Thursday, December 18, 2008
One-time Ghost Fleet ship the Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg was sold on the federal courthouse steps this morning to the city of Key West, Fla., for $1.35 million, paving the way for its sinking as an artificial reef. The Vandenberg, a World War II-era missile range ship, has been sitting at Colonna’s Shipyard on the Elizabeth River as lawyers fought in federal court over unpaid bills. Colonna’s was owed around $1.6 million for cleaning the ship to make it ready for scuttling.
USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg (T-AGM -10)The artificial reef project had been put on hold because of the debts, but Florida’s governor recently announced a $1.6 million grant to push the project through. Key West plans to sink the ship as a tourist attraction about 6 miles off its coast. The Vandenberg had been part of the James River Reserve Fleet.