Bad month for Submarine Museums

While we have covered these in part in previous years, it looks like time has come and gone for the old HMAS Otama (SS 62/SSG 62), a retired Oberon-class diesel boat of the Royal Australian Navy that was decommissioned 22 years ago, the sisters USS Ling (SS 297) and USS Clamagore (SS-343), Balao-class submarines that, when retired were about the best preserved of their type anywhere in the world.

Otama

Otama, still fairly new and in good shape when she was retired after 22 years of service, was grossly neglected and never opened.

Set to be moved off Lookout Beach in Australia on Monday, she is headed to the breakers.

Ling

For over four years, the status of the USS Ling (SS 297), a Balao-class boat, has been in limbo. Decommissioned in 1946 after earning a single battle star, she was converted to an NRF training boat based at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and then disposed of in 1972. Towed to nearby  Hackensack, New Jersey the next year in near-pristine condition, she operated as a museum ship there for 40 years, a great example of a WWII fleet boat, until, cut off from shore access due to real estate development in 2018, the museum closed and “vandals” broke in and flooded her. 
 
Since then, assorted volunteer groups looking to save her formed and even bring her to Louisville, but that all stopped last winter and she is now possibly worse than ever.
 

USS Ling, in poor condition, cut off from shore, locked in the river by a bridge, and likely settled again on the bottom mud in 14 feet of river. This isn’t going to end well.

This was posted three weeks ago in a “Save the Ling” group: 
 
People are asking for updates. The best I can tell you is, we are constantly working to see things through. Due to recent circumstances, we could claim ownership of the Ling in about an hour. But, in doing that we could also own the liabilities she has, debts to the city, EPA fines, Bergen County fines, and a bunch of other hidden costs that could hit us should we become the new owners. 
 
That said, as I said in another post. Thanks to her being closed up for a year or more now, she is most likely covered in mold. She has her list back, which only tells us that she has settled back in place after the manifold system was stolen and we were unable to continue to blow tanks and exercise ballast tanks. 
We are cut off from shore. The gangway donated to LNM has fallen into the muck. There is no safe access point to her due to the developers moving on with construction. We had a window, we missed it, they moved on and that does not include the Ling. 
 
At this point, I am not sure what can be done. We continue to play cards we are dealt, but there are very few left in the deck. If someone is a lawyer, and willing to pro bono things, we can continue the fight.

Clamagore

Almost scandalously, the Patriot’s Point Naval & Maritime Museum outside Charleston, South Carolina, which had Clamagore since 1980, has scrapped her in almost total silence and, while there are supposed plans to preserve some of her artifacts in a compartment aboard the poorly preserved old Essex-class carrier USS Yorktown, also run by the organization, it seems like most of her will simply hauled off to the junk yard despite howls from Submarine Vets and those curious who have sought to pick up a small piece for their own collection.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.