,
as well as encourage more outside researchers to use the
collections. "We want even more people to come than have done in
an attraction, the Field also will also build visible laboratories
where the public can watch and interact with scientists.
can't say it's been a pain-free process, but I think (the changes)
are going to be great," and expand research opportunities, said
Corine Vriesendorp, a plant ecologist at the Field.
But others say it is doubtful the institution
can sustain the same level of scientific inquiry or stage the most
good reputation and a good, quality program take decades to build,
but it's taken just six months," to damage both, said Mark Westneat,
a 22-year Field veteran who was chairman of the former zoology
department and whose research focuses on threats to coral reefs.
love this place, but there has been a needless ripping apart and
disrespecting what I have loved over the years," said Westneat,
who's negotiating with a university to move his laboratory there.
the past, Field scientists used a decades-old collection of
peregrine falcon eggs to draw a direct correlation between the use
of DDT and thinning eggshells, leading to the pesticide's ban.
They've helped indigenous communities in Ecuador reclaim
land damaged by oil drilling.
Donohue, the Peabody curator, said
museums and universities rely on each other's research to make
scientific discoveries and advancements.
suddenly lose (scientists from) an important institution like the
Field hurts the overall effort," including such things as mapping
where specimens are found, Donohue said.
Carroll Joynes, co-founder of the
University of Chicago's
said all museums must take risks to stay fresh, but the Field took a
big financial gamble.
"Then if it does not come true, you're caught in a horrible expense
bind," said Joynes, adding that he believes the museum is now in
museum says it has identified all of the cuts it needed. The
endowment campaign has not yet begun.
Lariviere said the Field always will put research first because that's
"why people find us valuable and interesting. Otherwise we'd just be
a cabinet of curiosities."
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Battleship New Jersey
to receive $1.4 million in state funding
By Jason Laday/South Jersey Times
July 03, 2013
— The Battleship New Jersey will receive $1.4 million in funding as
part of the state budget passed last week, after years of dwindling
aid from Trenton.
While officials at the battleship museum had
initially requested $1.75 million to fund operations and pay its
utility costs, Chief Executive Officer Philip Rowan said Tuesday
they will “make it work.”
“We’ll trim the sails a bit, to use a nautical term,” he said.
statement issued by Sen. Donald Norcross announcing the funding,
Rowan thanked legislators for the aid.
“This is great news for the
and Memorial, and it couldn’t come at a better time,” Rowan said.
“The state’s continued support will help us meet our utilities
costs, insurance, staffing, marketing and maintenance of the
887-foot long ship located on the Camden Waterfront.
“More to the point, it helps us educate our youth, honor our
veterans and preserve the history and artifacts of the world’s
Since opening as a museum in October 2001, the ship museum has
relied on aid from the state to keep itself running and open to the
According to previous comments from Rowan, state aid peaked in 2007
at $3.4 million, but later dwindled to $1.74 million before
bottoming out at absolutely zero dollars, in 2011, although the
battleship did receive $907,420 in the first half of the year from
the previous fiscal year’s budget.
battleship, which celebrated its 70th “birthday” last May, received
$660,000 in 2012.
January, Rowan described a four-year financial plan currently in
place that he and other officials hope will see the ship museum
“The state is committed to preserving the Battleship New Jersey as
part of South Jersey’s rich
history,” said Norcross in a statement released by his office. “This
is a one-of-a-kind ship, built on our river and launched through the
sweat of New Jersey’s
workers. It’s vital that we maintain this national treasure so
closely tied to our industrial past.
funding is a long time coming and will help the ship carry out its
mission to educate visitors from around the world on one of the
country’s last remaining battleships,” he added. “It is our duty as
the ship’s stewards to make sure that it gets the resources
necessary to remain open and accessible to our residents.”
According to Rowan, the museum has been seeing “great” business so
far this season. Although he added the recent rain storms have kept
“We do half of our business for the whole year in the months of June,
July and August,” he said.
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Reason for the re-dedication of Memorial Stadium at Indiana
From: Dana Tinsley
Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 7:59 AM
will add new emphasis to the name and look of Memorial Stadium this
fall with the acquisition and installation of the original prow from
the battleship USS Indiana. The mainmast and two guns from the
have been on prominent display outside the west gates to the
football stadium since 1966 — six years after the stadium opened.
“It’s going to look awesome,” athletic director Fred Glass said
Monday. “By pure serendipity, the guns are at each end like bookends
and the prow is going to fit right in the middle, as if we had
planned for it.”
initiative to acquire the prow came from a letter to the editor of
The Herald-Times written by
resident Scott Clarke in April 2012. Clarke saw the prow sitting in
a parking lot outside a Berkeley,
Calif., seafood restaurant and implored the university
to acquire it and reunite it with the mainmast that flies the U.S. flag outside of Memorial
President Michael A. McRobbie thought it was a great idea and
assigned Kirk White to investigate the possibility. White is IU’s
assistant vice president for strategic partnerships and military
liaison for the office of the president. White contacted IU’s
San Francisco Bay
alumni chapter, which reached out to the Frank Spenger family that
had long operated a seafood restaurant and owned the relic.
family agreed to donate the prow, or front portion of the ship that
sits above the water line.
“Kirk (White) is going out there on July 8 and ride back with the
prow as it sits atop an 18-wheeler,” Glass said. “It’s been a great
cooperative venture. It was the president’s initiative, Kirk has
been the real driver of the project, and we’re the beneficiaries.
We’ve been keenly interested in putting more emphasis on the fact
that Memorial Stadium is a tribute to our veterans. This was a
completely unexpected and wholly appropriate way for us to do that.”
USS Indiana was a 35,000-ton
class battleship, commissioned in April 1942. She participated in
the invasion of the Gilbert Islands in November 1943 and the
Marshall Islands in January 1944, and took part
in the Marianas campaign in June 1944. Following an overhaul, she
returned to the Western Pacific in January 1945 in time to
participate in the invasion of Iwo Jima.
The ship, which earned nine battle stars for her service in World
War II, was decommissioned in September 1947 and then sold for scrap
plans to rededicate the USS Indiana memorial Sept. 7 when the
football Hoosiers play host to the U.S. Naval Academy’s football
team, the Navy Midshipmen. “We’re going to have some big brass in
from Washington and other special guests. It’s going to be a really
neat thing for that game,” Glass said.
IU athletic director said he hopes IU will be able to incorporate
the Midshipmen in the ceremony.
“You know, last year we played a heartbreaker against Navy, losing
by one point at Annapolis,” Glass said.
“After the game, (coach) Kevin Wilson took his squad over to where
the Midshipmen were singing their alma mater to the crowd and had
our guys take their helmets off in a quiet salute to Navy and the Naval Academy.
“I can’t tell you how many letters and comments I got about what a class
act that was by our guys under some pretty challenging
circumstances,” Glass said. “I hope we can coordinate something with
them, because while we may compete on the football field, this goes
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Navy Shipyard Puget Sound Seeks Volunteer
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility
(IMF) are seeking shipyard
volunteers to help overcome a staffing shortage of more than 600
mechanics, a result of the Navy-mandated hiring freeze.
Shipyard Commander Capt. Steve Williamson asked interested parties
to put their name on the volunteer list. He is seeking both shipyard
employees, with specialized experience who have moved into
management, and unskilled workers who can perform basic manual tasks
to allow the more experienced employees to fill in for the vacant
are at a pivotal point," said Williamson. "We are going to rely on
the talent of this command to step up and earn the trust we were
given with the furlough exemption. Let me give you the bottom line
here. We need you. We must do something different, so we can do what
we have been asked to do.
The potential volunteer's list is being built rapidly.
People can be assigned to where they are needed and where their
initiative and skills can support the workload. A process is in
place to match the volunteers' skills with the work that needs to be
During fiscal year 2013, all four naval shipyards are exempted from
furloughs, as there is a critical need to return nuclear powered
submarines and aircraft carriers to the fleet. Puget Sound Naval
Shipyard and IMF was preparing to offer jobs to more than 600
mechanics before the Navy mandated a temporary hiring freeze.
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Set Adrift by the Museum of the City of
June 25, 2013
In the Air
Museum of the City of New York (MCNY), which in 2011 was given 18
months — plus a nine-month extension last year — to get the
shipwrecked South Street Seaport Museum afloat again, is abandoning
ship, taking the wind out of the ailing institution’s sails as it
continues to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane
Sandy. “It’s a huge personal sadness for me,” Susan Henshaw Jones,
the president of the MCNY who has also been serving as the Seaport Museum’s
captain, told the New York Times. “It’s just not workable.”
“Sandy really just did us in,” Jones added.
