The U.S. Navy has a brief window of opportunity to ensure that a warship continues to grace Washington’s waterfront for another generation.
For more than three decades, the destroyer USS Barry has sat pierside at the Washington Navy Yard, berthed in the Anacostia River across the street from the Navy’s main museum.
Uncounted busloads of Washington students, not to mention visitors of every other stripe, have tramped across her steel decks and peered at gun turrets that laid down covering fire for Marines going ashore in Vietnam. In recent years, the opening of Nationals Park and the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail have brought the old warship to a new peak of visibility and accessibility.
From what Byron told me, USS Samuel B. Roberts is decommissioning today.
The name Samuel B. Roberts, both as the epitome of a fighting sailor, and as the namesake of multiple fighting ships, is a proud one, and the Navy should take Mr. Peniston’s suggestion very seriously. Most of the costs associated with such a suggestion would be sunk costs anyway. That is, virtually every cost associated with turning the Sammy B into a museum ship would be incurred simply in the process of preparing her for scrapping.
We intend to write more about the Sammy B., and her predecessor, in the coming months.