Submarine USS Albuquerque’s Mammoth Sail to Become a Monument in Its Hometown

The USS Albuquerque's fin will be turned into a museum in Albuquerque 10 photos
Photo: USS Albuquerque
USS AlbuquerqueUSS AlbuquerqueUSS AlbuquerqueUSS AlbuquerqueUSS AlbuquerqueUSS AlbuquerqueUSS AlbuquerqueUSS AlbuquerqueRendering of the future monument of the USS Albuquerque's fin
After 34 years of service, one of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear underwater beasts is being torn to pieces at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington. But there’s some good news – an important piece of it could live forever as a monument in the city that gave this submarine its name.
Although the term might be confusing, a submarine’s sail (which the Brits call “fin”) is basically what you see sticking out above the hull, and it’s the structure where the periscopes and masts are located.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the city of Albuquerque is planning to turn one of these sails into a local monument because it belongs to the USS Albuquerque, a nuclear submarine that was decommissioned in 2017 after 34 years of service. That’s possible because local institutions can sometimes have access to pieces of the Navy’s decommissioned ships if they have a connection to them.

But this is no easy task. First of all, this thing is huge. Thomas Tozier, the city’s liaison for military and veterans’ affairs, said that three flatbed trucks would be needed to carry the pieces of the sail into the city. On its own, it’s 19-foot-tall (5.7 meters), it weighs 52 tons, and the horizontal “wings” called fairwater planes span over 33 feet (10 meters).

Secondly, it’s an expensive project. There’s a budget of $800,000 set up for it, but it most likely won’t be enough for the entire project. On a more positive note, the public is invited to participate in it as well by coming up with some fresh ideas about the future monument and its location.

Those who want to share their ideas can do so until September 16 by visiting the project’s official site. After that date, the project should have an official list of potential sites where the USS Albuquerque’s sail will live on.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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