“There still exists this huge amount of post-Sandy work that is
enormous in terms of dollars, which is going to take years.” She
said the board of the MCNY wanted her to focus on her work at the
When Sandy struck, the Seaport Museum
had recently reopened after a year-long closure, and the storm
decimated its admissions area, gift shop, and cafe, as well as its
computer and electrical systems.
Now the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs is sweeping the horizon for
another group or institution to guide the Seaport Museum
to safe waters. “We’re working to see if we can find another
entity,” Kate D. Levin, the department’s commissioner, told the
Times. If nobody comes to the institution’s rescue, it will fall
into the hands of the attorney general of New York State.
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Civilian furloughs to close Nautilus,
submarine museum on Mondays
By Jennifer McDermott
Published 06/20/2013 12:00 AM
— The Historic Ship Nautilus and Submarine Force Library and Museum
will be closed on Mondays because of the furloughs for civilians who
work for the Department of Defense.
Defense Department is furloughing most of its civilian personnel
because automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, took effect
March 1. Under the current plan, employees have to take one day off
each week for 11 weeks, from July 8 through the end of the fiscal
Nautilus and the museum will close on Mondays, in addition to its
routine closures on Tuesdays, from the week of July 8 until further
notice, the Navy said Thursday.
of the museums that fall within the Naval History and Heritage
Command are closing for a day each week because of the furloughs.
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Former Coast Guard cutter Storis up for auction after
museum efforts fail
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Last Updated: June 17, 2013 - 3:49 pm
KODIAK, Alaska — The federal government is putting a former
Coast Guard cutter up for auction after efforts to send it to a
museum in Juneau failed.
cutter Storis was listed for auction last week on the General
Services Commission website at an opening bid of $60,000, KMXT
"Well I think we had been hoping to be able
preserve the Storis, and find it a place specifically in the museum
said Heather Handyside, a spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Mark Begich,
D-Alaska. "However, as you probably know, it does take a little bit
of money to maintain these older, historical vessels, and so,
unfortunately, we weren't able to keep it and it's being auctioned
Joe Geldhof, the secretary for the
Storis Museum in
Juneau, said he and others were surprised
when the ship showed up on the auction site. The hope was to have
the Storis taken to the museum in Juneau where it was homeported for 10 years
during the 1940s and 1950s.
Besides it being an artifact for the museum, Geldhof told the
Kodiak radio station it could have been used to train young
"What we had hoped when we heard about
this not too long ago is that we'd be able to obtain the vessel for
training purposes through the Sea Cadets program run by the Navy
League of the
United States. And the GSA wasn't
willing to work with us and they just wanted to put it out to bid,"
that it appears the museum won't get the ship, Geldhof said the next
step is to save it from the scrap yard — though that means the ship
won't be retired in Juneau.
plan at this point is to work with some folks in
and out in the Midwest, to acquire
the Storis. That means it may wind up in Toledo
where the ship was built, but we are still trying to save the Storis
and preserve a ship that spent most of its career in
Alaska, but started out in
Ohio," he said.
"Frankly, we are scrambling at this point to preserve a ship that
was enormously important to Alaska's
maritime history and to the maritime history of the
The cutter saw service in World War II and spent much of the time after
the war patrolling Alaska
waters. Besides calling
home for about a decade, it was also homeported in Kodiak for 50
years. It was decommissioned in 2007.
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USS Constellation to get new $4.2M visitors center
May 1, 2013
Baltimore Business Journal
Nearly 15 years after the USS Constellation was restored, the
historic ship at the Inner Harbor is getting a new visitors center
Construction on the new USS Constellation Education and Heritage Center
will begin Oct. 1 and is expected to wrap up in time for a June 2014
When it is complete the building’s footprint on Pier 1 won’t be too
different from the existing visitors center. At 4,800 square feet,
it will be slightly narrower and longer with more space inside
dedicated to educational exhibits. The $4.2 million center will have
a more modern feel, and it will also be raised above the flood plane
to prevent water damage.
Historic Ships in Baltimore,
the nonprofit that oversees the Constellation and several other
ships, currently has its offices at the visitors center, but they
plan to relocate to make room for additional exhibit space. The
museum portion will cover all ships that have been named
Constellation and help set the stage for visitors’ experience aboard
the Civil War vessel.
During construction the Constellation will remain open at the Inner Harbor’s
west wall. The ship will return to Pier 1 in time for next year’s
Star-Spangled Spectacular in September, concluding the War of 1812
Chris Rowsom, executive director of Historic Ships in Baltimore, said a new visitors center has been
a long time coming for the Constellation. The project is something
the organization had planned to construct ever since the
Constellation was restored in the late 1990s, he said.
The center is being funded by a combination of city, state, federal
and private money from organizations including the Baltimore
Development Corp., the Charles T. Bauer Foundation, Maryland
Historical Trust and Baltimore National Heritage Area. Partners on
the project include RK&K Engineers, W Architecture & Landscape
Architecture and the Baltimore City Department of Transportation.
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Mount Pleasant — Anchored in pluff mud,
the 70-year-old aircraft carrier Yorktown poses no imminent
environmental threats to the public or Charleston Harbor, a study
released Wednesday shows.
Shaw Environmental Inc. told Patriots Point's board of directors the
World War II-era ship — moored as a museum ship since 1975 — will
have to be cleaned extensively before structural repairs can take
place. The estimated cost is $4.4 million and will take about six
A worker with Shaw Environmental Inc. of Atlanta
takes oils and water level measurements on the World War II-era
aircraft carrier Yorktown at
Patriots Point. A worker with Shaw Environmental Inc. of
Atlanta takes oils and water level measurements on the
World War II-era aircraft carrier Yorktown at Patriots Point.
The aircraft carrier Yorktown at
Patriots Point will need to be cleaned up at a cost of about $4.4
million before it can be repaired, but it poses no imminent
environmental threat. It could take decades to refurbish the World
War II-era ship.
Patriots Point officials plan to apply for federal funding to help
with the cleanup, and they hailed the report as good news.
“There are no leaks, no threats to the harbor and the integrity of
the vessel is in good shape,” board Chairman Ray Chandler said. “All
of these things bode well.”
Board member Eddie Taylor pointed out that the report shows no
emergency situation, giving Patriots Point time to secure funding
and perform cleanup ahead of much- needed structural repairs.
“The great news is the people who visit or stay on the boat are in
no danger,” said Mac Burdette, Patriots Point executive director.
The Atlanta-based firm found 129 tanks with about 160,000 gallons of
petroleum residue and 1.6 million gallons of onboard contaminated
Just two of 21 refrigeration units are charged, and all firefighting
systems were found to be drained or air-gapped.
Shaw also found varying levels of cancer-causing polychlorinated
biphenyl compounds, or PCBs, in 40 out of 71 samples it took around
Most hydraulic systems were found to be empty, and all radiological
devices are low-level and pose no risk to anyone, the firm said in
Any radiological devices could be put in containers and disposed of
in a low-level facility.
To remove fluids, Kenyon recommended pumping and separating
petroleum products and affected waters.
State-owned Patriots Point Naval and
Museum is staring at an
estimated $81 million price tag to upgrade the aging vessel that has
served as the centerpiece attraction for tourists since it was
decommissioned and brought to Charleston Harbor 38 years ago.
The environmental assessment of the ship comes before a structural
analysis is conducted to determine the ship's overall condition.
It could take decades to refurbish the ship, since Patriots Point's
annual income is about $9.5 million.
Shaw Environmental took 71 samples to check for cancer-causing
polychlorinated biphenyl compounds, or PCBs.
Of those, 23 contained more than 50 parts per million of the toxins.
Anything above that level has to be incinerated. Seventeen samples
had less than that amount, meaning those can be treated and sent to
Any PCBs will have to be pumped or placed into small drums and
removed, if possible. If they cannot be removed because of the
ship's layout, Shaw recommends encapsulating them.
The most likely sources of the PCBs were fire retardants sprayed
Yorktown decades ago.
By the numbers
Yorktown at Patriots Point:
70 Years old
38 Years at Patriots Point
$4.4 million Estimated environmental cleanup cost
509 Number of tanks surveyed
129 Number of tanks contaminated
160,000 Number of gallons of petroleum residue
1.6 million Number of gallons of affected water
$81 million Estimated overhaul cost of entire ship
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Cutter Services Seasonal Aids to Navigation
Apr 26, 2013, Military.com
U.S. Coast Guard| by Petty Officer 1st Class Sondra-Kay Kneen
As the bitter winter temperatures come to an end and the ice that
frosts the Hudson River begins to melt, preparations for the spring
and summer months are in full effect as Coast Guard Cutter Katherine
Walker makes its way north towards Albany, N.Y.
The Katherine Walker is a 175-foot buoy tender, homeported in
Bayonne, N.J. Its major mission includes the servicing of aids to
navigation throughout New York Harbor,
Western Long Island Sound, the Hudson
and East Rivers,
as well as other waters along the Connecticut,
New York and New Jersey coastlines.
