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Governor Granholm, Senator Levin Support Bay City Bid for Destroyer Edson

Ship Location Here Would Be Recognition of Defoe Shipbuilding War Effort

December 17, 2006       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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USS Edson is named for Marine hero of World War II.
Site on the Saginaw River near the Independence Bridge awaits reconstruction of dock for USS Edson museum ship, expected to attract 100,000 visitors a year.

Both Gov. Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Senator Carl Levin, soon to be chairman of the Armed Services Committee, have written the Secretary of the Navy in support of Bay City's application for location of the USS Edson, destroyer museum ship.

"We are certainly happy to receive such support, which bolsters our fund raising to provide for towing the ship here and establishing an endowment for its operation," said Richard Janke, of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum board.

"It would be fitting that the USS Edson be moved to Bay City, given the long and distinguished history of naval shipbuilding in Bay City," wrote Gov. Granholm.

"The Defoe Shipbuilding Company has helped provide for our nation's defense since 1905, building warships, destroyer escorts, frigates and high speed transports for the U.S. Navy."

The governor pointed out in the letter to Sec. Donald C. Winter that the Edson committee has secured a long term lease for a dock to accommodate the ship. Local businesses and labor unions have given commitments for financial support and volunteer labor to help create a mooring space for the ship.

Sen. Levin wrote:

"It would be fitting and appropriate that the USS Edson be moved to Bay City to help commemorate the rich history and tradition of naval shipbuilding in that city. Its location in Bay City would serve to educate residents, students and visitors about the important contributions of Bay City shipbuilding to our nation, while providing Michigan a valuable economic resource.

Given the positive economic impact that relocating the USS Edson would have on the Bay County area, I am happy to add my support to this project."

Since other cities, including Sheboygan, Wisconsin, reportedly have expressed interest in seeking location of the Edson, the Secretary of the Navy responded:

"In view of the apparent competition for donation of the ex-Edson, the Navy will maintain a position of non-preference toward both organizations, pending receipt and evaluation of applications and selection of the best qualified applicant."

Mr. Janke said his committee is hoping to have fund raising completed soon and is planning to begin improvement of the dock on the river, located just north of the Independence Boat Launch. ###

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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