Ling being stripped as she awaits her fate
Named for the magnificent lemon fish (cobia) that haunt the reefs of the Gulf of Mexico, the submarine USS Ling (SS/AGSS/IXSS-297) was one of 128 Balao-class fleet boats commissioned to bring the war to Japan’s home waters, though she was commissioned just a few weeks too late to get any licks in. Spending just 16 months on active duty, she was put in mothballs then served as a pier-side trainer for Naval reservists until the Navy got rid of her in 1972, donating the barely used but aging diesel boat to serve as a museum, becoming the centerpiece of the New Jersey Naval Museum at 78 River St. in Hackensack.
At the time the landowner agreed to rent the space to the Submarine Memorial Foundation for $1 a year in 1972, but now the veterans are getting kicked off of the property so it can be developed for its real estate potential.
The land upon which the museum and memorial sit is owned by Stephen Borg of MacroMedia — the parent company for North Jersey Media Group.
Borg’s grandfather was a veteran and brokered the original deal.
“Since 1994, the company has only had a month-to-month arrangement with the association, which we terminated on May 31, 2016,” Borg’s lawyer said in a statement as reported by CBS New York.
The thing is the channel that Ling was towed in through some 44 years ago has silted in due to the water flow being altered by the Oradell Dam and there is likely no way to move her without either A) dredging the channel which is likely cost prohibitive or B) cutting her up in place. Even if the channel was dredged, the elderly Court Street Bridge over the Hackensack River would have to be opened to allow her to pass– something that hasn’t been done since 1994.
But the old sub, which has long been the target of souvenir hunters, is already attracting more vultures.
“This is what we get when we turn out back on history…”