During a five-day patrol up the Hudson River,
the ship serviced 18 seasonal aids to navigation, the last of 53
buoys that the crew restores every spring. The ice buoys were built
for rough weather and ice conditions. The Katherine Walker crew
replaced these winter aids to navigation with standard buoys that
provide better visibility with a greater radar cross-section crucial
to mariners. The ice buoys are put in place at the
end of fall and are replaced by the standard buoys at the beginning
“Commerce on the river operates year round and depends on our aids
to navigate safely,” said Lt. Adam G. Leggett, commanding officer of
the Katherine Walker. “However the standard buoy hulls can be
crushed by the ice, which would cause them to sink and in order to
continue to safely mark the channel we must put in the ice hardened
hulls. Its hard work, but its our duty to the mariner.”
The crew of Katherine Walker operates proudly and professionally
during the cold working hours on the buoy deck and below in the
engine room, keeping the cutter transiting safely. Although
servicing more than 300 floating aids to navigation in and around
the New York
harbor remains the main mission for the crew of the Katherine
Walker, crewmembers find volunteer work in between can be beneficial
within the marine partnerships throughout the same region.
During their latest patrol, they had the pleasure in assisting the
crew of the USS Slater, the last destroyer escort in America, with several restoration
projects before it opens for tours in April.
“It was an excellent opportunity to connect with our maritime
heritage working alongside a dedicated group of veterans and
enthusiasts trying to preserve such an incredible piece of
and Coast Guard history,” said Leggett. “As we learned during our
time aboard, 13 of these ships were manned by Coast Guard crews in
Upon their arrival to Albany, the crew moored outboard of Slater in
Rensselaer, N.Y., where the Slater is temporarily moored during
colder months to prevent ice build up at its home pier on Albany’s
waterfront. The crew of Katherine Walker worked on several projects
aboard Slater, putting their nautical skill sets to apt use, from
sanding and caulking the ship’s whaleboat, to chipping and painting
in the engine room bilge, to splicing line and polishing the galley.
Katherine Walker holds a crew of 24 personnel. During their patrols,
time away from family is never easy, but this crew makes the best of
it. During the last night of their patrol on the
Hudson River, the crew held an Easter Egg Hunt. Plastic
eggs filled with prizes ranging from free movie tickets to a 24-hour
liberty pass were hidden throughout the ship.
“Keeping the crews morale up is an important job, among the main
mission,” said Chief Petty Officer David M. Acosta, 1st Lieutenant
of the Katherine Walker. “I tell my crew to keep their eyes on the
prize, complete the work and go home safely, and return to do it
again another day.”
The Katherine Walker was commissioned in 1996, the second 175-foot,
Keeper-class buoy tenders built and commissioned for the Coast
Guard. The cutter was named after keeper Katherine Walker, the
keeper of Robbins Reef Light in New York Harbor. Walker was the keeper of the light from 1895
to1919 when she retired. Her efforts at the lighthouse resulted in
the rescue of 50 sailors from shipwrecks.
passed away at age 83 on February 5th, 1931. The crew visits her
gravesite, located on
Staten Island, N.Y., before most patrols, to pay their
respects, bring her fresh flowers and leave with the hope that
she’ll bring them a safe return home.
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Quebec museum saves Cold-War submarine from the scrap heap
By Pat Brennan, For Postmedia News
April 24, 2013
RIMOUSKI, Que. – Just one step inside a unique museum at this St.
Lawrence River port and that's enough for some visitors.
That first step inside gives an immediate impression of what this
museum is all about and that’s enough to make some people back out.
Other visitors come with a toothbrush, their jammies and the
excitement of staying overnight.
Both types of visitors learn what it is like to live and work in a
HMCS Onondaga patrolled below the North
for 36 years for the Canadian Navy and there was no life like it for
the 70-man crew.
Now the general public can come aboard and experience that same life
below the waves. The sub no longer dives below the surface. It has
been hauled up on the south
shore of The St. Lawrence River. But once those
watertight doors are closed, you wouldn’t know the difference.
The Canadian Navy retired Onondaga in 2000 and planned to cut the
sub into a half dozen pieces in Halifax,
truck it up to Ottawa’s
and stitch it back together again. The navy’s bean counters said
that was too expensive and instead the submarine was to be sold for
$60,000 as scrap metal.
But the people who operate a maritime museum in Rimouski decided one of the few Canadian
vessels remaining from the Cold War should not end up as razor
blades or subway rails.
They managed to put together nearly $5 million to buy the sub and
tow it to Rimouski. It was one of
the most harrowing voyages this sub ever made. It had to ride out
several late fall storms, which in its active days it would simply
The last 50 metres were the most dangerous. It rolled on its side as
it road on a makeshift dolly up onto the beach.
seafarers have been handling ships since Champlain sailed by in 1608
and they were able to get Onondaga righted and secure its permanent
Volunteers spent a cold winter inside the sub making it ship shape
to open as Canada’s only
Visitors can wander through the vessel in 45 minutes escorted by
dosun Alberic Gallant, who looks exactly what you’d expect a
submariner to look like – but he’s an actor.
Or you can get a deeper impression of what it is like at sea in a
sub by spending a night aboard. The overnight visitors duplicate the
workday of a submariner. They track surface ships by radar and
sonar, they peer through the telescope at passing ships, or just
check on their car in the parking lot.
One of the exercises includes learning how to escape a sub that is
sitting incapacitated on the bottom – in water less than 1,000 feet
deep. Visitors wrestle their way into a survival suit, but they’re
not required to climb into a tight chamber, inflate their suit with
air, flood the chamber and then shoot up like a helium balloon to
Maurice Allard has done that during his 17 years as a Canadian Navy
submariner, including six years on the Onondaga. Fortunately, he
only had to do it in training sessions in
Hawaii and in the Mediterranean.
Allard helped bring his former sub to Rimouski,
worked on its restoration and he sits on the board of directors of
the Pointe-au-Pere Maritime Museum.
He can tell stories about sitting quietly below Soviet spy ships
stationed off the coast of
Northern Ireland and going without
hot food to avoid making any noise.
Sailors with claustrophobia didn’t go to sea in subs and visitors
with the same affliction likely won’t roam through this museum. If
you choose to stay overnight all the conversation and instructions
are in French – plus, try to get a bunk amidst the torpedoes in the
forward torpedo room. It’s the most spacious area in the vessel.
The Onondaga is the latest addition to Rimouski’s
Pointe-au-Pere Maritime Museum.
greatest marine tragedy – the sinking of the Empress of Ireland - is
the principal story at the museum.
A surprising few Canadians know about the Empress of Ireland, which
sank near Rimouski in 1914 with the
loss of 1,014 lives. The ocean liner, owned by Canadian Pacific
Steamships, had 1,477 passengers and crew on board as it proceeded
down the St. Lawrence through dense fog on its way to
from Quebec City.
Many of the passengers were members of the Salvation Army heading to England for an
The passenger ship was struck amidships at 2 a.m. by the up-bound
Norwegian coal ship SS. Storstad. Within 15 minutes The Empress
plunged to the river bottom.
Because it went down in relatively shallow waters, tons of artifacts
have been recovered from the vessel. They are on display, along with
the vessel’s life story, at the Empress of Ireland Museum at
The sinking of the Empress of Ireland was somewhat overlooked in
history because the Titanic went down two years earlier with the
loss of 1,517 souls. And World War 1 broke out four months after the
The museum’s principal building depicts a sinking ocean liner and
was designed by Rimouski
architect Richard Goulet
One of Canada’s tallest lighthouses is the third segment of the
The rare octagonal-shaped lighthouse was built in 1909. Its light
weighs 600 pounds and you can climb the 128 stops to the top for a
spectacular view of the mighty St. Lawrence.
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Study boosts Kitty Hawk
A new report indicates an aircraft carrier downtown could be a
Apr. 23, 2013, Pensacola News Journal
An improbable campaign to moor the giant retired aircraft carrier
USS Kitty Hawk near downtown Pensacola as a tourist attraction
gained some credibility on Tuesday.
The proposed acquisition and display of the huge ship could lead to
an economic impact of up to $18 million a year, according to a new
study by the University of West Florida’s
“The USS Kitty Hawk has the potential to become an integral part of
the Pensacola experience,
bringing an additional attraction to the region along with the
attendant visitors,” researcher Rod Lewis determined.
Mark Taylor, the volunteer leader of a nonprofit to bring the
carrier from its dock in
Bremerton, Wash., hailed the $20,000 study to which he
“It’s everything I could have asked for,” he said. “What needs to
happen now that we know this is a good project is to get a committee
together and apply to the Navy to become the permanent home for the
Pensacola businessman and Blue Wahoos owner Quint
Studer contributed $10,000 for the study, Taylor said.
