Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Opens Museum to Display Pacific Northwest History

Story Number: NNS070828-27Release Date: 8/28/2007 4:52:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW/NAC) Eric J. Rowley, Fleet Public Affairs Center Det. Northwest

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- The Puget Sound Navy Museum held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the doors of the museum after being moved to its new location on the Bremerton waterfront Aug. 24.

"Someone told me the good news was we had secured Building 50," said Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman. "The bad news was I went over and toured it. We walked around the building and it was in pretty severe disrepair and I wasn't even sure we could move it."

The 111-year-old, historic Building 50 from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) was moved and refurbished to house the museums' exhibits. This was the museum's fifth move in 52 years of operation.

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks was on hand for the event and was interested in the Pearl Harbor display. He said it showed how a lot of the ships damaged in the attacks on Pearl Harbor were brought to PSNS to get repaired.

"One of the reasons this is so important is sometimes people forget what happened during World War II when Pearl Harbor occurred and all these ships were damaged," said Dicks. "Many of them came to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Workers tolled 24/7 during that time to restore the ships. A lot of people lived in Bremerton their entire life and never really get a chance to go into the shipyard."

The museum features several different exhibits including USS Parche (SSN 683), a USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Room, shipyard art, a dry-dock theater, history on Building 50 and it also has a gift shop.

"When I walked into the museum I thought it was a great way to honor those who came before us," said Capt. Daniel Peters, commander PSNS and Intermediate Maintenance Facility. "What a great use of the old building. I think this is a connection between the city and the shipyard, which has been longed for throughout the years."

In all, it took 30 months to plan and complete the operation of moving the museum along. Congress helped get $1.6 million to renovate the building, $200,000 to move in and another $1 million a year to operate the museum.

While perusing the museum, Aviation Boatswain's Mate Fuel 2nd Class Michael Duckwall of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) happened to find a picture of himself working during operations in the Persian Gulf.

"When I saw that picture, I though it was pretty amazing," said Duckwall. "I just hope it will stay there for a while, so my children can bring their children back and come into the Stennis room and see what I was a part of."

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Northwest, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cnrnw/.

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