Monday, July 24, 2006

Green Salamander, defined

Green with envy. Never begrudge a man a good deal, and John from Argghhh!!! has been invited to a once in a dozen lifetimes opportunity.

While we went into the war with several classes of Destroyer, the workhorses of the war were the Fletchers. And this story will revolve around the last of the "High Bridge" Fletchers, DD-574, the USS John Rodgers. The Rodgers received more battle stars from her service in World War II than any other surviving destroyer from that war. Which is one of the reasons we want to keep her out of the hands of the breakers.

After the war, she found herself at loose ends and in storage, when she got a new lease on life - in the Mexican Navy. The ship was transferred to Mexico 1 May 1968. She served in the Mexican Navy as BAM Cuitláhuac, named after Cuitláhuac (?–1520), the second-to-last Aztec emperor of the Mexica.
The Cuitláhuac was transferred to the ownership of U.S.-based nonprofit Beauchamp Tower Corporation on December 7, 2005. She will be moved back to the United States in 2006 and restored, with it ultimately becoming a World War II Pacific Theater Museum.

She starts her tow back the US 1 August, with an expected arrival at Mobile around 15 August.

And I'm going to cover it. We leave Wednesday for the Mexican Navy base at Lazaro Cardenas to do the final inspection and rig her for tow.

I'm the Project Scribe. And, since I'm the Armorer, I'm also the guy who's going to secure her guns so that the State Department will rest comfortably that we aren't going to be engaging in any piracy while we schlep her back to Mobile, Alabama, not all that far from where she was launched, the Consolidated Steel Corporation shipyards of Orange, Texas.

She'll be met at the International Lim

I think I know a shipfitter (Byron, call your office) who is probably turning a bit green now as well. John, BZ - good sailing. Now, I am going to go pray on that envy.

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