By Carol McCracken (Post # 385)
The Department of the Navy has invited the “JFK for ME” Museum Committee to enter Phase ll of the Naval Sea Systems Command ship donation program to bring the ex-USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier to Portland Harbor.
“As a ship museum, the JFK’s mooring will serve to enhance Portland Harbor as a destination for Maine families and tourists alike. Should the carrier be donated to our organization, we intend to use it to immerse visitors in maritime history. Displays and attractions will be created that will educate visitors on Maine’s maritime and shipbuilding legacy. Visitors will also learn about the history of the carrier itself, its role in the United States Armed Forces, the types of aircraft it housed and the types of operations that were carried out by the crew of the JFK,” wrote Dana W. Slipp, president of the USS John F. Kennedy Museum, in a recent press release.
Early last month, the City Council voted to support relocating the USS John F. Kennedy to Portland Harbor. The vote authorized the Mayor to send a letter to the U.S. Navy on behalf of “JFK for ME” to obtain ownership of the ship and bring it to Portland Harbor. At that public meeting, one individual testified (in jest) that the air craft carrier could be anchored off the Eastern Promenade and that the area could be transformed into a massive parking lot for visitors to the ship.