Sunday, March 14, 2010

Future uncertain for Dewey's flagship

Commissioned in 1895, the [U.S.S. Olympia], with a top speed of 21.7 knots, became the flagship of the Asiatic Squadron, and on May 1, 1898, led the squadron into Manila Bay. Standing on the bridge in the early morning light, Dewey turned to the Olympia's commander, Capt. Charles V. Gridley, and famously said, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley..."

Now, the Olympia, the only surviving warship afloat from the Spanish-American War and a major national historic treasure, is sailing into an uncertain future. After having spent more than $5.3 million trying to keep the vessel afloat, its current owners are looking for a new steward or stewards who have the estimated $30 million to $40 million dollars needed to make the Olympia shipshape....

[From the article "Two ships at risk of not staying afloat," by Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun, March 14, 2010.]

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