Word has been received that the USS Radford National Naval Museum in Newcomerstown will be moving to its new home in Louisiana come this summer.
The announcement comes on the heals of Vane S. Scott Jr.,'s death last month. Newcomerstown native Scott served as president emeritus of the USS Radford Association and was instrumental in bringing the Naval museum to Newcomerstown in 2001.
However, this move was reportedly "in the works" for the past few years.
Items in the museum will be reportedly packed up starting June 1 through the middle of July. They will be shipped to a new location in Louisiana where a special building will house a fleet of destroyer ship memorabilia.
However, Newcomerstown Historical Society President Mary Watts said if anyone donated an item to the museum and would like to have it returned, they are to come during those times to pick it up; otherwise, it will be shipped with the other things.
A final reunion is planned for May 20 where members of the USS Jenkins will visit the USS Radford museum one last time. Some items from the USS Jenkins are housed in the USS Radford museum.
As far as who technically owns the building that houses the USS Radford museum, no one is sure. According to "The Radford Museum Story" on its website, www.ussradford446.org, the association's vice president Jack Guilian of Colorado purchased the property. But, no one is sure what will happen to it once the museum leaves.
At one time, the Newcomerstown Historical Society was asked to take over the USS Radford museum. However, Watts said the society doesn't have the finances or the workers to operate it.
"We're barely keeping our heads above water," she said. The historical society currently operates the Temperance Tavern Museum and the Olde Main Street Museum and Social Center.
The USS Radford operated with a crew of about 300 men, maintained the ship and manned her weapons of war in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. She was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for valor and 26 battle stars for war time actions. The ship was decommissioned in 1969 and later sold for scrap.