I was browsing through Wikipedia about a month ago looking at old warships because it's something I do I guess. You old salts can probably understand. Anyway, I scrolled through my usual suspects, like the Bismark, the Yamato, Musashi, Tirpitz, Missouri, Hood, etc, and came on the USS Olympia, a cruiser that fought in the Spanish-American War.
I already knew about the Olympia because I've read about it before, including and especially the exploits of Commodore Dewey, the group commander on board when she fought the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. Anyway, it turns out that the Olympia is still around as a museum ship in Philadelphia. Interested parties can go to it's website to see more information about it.
Sadly, it appears that this piece of Naval history is on it's way out. It's due to close on November 22nd since her owners haven't been able to raise enough money to fund repairs. There is talk about making it into an artificial reef, which has become the honorable thing to do for old Navy ships, but this doesn't seem right.
I don't know if she can be saved, but I don't like that she might not be. Something fundamentally wrong about letting her go. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like anyone will save her. I am not wealthy, nor do I know wealthy people.
I wonder if our current Navy is the answer to saving our old Navy. If every sailor donated $100, something I'd be willing to do, then we could fund the repairs and restoration needed to make her whole again. Or are there other ideas?
What do you think? I'd love for some old salts to weigh in on this, as well as you younger sailors.