Thursday, January 19, 2012

Destroyer U.S.S. Edson finally gets a lasting home

Happy news for an old veteran ship.

After years of trying to get a decommissioned U.S. warship to Mid-Michigan, the plan is about to come to fruition.

Members of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum say they should receive the OK this week to move the U.S.S. Edson from Philadelphia to Bay County's Bangor Township, to be docked on the Saginaw River.

Michael Kegley and Dick Janke have worked for 15 years on trying to bring the ship to Mid-Michigan. The men say the U.S. Navy should give them the okay this week to move the decommissioned destroyer.

"When we started this project we were young men," Kegley said.

The warship saw action in the Vietnam war.

"As a matter of fact it fired more five-inch rounds in Vietnam than any other ship" Janke said.

The pier where the U.S.S. Edson will be docked is located very close to the Independence Bridge in Bangor Township. An estimated 80,000 people will visit the ship every year. Museum organizers expect most of the ship's visitors to come from out of state.

"You remember now that this ship had a compliment of 276 officers and men and there were 18 ships in the four Sherman class destroyers, you multiply that over a 35-year period and there's a lot of men who sailed this ship and that's not even counting those who sailed other destroyers," Kegley said.

After the Edson arrives, organizers plan to raise more than $2.5 million to build a visitors center and gift shop next to the ship.

It's going to cost at least $200,000 to move the ship this spring. The plan is to it get here through the St. Lawrence seaway after the ice thaws.

If you'd like to make a donation to get the ship here or for the visitor's center, you can go to the following website for more information:


  1. That is great news, but it's going to cost them in the neighborhood of $500k/yr for maintenance, and the ship WILL need it!

  2. Nice to see an old vet get saved, rather be consigned to become razerblades or a floating target.

    Good to hear