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Help save the Cruiser Olympia!


Hauptmann
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I just learned of this... it's a national disgrace if we let this historic ship, last of the Great White Fleet and last survivor of the Spanish American War meet her end at the breakers or being sunk as a reef.angry.gif How much money is wasted by our idiot politicians in this country alone... and we can't pay enough to save this... the last warship of it's kind in the world?

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=dKtS_ru6IRo

Dan cheers.gif

Edited by Hauptman
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I just learned of this... it's a national disgrace if we let this historic ship, last of the Great White Fleet and last survivor of the Spanish American War meet her end at the breakers or being sunk as a reef.angry.gif How much money is wasted by our idiot politicians in this country alone... and we can't pay enough to save this... the last warship of it's kind in the world?

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=dKtS_ru6IRo

Dan cheers.gif

Sacrilege... apparently comes easy to politicians these days. It is disturbing to even to discuss it.

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  • 10 years later...

Resurrecting this thread for an update. As the CEO of the Independence Seaport Museum, who operates and restores the ship, I can report that all of threats from back in 2010  about sinking her as a reef were just talk. 

Since then, we have invested several million dollars in restoration work including an annual project to use a cofferdam to expose parts of the hull along the water line to ensure she is water tight. Right now we are finishing up studies to begin a  campaign to raise money to replace the deck and keep the interior of the ship dry. We also will need to remove layers of asbestos, concrete and other assorted "miracle products" that were applied to the deck over the years. Not easy or inexpensive to do. Work will continue on the hull and we also want to begin restoration work on various interior spaces of the ship. 

This year we have been hosting a number of celebrations commemorating the 100th anniversary of the return of the American Unknown Soldier from France to the United States. We installed a lovely memorial to the unknown solider in the exact spot where the coffin was placed (see the photo below) The saga of the transport of the unknown soldier is truly memorable. When the coffin was brought aboard the Olympia in France, it was found that it could not fit inside the structure of the ship. No one wished to tip the coffin upright and thus disturb the body. So they elected to place the coffin in a place of honor on the upper deck of the ship. During the trip, the Olympia was lashed by two significant storms (today they would probably be called hurricanes). The Marine Corps honor guard was concerned about losing the coffin so they posted a continuous guard on the deck of the ship and lashed themselves to the area around the body. Thankfully no one was lost and the ship arrived in Washington and the coffin was transported to Arlington National Cemetery.

Olympia is an incredible ship and we are so proud to be able to showcase her to the public. If you come to Philadelphia, plan to spend an afternoon visiting what is truly one of the most unique ships still afloat. Her present configuration is a bit of a hybrid between her appearance in the Spanish American War period and that of her time during World War One. Most of the current profile of the ship, however, most closely resembles the World War 1 period. She is open for visitors and there is a special exhibit on her right now about the American Unknown Soldier. We are rolling out a new website today so I will share the new link once it populates out a bit more.

IMG_1155 (002).jpg

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Thanks SO much for the update! Please continue to keep us posted on this. She's a beautiful ship... my wife and I would LOVE to visit some day if we can work it out. But we're so glad she's being cared for and has the love and attention she requires to remain intact for future generations to enjoy and learn from. Thanks for all you and your team do!

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She is an incredible ship and we are very proud to have her open to the public. Her history is amazing not just because of her role in the Span Am but also in World War, the Spanish Flu epidemic, service during the Russian Revolution and carrying the Unknown Soldier. She also tested our rudimentary underwater detection gear for the Navy!!!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2021/04/30/unknown-soldier-arlington-uss-olympia/

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