The U-S-S Des Moines — a Navy cruiser that sailed the globe’s high seas for 13 years — will soon be quite literally tossed on the trash heap of history.
The Navy has awarded Esco Marine, a Texas company, the contract to scrap the U-S-S Des Moines, one of the largest Navy cruisers ever built. The 717-foot cruiser was commissioned in 1948. The vessel’s being towed to Texas from a shipyard in Philadelphia where it’s been kept for 45 years.
The ship was nicknamed the Daisy Mae and went into service right after World War II. Sailors who served on the vessel had hoped the U-S-S Des Moines would be made into a floating museum, but efforts to move the U-S-S Des Moines to Milwaukee or Florida failed.
The so-called Des Moines class of Navy cruisers were the largest ever constructed by any Navy. The U-S-S Des Moines featured helipads, a library, a post office, a barber shop and a soda fountain when it was in service. It weighs 21,000 tons and could house over 1,500 sailors. During its active-duty lifetime the cruiser hosted dignitaries like President Dwight Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth.