SCHENECTADY, N.Y (NNS) -- After 18 years in storage at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C, the bell of the tank landing ship USS Schenectady (LST 1185) was transported to the ship's namesake county Sept. 14.
U.S. Navy personnel from the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) in Schenectady traveled to Andrews Air Force base, courtesy of the 109th Airlift Wing of the New York National Guard, to retrieve the bell from its storage crate.
"We are extremely grateful to our friends and colleagues of the 109th Airlift Wing of the New York National Guard who ensured the bell of the USS Schenectady received first class treatment aboard their C-130," said NOSC Schenectady Commanding Officer Lt. Cmdr. Mark Junco.
Commissioned in 1970, the Schenectady is named for Schenectady County, a municipality in upstate New York. The ship's crew of 224 Sailors and up to 350 Marines served in the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. After the ship's decommissioning Dec. 15, 1993, the 522-foot tank landing ship was sunk during the training exercise Resultant Fury at the Pacific Missile Range Facility off the Island of Kauai, Hawaii, Nov. 23, 2004.
When Junco learned the ship's bell was in storage, he began the process of bringing the bell home to Schenectady County.
"The bell is tied to a lot of history and tradition here in Schenectady," said Junco. "Not many know that a fourth-grade class from Schenectady's Franklin Elementary School suggested the name of the ship to the Navy back in May 1968."
The bell, along with its original building plaque will be displayed on the quarterdeck of the NOSC area of the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Glenville, N.Y.
"It's an honor to have the bell and its building plaque back home in NOSC Schenectady," Junco said.
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