WWII transport ship
in Ghost Fleet
USS GAGE APA-168
Marines and other troops on Okinawa. After
the war, it was decommissioned in Norfolk and
sent to the Ghost Fleet on the James River.
|The Gage, named for a county
in Nebraska, landed Marines and other troops on Okinawa, the last of the
Pacific islands to fall before the Japanese surrender.
After the war, it was decommissioned in Norfolk and sent to the ``Ghost Fleet'' on the river. And never called on again. Because it was essentially ignored for more than half a century, the Gage is considered the last authentic member of its class.
But sometime next year -- the date hasn't been set -- the Gage is expected to be towed into the Atlantic, 50 miles or more offshore, where some Navy vessel will lie in wait.
On command, the ``live-fire training exercise'' is to blast the tough old survivor and send it to its final resting place 6,000 feet or more below.
But maybe not.
A group of veterans and history buffs has begun a petition drive and lobbying campaign to save the Gage and turn it into a floating museum on the unsung but crucial vessels that helped win the war in the Pacific.
The Gage is the last originally configured attack transport. A few others still exist, but they've been significantly modified.
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