Other contributors included Julian MacQueen, owner of Gulf
Breeze-based Innisfree Hotels, who gave $1,000, and Jim Cronley, a
partner in the Terhaar & Cronley general contracting firm, who also
The study asserted that tourism interest generated by the carrier
would generate “substantial local revenues for hoteliers,
restaurateurs and the broader Escambia economy.”
Data compiled by the study estimated the annual total economic
impact of the aircraft carrier in the range of $8 million a year to
a bit more than $18 million.
Lewis, executive director of the
Center, which specializes
in business and economic research, said of his two-month study: “To
me it says that the project has potential, that it is a credible
However, the study also estimated that refurbishment of the ship
could cost $21 million, so it would take several years to recoup the
Taylor is the owner of a Pensacola house insurance inspection company,
a Republican candidate for the vacant Florida House of
Representatives in District 2, and a member of the Community
Maritime Park Associates board that governs the park.
He acknowledged that potential funding sources for the project
aren’t clearly established.
He has mentioned his goal of obtaining state tourism dollars,
RESTORE Act disbursements and private donations.
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‘retired’ Navy submarine
By Express News Service - CHENNAI
11th April 2013 08:42 AM
INS Vagli, the oldest operational submarine of the Indian Navy, was
handed over to the State government on Wednesday to be converted
into a maritime museum that will be established at Mamallapuram.
Vagli, decommissioned in
on December 2010, arrived here on March 25. It was handed over to
State Finance Minister O Paneerselvam and Tourism Minister P Chendur
Pandian by Vice-Admiral Anil K Chopra, Flag Officer
Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command.
The submarine is likely to be stationed in harbour till September
before being transferred for installation on about 30 acres of land
abutting the beach near the
Shore Temple, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Chopra said that the submarine was towed to Chennai port free of
cost. Paneerselvam thanked the vice admiral and sought his help in
installing the submarine on at the selected site.
The ship, which will be converted into a museum, will have food
courts, audio-visual studio, souvenir shops and an aquarium. It will
be planned and executed in a phased manner using the
The Vagli, a Type 641B Foxtrot-class submarine, was commissioned by
then Lieutenant Commander Lalit Talwar on August 10, 1974 at
Latvia, in the erstwhile Soviet Union. It had completed 36 years of dedicated
service under 23 commanding officers.
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Mare Island group teams up with competitor to save USS
By Sarah Rohrs, Times-Herald staff writer
4/11/2013 01:03:56 AM PDT
Under the premise that two heads are better than one, the Mare
Island Historic Park Foundation has teamed up with a group on the
East Coast to raise money to save the USS Olympia.
is a Spanish American warship in danger of being scrapped. The ship
is now at the Independence Seaport
Museum in Philadelphia, which solicited requests from
other groups that might want the ship.
Both the Mare Island foundation and the South Carolina Olympia
Committee (SCOC) would like to acquire the ship, but have agreed to
work together to raise awareness and money to ensure it has a bright
Mare Island foundation member
Dennis Kelly said that while the two groups are competing they can
team up to raise national awareness about the need to save the
"The stories have not been picked up by the national press. It's our
hope (the story) that two competitors on opposite coasts banding
together will resonate with the public more than individual efforts
going alone," Kelly said.
Both groups need to raise significant funds to acquire the
one-of-a-kind historic steel cruiser, the world's oldest surviving
steel-hulled warship. It was made famous for her role as Admiral
Dewey's flagship in the 1898 Spanish-American War.
Prior to fighting in that battle, the ship underwent an overhaul at
Mare Island Naval Shipyard.
foundation would like to secure the ship and place it in Dry Dock
No.1 on the Mare Island
"I think (the Olympia)
is wired for us from the standpoint that we are the only ones with a
drydock and we're located in the San Francisco Bay Area. We've got a
historic connection to the ship," Kelly said. "We've got everything
lined up. What we don't have is the money."
group and the South
organization are the two remaining applicants competing for the
The South Carolina group plans to
display the ship out of water on a floating drydock/exhibit platform
berthed in the Town of
Kelly said both groups remain committed to their individual efforts
to obtain the ship, butbelieve it is best to band together for the
greater concern of saving the ship for future generations.
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pay $500 to fire these guns?
Matthew Van Dongen,
Tue Apr 09 2013
Well-heeled history buffs will be able to pay to fire a gun or sound
siren aboard the HMCS Haida, under proposed new fees for historic
But volunteers dedicated to the famed Second World War battleship
the changes could undermine their ability to fundraise.
Following a five-year freeze, Parks Canada is proposing to raise and
create new fees for national parks and historic sites. The move
amid federal budget cuts and a report warning one-third of all
assets” are in poor shape.
proposals include a $500 charge to sound a horn or fire a
dual four-inch turret gun on the Haida, the last Tribal class
in the world, which Parks Canada runs as a national historic site on
The Friends of HMCS Haida depend on those twin attractions —
free, but rare — to lure new donors, said president Ken Lloyd. If
fee-based access replaces the services provided by the group, “we’ll
have to completely rethink our fundraising,” he said.
Right now, the ship’s forward gun usually only booms for special
such as the 2009 visit of Prince Charles, and historical
Or, you can buy a private shooting lesson with a $1,000 lifetime
“It’s a way to say thank you, an incentive for donations,” Lloyd
Sounding the sirenete — a steam-powered horn the Friends bought for
$12,000 and donated to the ship — has also been a privilege of
membership. Those member donations form a significant part of the
group’s $30,000 budget, he said.
Lloyd said he understands the fiscal challenges faced by Parks
and stressed his group is involved in ongoing and “very convivial”
with federal officials.
“Many of our volunteers actually served on the ship. I think (parks
officials) understand the importance of our contributions to the
story of the Haida,” he said, noting Friends members are involved in
everything from ship maintenance to school programs.
Although the proposed 2013 fees were posted online to solicit public
feedback, Parks Canada has refused interview requests on the topic
The Spectator over three days.
Jarred Picher, the manager for national historic sites in
via email the user fees are not meant to replace “the
valuable contributions made by local volunteer groups.”
He said the fees would support new programming such as corporate
hosted on the ship, with a “menu of activities” that includes firing
It remains unclear who else would be eligible to pay to fire a gun
sound a siren, or how often.
“If you want friendly neighbours, you wouldn’t want to do it every
It’s loud,” said Margaret Mathers, who estimated the sirenete sounds
once or twice a week in summer.
Mathers said the horn perched atop the ship now requires a modern
compressor and “an experienced hand” to sound. Frequent use could
maintenance costs, she added.
Lloyd said he hopes Friends donors will be exempt from fees
with the gun, horn and on-board gatherings.
“Our volunteers will always be there for Parks and do whatever
allowed to do,” he said.
Picher said some of the proposed fees and new programming, if
by the federal government, could be introduced later this year. The
Haida opens to visitors in late May.
The proposed new fees, available on the Parks Canada website, range
$25 for special access tours to $2,500 for a full-day rental of the
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Efforts to bring ship to Green Bay as floating museum in the works
Would be moored next to the Neville Public Museum
Published : Monday, 08 Apr 2013, 1:52 PM CDT
Bill Miston, FOX 11 News
GREEN BAY - The Neville Public Museum is once again looking to
the water. The facility is looking to bring the first USS Green Bay
the area, and turn it into a floating museum. However, it might be
easier said than done.
"It was a fairly unusual ship for the time,” said Tom Donaldson in a
phone interview with FOX 11. “Besides two V12 diesel engines for
propulsion, it also had a jet engine."
Donaldson should know; he was an engineer aboard the USS Green Bay.
Part of the crew that came to Wisconsin to pick up the 165 foot
gunboat in 1969 from the now out of business Peterson Builders in
Sturgeon Bay, he even spent a little time at a Packers practice.
"And they gave us a Packers flag, which we flew on the ship the
time," said Donaldson, who lives in
But for the past 20 years, the Greek flag has flown on the ship. But
hope of some is for that to change.
Museum is in the beginning stages of
to bring the ship, currently in use by the Greek navy, to Green Bay as a
"We're engaged in the very early part of the process to figure out,
it feasible to bring the ship home?" explained Rolf Johnson,
“Have you heard concerns about the mooring of a ship here,
I asked Johnson.
"I have not heard – quite candidly – I haven't heard any concerns
trying to get a museum ship," he replied.
Not the first time the acquisition has been explored, Johnson says
ship would tie in nicely with downtown waterfront development;
the plans for a cultural campus.
But just physically getting the ship to
Green Bay would be a cost – one
Johnson estimates to be about $1 million; not including the unknowns
how the Neville would acquire the active vessel (be it through a
purchase or vessel trade), the cost of a restoration and then
maintenance and programming.
And it's still a tentative deal, as the Neville doesn't even know if
ship is available.
