Battleland

A “Bodacious” Reef

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The USS Arthur W. Radford in the Mediterranean, 2002 / Wikimedia

Turning warships into reefs on the bottom of the ocean – when done so voluntarily – seems a strange fate for a destroyer like the USS Arthur W. Radford. Named in honor of the first Navy officer ever to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it will be the largest vessel ever sunk in the Atlantic – off the coast of Maryland –to be turned into a reef.

“It’s just a very big, bodacious project,” said Monty Hawkins, chairman of the Maryland Artificial Reef Committee, “and I have every expectation it will be a fantastic reef.” It will join a pair of World War II-era German U-boats in Davey Jones’ locker sometime in the next month or two. Not quite sure what it means to send the Radford 130 feet beneath the Atlantic waves to frolic with the fishes, instead of giving it to some foreign navy to sail, but it seems like a step in the right direction.

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