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Monday, February 27, 2012

WHERE DID THE OREGON GO?

As with any reputation, celebrity can be daunting.  In itself the noun celebrity suggest a sense of responsibility and honor that to be truly deserved should also be enduring - almost eternal.  So it is that certain ships enjoy celebrity.  An excellent example is the battleship USS Arizona, whose sunken hulk at Pearl Harbor possesses a special significance in the heard of every American.  Another highly respected celebrity vessel is Adm. Dewey’s Battle of Manila Bay flagship USS Olympia - now a well preserved museum ship at Philadelphia visited by thousands each year.  Then there’s World War two’s USS Missouri (BB-63) on whose decks the treaty was signed to end the war.  Missouri too enjoys eternal celebrity status.
But what about once famous vessels that have disappeared from history’s radar?  For instance, what happened to the acclaimed battleship Oregon, which won fame and glory in 1898 for her epic dash from San Francisco around the tip of South America to join the main fleet off Cuba after the sinking of the USS Maine in 1898.