But Johnson says finding gathering interested parties and stake
now could make the effort easier if the USS Green Bay becomes
"We want to make sure we are first in line," said Johnson, adding
the future of the museum is not dependent on whether it can get its
hands on the city’s namesake ship.
Johnson says if everything goes in the museum's favor, the hope is
have the ship as a part of the museum's 2015 centennial.
"I think it'd be fantastic if it could be turned into a museum
where people could look at it and crawl all over it,” said
saying that he would travel to Green Bay to see his old ship again.
I think it's even better that it's still in service."
And Donaldson says he wouldn't be surprised if the Greeks kept her.
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Battleship New Jersey visitors offered new
Written by Carol Comegno Gannett/The (Cherry
April 5, 2013
CAMDEN, N.J. —A newly added tour aboard the retired battleship New
Jersey promises to be an action-packed experience for visitors.
Now visitors will be able to execute some of the same tasks crews
did when loading and firing the most powerful
naval guns ever built by the U.S.The Turret II Experience
interactive tour begins Sunday and initially will be offered only on
Sundays at the Battleship New Jersey Museum
and Memorial on the Camden Waterfront.
During a 90-minute guided tour on the museum ship, a maximum of 15
visitors will climb inside the five decks of Gun Turret II on the
foredeck. It is one of three armored turrets whose combined nine
guns are 16 inches in diameter and 66 feet long with a range of more
than 20 miles.
“There is nothing like this being offered on any other historic ship
in the world,” museum curator Jason Hall said of the new tour on the
Iowa-class battleship —the largest class of Navy battleship built
during World War II and the most decorated.
“We are trying to be as authentic as possible and allow our visitors
to simulate what 77 crew members once did as a team and with ballet
precision inside the turret.”
Visitors can perform some of the turret crew tasks from start to
The first step is a climb five decks down to load dummy powder bags
that have the same canister-shaped appearance as the real ones but
minus the black powder inside.
In a practice session for tour guide training Thursday, trainee and
William Roulette lifted one of the bags into the brass drum on a
hoist used to raise them up to the turret level on the main deck for
loading into the gun breech and barrel behind ammunition shells the
Navy calls “projectiles.” It took six bags to fire a shell from the
barrel.Above the powder deck, tour guide Arlene Baker of Haddon
Township pulled a brass lever that hoisted upward a bullet-shaped,
5-foot high, 16-inch/50 caliber dummy shell, which in operation
would end up inside the gun barrel and in front of the powder bags.
Real shells ranged from 1,900 pounds for shore bombardment to
armor-piercing 2,700-pounders that fired at ships.
“It’s pretty exciting and people, especially children, learn best by
doing,” said Baker, a retired teacher.
Heading up to the gun plot deck inside the turret, guide George
MacCulloch, a 79-year-old Navy veteran from Audubon, put information
into the ship’s analog computer, which set firing coordinates for
positioning of the guns to strike a target.
Afterward, he hit a brass trigger that sounded a salvo to alert crew
to imminent firing and then pulled another trigger to fire the
weapons. The trigger is coordinated with a real firing visitors can
view in color on a TV monitor as they also hear the firing booms and
feel the vibration in the deck floor.
“I think this is the most dramatic tour of any I’ve seen at any
museum,” said MacCulloch, who served on the
New Jersey in 1955 as a naval reservist and
third-class gunner’s mate and who remembered the vibration
throughout the ship when the 16-inch guns fired.
Proceeding topside to the main deck, entering the turret gun house
and then standing behind a loaded gun barrel, tour guide Jessie Noda
of Mullica Hill pushed a salvo button that would first alert the
crew the shells were ready to be fired.
Philip Rowan, executive director of the museum, said it took more
than two years and nearly $90,000 to convert the turret into a tour
area and to secure state and Navy approvals, including safety
permits from the state Department of Community Affairs.
He said the ship hired part-time guides —many from its museum
volunteer staff —for what he termed a “premium tour.”
The tour costs $29.95 and reservations may be made at the museum
website, battleshipnewjersey.org; at the admission gate, depending
on availability; or by calling (866) 877-6262, ext. 108.
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USS Edson group targets mid-April to move destroyer to
permanent Saginaw River dock site
By MacKenzie Burger |
April 05, 2013 at 2:18 PM
BANGOR TOWNSHIP, MI —” The retired Navy destroyer USS Edson
spent along winter moored at a temporary dock near the mouth of the
Now, the group making the ship into a floating museum hopes to move
the Edson by mid-April to its permanent dock site on the river near
the Independence Bridge
The Saginaw Valley Naval
postponed relocating the destroyer last fall as work continued on
the permanent dock site.
"Installing the plate anchors is all that is left," said Mike Kegley,
the museum's president. "It should be done in a week or so. Two will
go onshore and two will go in the river." Tugboats will tow the
Edson to its new location. The ship does not run on its own power
Kegley said the museum is eager to move the ship so that it can host
events on the vessel this summer and claim a number of artifacts
from the USS Edson's previous caretakers that belong onboard.
New York City's
Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, where the ship previously served as a
floating museum, can't release ship artifacts kept in storage to the
museum until the vessel is at its permanent site, Kegley said.
"We are waiting on a lot of artifacts, including the ship's bell,
that we would like to have," Kegley said.
A means to power the ship is another reason the museum hopes to move
as soon as possible. Generators currently supply limited power to
the vessel, but Kegley said that electrical hookup at the permanent
site is necessary to fully light the ship for events.
"In June, we have a Destroyer Escort Sailors Association event, in
July the Edson Association wants to have a reunion, and in September
a couple wants to get married on the ship," Kegley said.
Restoration on the USS Edson is an ongoing effort. Kegley said
museum members and volunteers will continue painting the decks once
the temperature remains above 45 degrees.
When it comes to sprucing up the landscaping at the new location,
the museum is getting a helping hand, said Melissa Einger, Dow
Chemical corporate volunteer manager.
"Our new Bay County Volunteer Council is made up of Dow employees
that live in Bay County, so we asked the council to choose
a local project that could benefit from $15,000 worth of services,"
Einger said. "The employees chose the USS Edson."
Einger said she plans to discuss logistics of the volunteer service
with museum officials next week. The service needs to be completed
in 2013, but a date has not yet been scheduled for 50-100 Dow
Chemical employees to visit the site and aid in beautification
"It's great that they are going to come out and lend a hand," Kegley
said. "Every bit helps, and we really appreciate it."
The museum is continuing its own fundraising efforts to cover costs
associated with the vessel. A spaghetti fundraiser with raffles and
prizes to benefit the USS Edson is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m.
Sunday, April 7 at Coonan's Irish Pub, 1004 Johnson St. in
Tickets can be pre-ordered by contacting the museum at 989-686-3946.
Adult tickets cost $10, children's tickets cost $8 and children
under five are free. Those interested in touring the ship can
schedule an appointment by calling the museum at the same number.
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Historic NYC fireboat becoming Greenport museum
March 27, 2013 by DAVID M. SCHWARTZ
The boat is flecked with rust and virtually unchanged from the day
it was launched in 1938. Its most recent purchase price: $250.
But it is rich in history -- so much so that it is a National
Historic Landmark -- and last month it chugged into Greenport harbor
to assume a new role as a floating museum.
The aptly named Fire Fighter was a fireboat for the FDNY, capable of
pumping 20,000 gallons of seawater a minute. A veteran of
New York City waterway fires and the Sept. 11 terror
attacks, when it and two other FDNY fireboats supplied water to
lower Manhattan, the Fire Fighter was retired from
active duty in 2010.
The boat is maritime grandeur to its current owners -- a handful of
volunteers, led by fireboat museum president Charlie Ritchie of
upstate Cold Spring, who bought the boat from the city after years
of planning. They are working -- mostly on weekends at a dock in the
Mitchell Park Marina -- to restore the boat to its former glory.
Offers of help will be accepted.
The Fire Fighter arrived in Greenport on Feb. 10 under its own
power, after leaving its home in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
"It's a piece of American history, of New York
history," said Fireboat Fire Fighters Museum vice president Alan
Tlusty, 57, of West Milford, N.J.
Other vessels from the era, he said, "are dead. Here, things are
working. It's ready to be used. It's of that era -- the World War II
era, the Greatest Generation. When the engines are running, people
are turning valves, you're there."
"And it's warm," said Mike Hibbard, 30, of Buffalo, the museum's secretary and historian.
"It's alive. You can feel the engine, like a heartbeat."
The core group of museum volunteers from the tri-state area had been
restoring another ship at Pier 40 in
when they became friendly with some city firefighters stationed on
the dock. The firefighters gave them a heads-up that the Fire
Fighter was going to be decommissioned.
The final paperwork, giving title to Ritchie and his group, was
signed in October.
