Navy to Donate USS Edson to Naval Ship Museum
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.
Naval Today Staff , April 25, 2012; Image: navy