USS George Bancroft, SSBN-643 Sail Exhibit

After more than six months of construction and tireless efforts to raise money for its completion, the USS George Bancroft (SSBN 643) Sail Exhibit was dedicated April 7, 2000. The dedication came as the Navy's submarine force marked its 100th anniversary April 11.

The project began Sept. 29, 1999, with a groundbreaking ceremony dedicating an area to display the exhibit outside the Franklin gate. The St. Marys Submarine Museum and the local Subvets Kings Bay Trident Inc/WWII were charged with raising funds for the project.

(photo courtesy of Kevin H Windham, MTCS)

The sail, which is 42 feet wide by 9 feet high and weighs 65 tons, is now part of an exhibition that is 180 feet long, simulating a submarine surfacing. Still to come, the site will have a touch-computer display telling the "Forty-one for Freedom" story. The touch-computer display will include the names of all Bancroft former crew members and the names of every contributor who donated to the project.

Since 1900, more than 600 submarines have served in the United States Navy. Out of them, 59 were designated ballistic missile submarines, including today's 18 Ohio class submarines and the first SSBNs known as the "Forty-one for Freedom." USS Bancroft was one of the original "Forty-one for Freedom" boats that served during the Cold War era.

The St. Marys Submarine Museum will continue to accept donations for the exhibit's upkeep and other general expenses. For more information about or to donate to the George Bancroft Sail Exhibit, contact the St. Marys Submarine Museum at 882-ASUB(2782) or mail donations to George Bancroft Sail Exhibit, c/o St. Marys Submarine Museum, 102 St. Marys Street West, St. Marys, Ga. 31558.

(The above information is based on a zwire article by Craig Richardson)