The search for an affordable place to dock a 134-foot boat
eventually led them to Greenport, after a suggestion by a city
firefighter who lived on the East End. In December, the group signed a six-month lease
at $200 a month.
Damon Campagna, executive director of the New York City Fire
Museum, said he was glad
the boat has found a home.
"We all would've loved to have kept it in New York City," he said. But maintenance costs
were a concern.
Ritchie's group also makes it clear they need money. The lease is up
in June, when they hope to move to another Greenport dock.
Their love for the boat is palpable.
"It brings out the 12-year-old boy in you," Tlusty said.
So, did they fire off the water nozzles on deck? Hibbard admits it
was tempting. But . . .
"We were a little hesitant," he said. "If the engines run well,
not push our luck."
The Fire Fighter
1942: Helped battle blaze aboard troop ship USS Lafayette, the
converted liner SS Normandie,
at Pier 88; nearly crushed when
1973: Helped save 28 crew members and harbor pilot fighting fire
after oil tanker SS Esso Brussels and container ship SS Sea Witch
collided near Verrazano Bridge.
1974: Awarded American Merchant Marine Seamanship Trophy and
Department of Commerce Gallant Ship Award for its service.
1989: Declared a National Historic Landmark.
2001: Responded to the 9/11 attacks.
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faces expensive repairs
March 26, 2013
By Jenny Callison, Greater Wilmington Business Journal
Serious and complex repairs are in the future for the Battleship USS
North Carolina and officials for the attraction said Tuesday they
are starting to look at how to pay for that work.
Based on the deterioration found in the ship’s starboard bow when it
was repaired in 2011, said the battleship’s assistant director Chris
Vargo, officials are certain that other portions of the ship’s
“skin” will need to be repaired.
“We have a real need to assess the rest of the hull; we know there
are portions that are paper thin,” Vargo said. “Ships are meant to
be pulled out of the water every few years and inspected. The last
time the North Carolina was pulled out was in the late
1940s, before it was mothballed.
Once the ship was towed into its site on the
Cape Fear River, the matter of periodic exterior
maintenance became more complicated, Vargo said, because gaining
access to the entire hull is very difficult.
Vargo explained that taking the ship to a dry dock is not
economically feasible, but that technology exists to make repairs in
place. The battleship memorial’s officials are exploring the idea of
building a cofferdam – a temporary impermeable enclosure - around
the mud-mired ship and pumping out the water inside the enclosure,
creating a dry work environment.
“This is proven technology,” he said. “The USS Alabama was repaired
this way, and the lessons learned on that project would apply to
It is too early to estimate the costs of such a project, let alone
discuss how the money would be raised, Vargo said.
Vargo said battleship officials were currently working to assemble
facts related to proposed repairs, with an eye to settling on a
project design and possible cost scenarios. They are talking with
Department of Cultural Resources to explore how the state might be
able to help.
Meanwhile, other repairs are proceeding on the battleship. The teak
deck, which was replaced in the early 2000s, is being refurbished
and the mast repaired, allowing the ship’s radar to spin as it did
when the ship was in service. More than 15,000 gallons of World War
II-vintage bunker oil has been removed from tanks on the ship and
sent to a company that will recycle it.
One short-term goal of the battleship is to prepare its main deck to
accommodate groups of campers, such as scouts. That work is in
progress, Vargo said.
“We have companies that come on board and have it in their heart to
help the memorial,” he said of contractors. “They want to get things
done, and done right.”
The USS North Carolina is one of the area's major attractions.
According to numbers released by the USS North Carolina in early
2012 – the latest figures available – the historic ship logged a 13
percent increase in visitation during 2011. In December 2011 alone,
almost 6,800 paid
visitors boarded the World War II battleship, making the month the
site’s best December in 18 years.
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Historic Ship in Philly Short on Funds, Time
By JOANN LOVIGLIO Associated Press
March 25, 2013 (AP)
The SS United States is sending out what may be its final distress
The 990-foot-long ship could be sold for scrap within two months
unless the grassroots preservation group that's working to secure a
home and purpose for it can raise $500,000 immediately, the group
told The Associated Press. Talks are under way with developers and
investors about the ship's long-term future, but without the
emergency funding, its caretakers fear they will run out of money
before a deal is inked.
The historic ocean liner carried princes and presidents across the
Atlantic in the 1950s and 1960s but has spent decades patiently
awaiting a savior at its berth on the
"We've made progress on the fundraising side and the redevelopment
side," said Susan Gibbs, executive director of the SS United States
Conservancy and granddaughter of the ship's Philadelphia-born
designer, William Francis Gibbs. "Our immediate goal is to buy some
The group has raised $1 million through fundraisers and a website,
where contributors can sponsor a piece of the ship for $1 per square
foot, but has received no public funding. What is desperately and
immediately needed, they said, are donors with deep pockets and high
"Are we giving up on successfully redeveloping the ship as a
self-sustaining entity? Absolutely not," said Dan McSweeney, head of
the redevelopment efforts. "We continue to have active discussions
with potential partners, we have ideas of potential sites for the
ship, but we need more time to get it off the ground ... and we're
running out of runway."
It costs $80,000 a month just for mooring, basic maintenance,
insurance and security, he said.
The conservancy is exploring potential partnerships with four
entities in Philadelphia and
New York City to refashion the vessel as a
stationary entertainment complex with 500,000 square feet of space
for a hotel, theater, restaurants and shopping. The sluggish economy
and other factors have slowed negotiations, McSweeney said.
As talks continue, he said, the hope is to convince corporate
sponsors, influential politicians and prominent business leaders —
are you listening, Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg? — to lend
their political and financial capital to the effort.
"Any way you look at it, there is no downside to this project,"
McSweeney said. "It's an economic and community development project
that's going to create jobs."
The SS United States carried more than 1 million passengers at
record-breaking trans-Atlantic speeds over the course of 400 round
trips from 1952 to 1969, among them President John F. Kennedy,
Prince Rainier of Monaco, Salvador Dali and Elizabeth Taylor. A
joint venture between the Navy and ship designer Gibbs & Cox, the
luxury liner was made with hidden military might: It could have been
converted in a single day to transport 14,000 troops for 10,000
miles before refueling.
After being decommissioned it changed hands multiple times, from the
Navy and on through a series of restoration-minded investors.
It was towed from Virginia to Turkey to Ukraine,
finally arriving in
as a gutted hulk in 1996. Another succession of developers and a
cruise lines failed to return the ship to service as retrofitting
costs proved too great.
A local philanthropist's 11th-hour gift of $5.8 million allowed the
SS United States Conservancy to save the ship from the scrapper and
keep it berthed and maintained for 20 months. That was last
"It's an all hands on deck moment," Gibbs said. "Now is the time,
there's a window. Within months it will close unless everyone
assists in the effort."
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Decommissioned Navy sub named top 5 “boatel”
by Jacqueline Klimas
Though the Navy isn't known for its luxurious accommodations, the
WWII submarine Silversides was just named one of the top five
"boatels" by CNN Travel.
"boatel," or boat and hotel, allows visitors to have the comforts of
being on dry land and the adventure of spending the night at sea.
Silversides, a Gato-class sub that earned 12 battle stars during
WWII, is in Muskegon, Mich.
It was slated for the scrapyard, but was saved when a group of
former Navy personnel towed it to the Muskegon Channel in 1987, CNN
night on the ship lets visitors "experience life as a World War II
sailor -- without the combat," the CNN story said, though the sub
saw plenty of the latter, sinking 23 Japanese vessels during its
The sub boasts 72 bunks and hosts a lot of Boy Scout troops and school
groups, their website said. Overnight visitors also have the chance
to visit the submarine's museum and tour the Silversides, as well as
participate in workshops on Morse code, knot-tying and building
remote controlled underwater robots, Michigan Live reported.
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Volunteer work aboard WWII destroyer impacts community,
sailors Navy Public Affairs Support Element West
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Hickok
Posted: 03.24.2013 22:42
SHREVEPORT, La. - Sailors assigned to Navy Operational Support
Center Shreveport teamed up with the staff of decommissioned
destroyer Orleck (DDG 886) museum to help perform maintenance and
renovations to the World War II destroyer in Lake Charles, La.,
Over a dozen sailors from the NOSC volunteered at the ship
completing multiple tasks including moving a barge alongside the
ship to repair corrosion, accomplishing chipping, grinding, priming
and painting projects throughout the ship and relocating more than
30 berthing racks.
According to Ron Williams, executive director for the Orleck
Association, the work performed by the sailors impacts the local
community by making the ship more accessible to visitors, increasing
interest in Navy history and inspiring the next generation of
“You get a real appreciation for history, what has gone before,”
said Williams. “People who don’t have a background in the military
or the Navy or the other services learn something from our
In 2010 the ship opened as a museum telling the Navy’s history and
educating local Boy Scouts, Sea Cadets and school groups by allowing
them to experience life onboard a ship.
