The Turret Comes Home
August 9, 2002
Education and Outreach Coordinator
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
On Aug. 9, 2002, the turret of the civil war ironclad USS Monitor returned to Hampton Roads where it changed the face of naval warfare during its battle against the CSS Virginia on March 9, 1862. An estimated crowd of more than 1,000 onlookers welcomed the turret to the City of Newport News on Friday.
The derrrick barge Wotan, accompanied by the USS Chinook and the NOAA Research Vessel Ronald Brown, pulled into the city docks at approximately 9:30 am.
An arrival ceremony followed with speakers, including The Honorable Joe Frank, Mayor of Newport News; Ms. Geneva Lungrin, Office of U.S. Senator John Warner; The Honorable Jo Ann Davis, U.S. House of Representatives; Mr. John Woodley, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environment; Vice Admiral Al Konetzni, Deputy and Chief of Staff, U.S. Alantic Fleet; Mr. Timothy Keeney, NOAA's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere; and Mr. John Hightower, President and CEO of The Mariners' Museum.
CDR Bobbie Scholley and CAPT Chris Murray also took this opportunity to recognize the efforts of the Navy surface-supplied divers and saturation divers, without whose hard work the turret recovery would not have been possible. CDR Scholley also presented John Broadwater, Manager of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, with an 1862 flag. The flag represents the ceremonial turning over of the turret from the Navy to NOAA. Broadwater, in turn, presented the flag to DAS Keeney, asking that he present it to Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans. The flag will remain on display at the Department of Commerce in Washington, DC, and later will be given to The Mariners' Museum, where it will be displayed as part of the Monitor exhibit.
Following the arrival ceremony, the turret was transferred to a Lockwood Marine barge. It was then taken to the Newport News shipyard where it will spend the night under tight security before heading to The Mariners' Museum tomorrow morning.
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