generates $7 million
The WWII-era battleshipBy Gregg K. Kakesako
will set off for Hawaii
Marriage proposals, Eagle Scout advancement, re-enlistment ceremonies and 57,040 people crossed the main deck of the Mighty Mo during its seven-day visit to the Oregon resort town of Astoria.
Only one adverse incident was reported when three teen-agers allegedly cut a noncritical eight-inch thick forward mooring line early Sunday morning.
Astoria police are investigating the incident, and none of the suspects have been charged.
The line was quickly replaced.
Lane Wintermute, Astoria fire chief, said the only other incident aboard the USS Missouri was minor. "There was writing on the walls, but the local museum staff quickly washed it off."
Wintermute said he also wasn't able to verify other reports that initials were carved into the deck of the ship or that pieces of a woden deck were removed.
Among the visitors over the weekend was retired Army Gen. John Shalikashvili, former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, who joined the more than 13,000 people who flocked to the pier Sunday.
Mighty Mo, the 58,000-ton veteran of three wars, was towed to Astoria last Tuesday from Bremerton, Wash. The ship will begin its 2,300-mile Pacific voyage tomorrow evening for Pearl Harbor, where it will be turned into a floating museum next to the USS Arizona memorial at Ford Island. It is expected to arrive here the week of June 22.
During a ceremony today on the main deck of the 887-foot-long ship, Roy Yee, president of the USS Missouri Museum Association president, read a poem written by Eunice Snyder, an Astoria resident, honoring the battleship.
Bob Filori, chairman of the Port of Astoria commission, estimated that nearly $7 million was generated during the battleship's weeklong visit, although it was only open to the public for five days.
The Hawaii association paid $6,000 for moorage fees, and according to Filori the port spent "$12,000 to $15,000 out of pocket" to set up for the arrival.
It expected to recover some $10,000 of that after the receipts from Friday night's USO dance are in.
Filori said the Missouri association ran out of souvenir baseball caps embossed with the emblem of the battleship in two days. "I was offered up to $100 for mine," he added.
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