“Boy Scout groups come out to visit and a lot of school groups come
out,” said Williams. “One day, in about a three-hour period, we
hosted about 250 of them.”
“The local Sea Cadet squadron, they come out here and train on the
ship, firefighting training and things like that, but they also come
out and do team building and leadership training,” he said.
“It’s really neat to see these kids come out and learn things and
have a great time,” he said.
According to Williams the museum opened to the public in April 2011
at its temporary berth.
“Major fundraising is ongoing to build a dock on the lakefront next
to Interstate Highway 10 where 60,000 vehicles a day will pass in
view of the ship,” Williams said.
"We have tours during the day and laser tag in the evening,” he
said. “When we get to the lakefront we will also have overnight
stays like the other historic ships,"
"So it's going to be pretty much a 24-hour operation," he said.
“We are confident we can do it,” said Williams. “It’s going to be a
major business, nonprofit business, for our town.”
“I personally think it’s going to be a big deal,” he said.
The history of the ship attracts visitors from the Southern
Louisiana and Southeastern Texas area that have connections with the
shipyard in Orange Texas
where the Orleck was built.
“It’s been a great impact on telling the story of not only the
period and the men who served on her, but also there’s a story about
ship building because many of our family members worked at the
during World War II,” Williams said.
“I look at the Orleck as a national treasure, such a wonderful rich
history,” he said. “We have family members that come aboard that say
their father worked there or their mother worked there.”
During the visit, members of the Orleck museum staff and volunteers
were present including Navy veterans who had served aboard the ship
when it was active.
Electronic Technician 1st Class Timothy Butler, a volunteer from the
NOSC, said, “Talking to the Navy veterans was more fulfilling than
any History Channel documentary.”
“Hearing first hand accounts of everything from World War II beach
landings to the blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis were major
highlights of the weekend,” he said.
The Orleck was decommissioned in 1982 after 36 years of active duty
with the U.S. Navy, entering service at the conclusion of World War
II and serving in the Korean War and Vietnam War.
After decommissioning, the Orleck was sold to
and continued service for another seventeen years, to include
serving in the first Gulf War in 1990, until it was returned to the United States to be used
as a museum.
Machinist Mate 1st Class Ryan Case, a volunteer from the NOSC, sees
potential in the Orleck as a future training opportunity.
“This is something NOSC Shreveport needs to start doing several
times a year,” he said. “This helps sailors sharpen up on their
“The Orleck staff was grateful of the expertise the sailors brought,
not to mention the training our sailors were able to receive while
doing this work,” said Case.
“The trip was mutually beneficial,” said
Butler. “We provided these guys with the
kinds of man power they can use to accomplish some of their larger
projects while exposing our sailors to some of the same kinds of
work they can expect in the fleet.”
“We got a little bit of everything on this excursion, from Military
Heritage to Safety on board a Navy vessel and reintroduction to
coffin locker life,” he said. “It was hands down the best drill
weekend experience of my Reserve career.”
agreed that returning to the Orleck would be beneficial.
“I think it would be immensely positive if there were some way to be
able to turn this into a Remote Training Site for NOSC Shreveport,”
The goal of visiting the Orleck was to provide skilled labor and
expertise to help refurbish the museum, but in the end, the trip
benefited the sailors as much as the museum.
“The civilians in charge were so thankful for our help and the
sailors were so thankful for the opportunity,” said
Butler. “It just seems like a match made in
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Texas Tech students catalog artifacts aboard USS Stewart
by Chris Paschenko / The Daily News
March 24, 2013 at 6:55 PM
GALVESTON — Within the hull of a World War II
U.S. Navy vessel, a pair of graduate students from
are cataloging artifacts that one day might be displayed at a Galveston museum.
Sarah Faulkner and Lisa Simmons, both 24, are working aboard the USS
Stewart, a destroyer escort, as part of their masters program in
museum science at Texas
The students’ goal is to provide more public access to the artifacts
aboard the ship, which is open for public tours at the
Center at Seawolf Park.
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Giant bow doors on historic USS LST 393 in
Muskegon repainted for first
time since World War II
By Jonathan Stoner, Muskegon
March 17, 2013 at 7:29 AM
MUSKEGON, MI --
The 14-foot-high bow doors of the USS LST 393 that Sherman tanks drove through in 1944 on D-Day
were covered with dirt and rust.
That was a sore spot for the board of directors of the USS LST 393
Preservation Association, which has been operating a nationally
known veterans museum out of the ship at the Mart Dock on
Lake since 2007.
Since the vessel is one of only two remaining landing ship tank
boats in America, out of
the more than 1,000 that were produced during the World War II,
there is a lot of interest in preserving this storied piece of
According to John Stephenson, the board president, the bow doors
renovation project has been something the association has wanted to
tackle for several years, but up until now they had a hard time
getting it off the ground.
“Because it was so difficult, it’s one of the last things we
undertook,” Stephenson explained.
One of the factors that held up the project was the height of the
doors and how their location over the water makes them difficult to
The other problem was the expense required to hire a professional
company to safely remove the rust along with the original lead based
paint and to repaint the doors with water-based paint.
“It’s an expensive project and because we are all volunteer based
with very small revenues, it took us awhile to pull together a good
crew – a licensed crew to do it right,” Stephenson said.
Ron Morzfeld, who serves on of the veteran museum’s board, said
fundraising efforts to get the doors repainted had been under way
for “four or five years,” but every time the association would get
enough money saved up something else would need fixing on the ship.
Now that the group finally has raised enough funds and the rest of
the boat is looking ship shape, the last thing to take care of is
the bow door renovation project. Quality Maintenance Contractors of
Muskegon was hard at work in mid-March to make the doors look like
The restoration operation is expected to be wrapped up by the end of
March, well in advance of the season opening on April 27.
Stephenson is excited to show off the new paint job and for visitors
both new and old alike to see the ship restored to a condition
worthy of its military service heritage.
“We exist to pay tribute to the service of this historic ship and
the service of all American veterans,” Stephenson said. “We are
eager to welcome visitors through our newly restored and freshly
painted bow entrance.”
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2552 war ship is refloated to new home
Lancashire Evening Post
Published on Friday 15 March 2013 08:46
A Second World War ship sunk below a canal for years will be
restored to its former glory after being rescued by an enthusiast.
The huge former RAF air-sea rescue boat, the HSL 2552, had been
stuck in the mud at Tarleton Lock on the
Canal and was steadily
taking in water.
It was feared that any efforts to move the fragile ship, which dates
back to 1942, could leave it damaged.
However, the boat’s owner, Paul Jollisse, called in Walton-le-Dale
based expert Chris Miller, who specialises in industrial removal
Paul wanted to move the boat to the Wirral, where he lives near Chester, in order to
restore the 17.5ft-wide craft.
Paul managed to pump enough water out of the vessel to have it towed
to Preston Marina, where Chris’s firm managed to carefully lift the
boat on a steel frame.
It was then placed on the back of a wagon for its onward journey to Ellesmere Port.
Paul, 42, plans to spend around 10 years lovingly refurbishing the
ship when he retires from his job in computers.
He said: “I’d been looking for a boat like her for a while.
“I’m a wood worker, so it became apparent something of that type
would be ideal. Not many of these boats survived and I found her at
the bottom of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal a couple of years ago.
“I dismissed her as being too far gone but I came back to the idea.
I want to repaint her in her war colours and refit her and then sail
around the UK and the world
with my wife.”
Paul is working with historians to find out more about the ship’s
history. It was sold out of the RAF in 1958 and initially went to
Chris, who has worked in removals for 50 years, said he had rescued
many ships but this task required extra skill.
He said: “This was a bit specialist because it’s a historic thing
and it was very delicate.
“We had to handle it without doing any damage. Lots of people
thought we would never get it lifted in one piece.”
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Holograms could 'beam up' on the USS Yorktown
By Stefanie Bainum
March 15, 2013
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) – Patriots Point officials are set to
unveil their new museum experience master plan for the USS Yorktown
on Friday at 10 a.m. It's a plan that will steer the museum in a new
direction for the next 10 to 15 years.
Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette says the master plan
calls for a $4 million dollar investment in major technological
improvements including adding holograms, sound effects, video
screens and hands on elements to museum features.
"If we are going to capture new audiences we've got to bring the
museum to the 21st century and that's what we intend to do," Mac
Burdette says. "When the ship was brought here in 1975 there were
probably 20 million WW II and Korean veterans still alive. Today
there are probably less than two million so the audience has changed
and if you are going to survive in the museum world you have to
change with it."
The upgrades are expected to bring in an additional $1.2 million
dollars in annual revenue with an additional 40,000 tickets sold
Officials say new cutting-edge technology will be used to tell the
stories of the ship that will appeal to a younger audience and not
just military families.
