Herbert Edson, son of U.S. Marine hero of World War II, Gen. Merritt A. Edson, stands aboard the ship named for his father. Mr. Edson was visiting the ship in 1983 and supports the vessel's move to Bay City.
Destroyer Edson May Not Arrive Here Until Late Summer, Fall, Say Officials
April 29, 2012
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By: Dave Rogers
Officials of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum (SVNSM) are hoping to raise another $200,000 to help fund towing the former USS Edson from Philadelphia to Bay City.
About 60,000 gallons of diesel fuel at $4 per gallon is required for the tugs, an approximate cost of $240,000, said Richard Janke, SVNSM vice president.
Arrangements are underway to have the ship towed directly here from its present berth in the former Philadelphia Navy Yard, a naval facility being converted to commercial use. Previous plans were to have separate tugs tow the ship from Philadelphia to Quebec and from Quebec through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Great Lakes and the Saginaw River.
Installation of a water line and mooring apparatus according to a plan approved by the U.S. Navy are slated to get underway at the mooring site near the Independence Bridge in Bangor Township in the near future, he said.
A mobile office for ticket sales and day-to-day business operations has been donated by James Dobson and is on site but is not yet equipped with water or electricity.
A major welcoming event will be held upon arrival of the ship, probably in 60-120 days which would be mid to late summer or early fall, according to Mr. Janke.
The Edson, a 418 foot long warship that was on display in at the Air-Sea-Space Museum in New York City for 15 years, has received complete hull repairs and is considered nearly ready for public viewing as opposed to most warships which require major renovations before display. Mr. Janke and Michael Kegley, president, SVNSM, have said they will begin to accommodate public tours soon after the ship's arrival.
Following is the official news release of the Navy regarding donation of the ship to the Bay City group.
From Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communications
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced April 24 that the destroyer ex-Edson (DD 946) will be donated to the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum, a nonprofit organization, for permanent berthing and public display in Bay City, Mich.
Formal transfer of title and ownership of ex-Edson to the Museum occurs when the Museum removes the ship from the Navy's custody in Philadelphia, which in approximately two months.
"The Navy is thrilled that Edson has found a new home at the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum," said Capt. Chris Pietras, the Navy's Inactive Ships Program manager. "This ship has served her nation in wartime and peace for more than 50 years, and we're pleased that the ship will continue to serve as a museum and memorial."
USS Edson was launched Jan. 4, 1958, and its first deployment was to the western Pacific in January 1960. It served during the Cold War and was deployed to Vietnam three separate times, during which it earned three Meritorious Unit Citations.
Following its decommissioning Dec. 15, 1988, ex-Edson was donated to the USS Intrepid Foundation in 1989 and served as a museum ship at the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City from 1989 to 2004. The ship was designated as a National Historic Landmark June 21, 1990.
In October 2003, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum formally requested to return ex-Edson to the Navy due to extensive pier repairs that would have rendered the ship's berthing area uninhabitable for an extended period. The Navy accepted this offer, and the ship was again advertised for donation in June 2004.
Two other ships of the Forrest Sherman class of destroyers are on public display. Ex-Turner Joy (DD 951) is owned by the Bremerton Historic Ships Association for public display in Bremerton, Wash., and ex-Barry (DD 933) is owned by the Navy for public display at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.
The Navy donates historic ships to promote public interest in the defense of the nation, to commemorate naval history and heritage, and to honor the men and women who built and sailed these ships.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org)
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