"That is one of our goals, to connect with our visitors emotionally
and personally, and it will be telling the stories of our sailors
and airmen as part of the museum experience," Burdette says.
"It's more than just tons and tons of steel. This ship is the crew
members and airmen who lived and worked and even died on this ship,
so trying to make sure that we connect with the visitors in a very
personal way is key to them understanding how important this is."
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Belfast celebrates 75th anniversary
15 March 2013
British Forces News
HMS Belfast – the last Second World War Royal Navy ship in her class
- celebrates her 75th anniversary this weekend.
The battle cruiser has been moored on the River Thames since 1971.
In her day she was the largest and most powerful boat in the fleet
and spent more than thirty years on active service.
Today veterans and VIPs returned to her to her decks to celebrate
ahead of this weekend’s celebrations.
Phil Reed, Director HMS Belfast, said: “The 75th anniversary of HMS
Belfast not only represents a milestone in her history, but also the
achievement of those who have worked hard to preserve her decks and
her legacy. HMS Belfast continues to impress and educate those who
visit her and for over 40 years has certainly enriched the cultural
experience of visitors to the area. This is an opportunity to both
celebrate and to thank those who have contributed to the success of
our magnificent museum.”
David McVeigh, representing Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries Ltd,
said: “It is with great pleasure that Harland and Wolff have been
able to contribute directly to this historic anniversary, by
providing a replica builder’s plate, exactly as the original would
have looked when she was first launched in Belfast, 75 years ago.”
Ordered by the Admiralty in 1936, built by Harland and Wolff and
launched by Mrs Neville Chamberlain in1938.
The vessel is now a vibrant museum, positioned prominently on the
River Thames, between Tower
and London Bridge, where she has been moored for
just over 40 years.
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Anger as £250K of public money is spent on warship revamp
11:10am Thursday 14th March 2013
By Rachel Masker, Southern Daily Echo
COUNCIL bosses have been criticised for spending £250,000 of
taxpayers’ money restoring a First World War warship.
Conservative-run Hampshire County
Council approved the money for a major revamp of HMS M33 in this
But a leading opposition councillor says the public money would be
better spent on key services.
The row comes after the council made £100m savings over the last two
years and axed 1,700 jobs.
The cuts included closing two libraries – at Stanmore in
and North Baddesley – which are now
run by volunteers.
The council bought the Monitor gunboat in 1990 when disgraced former
Tory leader Freddie Emery-Wallis was at the helm.
It is one of only two British First World War ships still surviving
and is now berthed in dry dock at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, near
Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller praised the project on a recent
But Councillor Peter Chegwyn, Liberal Democrat opposition spokesman
for recreation and heritage, said: “I am surprised that the council,
which is cutting libraries, museums and galleries, can yet find such
a large amount to spend on a ship which is certainly of historical
interest but surely there are more worthwhile projects.
“I would much rather see the money spent on restoring the book fund
and keeping open small libraries and galleries which are under
threat of closure.”
The council has refused to say how much it has already spent
restoring the former rusting hulk to her original external 1915-1919
Built in 1915, HMS M33 saw active service in the
throughout the First World War and provided support for the landing
of Allied forces during the Gallipoli campaign of 1915-16.
After the war, she served a variety of purposes, including fuelling
hulk, floating workshop and office.
In 1997, the county museum service placed her in dry docks for
extensive works to stabilise hull corrosion. Other repairs have
included new masts, internal structural works and making her hull
watertight. Nearly all the fittings, anchors and gun shields were
made from scratch.
The latest refit is a joint project with the National Museum
of the Royal Navy to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli
campaign in 1915. It will mean visitors can step on board the
historic vessel and see inside. Currently the gunboat can only be
viewed from the dockside.
Culture and recreation chief Councillor Keith Chapman, defended the
He said: “The county council saved and restored the M33 warship,
which is one of only two surviving First World War ships, and it
will now become an even more popular public attraction as the nation
remembers the 1914-18 war when it celebrates the centenary of that
Cllr Chapman said the county was in discussion with National Museum
of the Royal Navy to secure funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund
for future works.
The ship refit comes after the council closed Stanmore Library in Waverley Way in 2012
to save £36,000 per year. The library moved to The Carroll Centre
where it is now run by volunteers.
North Baddesley Library was also shut last year but reopened the
following day as a community library run by the parish council and
Friends of North Baddesley Library.
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LST needing help with funds for repair and staying open
Posted: Mar 14, 2013 6:00 PM EDT
(WFIE) -Tours are once again underway on board LST 325.
The ship returned to Evansville from Texas after spending two
months in dry dock for repairs and improvements.
That work comes at a high price close to $1 million.
Those operating the World War II ship say now is a good time to step
in and help replenish their funds.
The most visual improvement to the LST is a new coat of paint.
Other work was done on the bottom of the ship.
These repairs were much needed and now the LST needs to build its
bank account back up.
The operations manager for the LST says a federal grant covered
about $200,000 worth of repairs, but the other $800,000 or so as
well as the costs of general upkeep comes from donations from people
joining the LST memorial and from money raised by the ship's annual
That money is extremely important to keep the ship operational.
The operations manager says they ended up using over two-thirds of
the LST's account for these repairs.
He says there's still money in there for operating costs and a
cushion, but the 70-year-old ship is going to need more work down
the road, which is why they need to rebuild those funds.
"Something this old, a major repair, a lot of this stuff has to be
custom made," says John Engstrom, the LST Operations Manager. "You
can't run down to the auto parts store and get pieces and parts for
the ship. I mean, they're very hard to come by."
It will be another 5-10 years before the LST will need to dry dock
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Texas celebrates 99th birthday ahead of renovation project
by Doug Miller / KHOU 11 News
Posted on March 12, 2013 at 7:08 PM
HOUSTON -- A gray lady celebrating her 99th birthday on Tuesday
welcomed a smiling visitor who hadn’t seen her in more than 60
As he walked up her gangplank, Cosel Foster leaned against a
wheelchair for support and marveled at the sight of the U.S.S.
Texas, the retired battleship that brought him home from the Pacific
War in 1945
“I came from California back from Pearl Harbor on the last trip,”
He was a Marine, but he volunteered to work in the barber shop in
exchange for early chow and a better place to sleep.
“This is it,” he said. “And I’m here to see it.”
Of course, plenty of other people already on board had come to see
Children climbed onto the guns that helped Foster’s fellow Marines
storm the beaches of Japanese-occupied islands during World War II.
Veterans wearing baseball caps bearing military insignia taught
their grandchildren invaluable lessons of history.
“It’s something they can walk on,” said Cristal Bostain, a school
teacher who brought her daughter aboard the ship. “They can see
history instead of reading it in a book.”
Indeed, three generations of the Bostain family wandered the decks
of the Battleship Texas on the 99th anniversary of her
“The kids are having a ball,” said Pat Bastain, whose grandchildren
scurried around the ship. “They love to do stuff like this.”
An old ship that hasn’t fired its guns in decades still has a place
in this world. The U.S.S. Texas, a veteran of two world wars, has
spent the decades since the
Japanese surrendered docked next to the San Jacinto Battleground, a
floating monument to the nation’s naval heritage.
Uniformed state workers and dedicated volunteers spend their days
wandering the decks telling tourists about her past. The Battleship
Texas, they remind visitors, fired its huge guns off the coasts of
on D-Day and shelled the shores of Iwo Jima and
She’s a giant museum piece now and, sadly, she’s showing her age.
Rust and patches scar the ship’s hull along the waterline, evidence
of the startling incident a few months back when the ship took on so
much water she began listing to one side.
Even Cosel Foster, who’s 88 years old, can tell the 99-year-old ship
that brought him back from the Pacific needs a lot of work
“Well, it needs some maintenance, I think,” he said.
At long last, the work is about to begin.
Next month, the Texas
Parks and Wildlife
Department has announced, contractors will begin the first major
structural repairs on the Battleship Texas in 20 years. The $17.5
million contract went to Taylor Marine of
Beaufort, S.C., which recently replaced part of the
steel hull of the Battleship North Carolina.
“She was in commission 36 years, served her country well,” said
Winnie Trippet, the curator of the Battleship Texas for the Texas Parks
and Wildlife Department. “And you know, usually the Navy takes her
ships to dry-dock every two to five years, and she hasn’t been in
Most of the work will happen below decks where the public is not
allowed. Officials say tourists will still be able to visit the ship
and should see only minor disruptions while the repairs are
The work was made possible by a bond issue approved by Texas voters in 2008. But officials say they
may need even more money to carry out the ambitious plan to
eventually dry berth the
on her current site.
“That’s great,” said Cristal Bostain, watching her children run
around the ship’s deck. “They need to renovate it and keep history
alive. They say history is going to repeat itself, so keep it
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