- Associated Press - Saturday, February 22, 2014

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has assured officials with the Old Depot Museum in Vicksburg that it will receive some items from the soon-to-be decommissioned USS Vicksburg.

Mabus said in a letter to museum officials that nothing will be sent until the ship is decommissioned.

“We will get the flag, bell, officers’ china, sheets and pillow cases and anything else that we want,” local model maker Dave Benway told The Vicksburg Post (http://bit.ly/1gR7SMY ).

In August, the museum asked Mabus, a former governor of Mississippi, for a loan or donations of items from the USS Vicksburg, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser. Now, the museum is just waiting for the ship to be decommissioned by the Navy, Benway said.

“We have to wait until that ship is retired,” Benway said. “As soon as they make plans we will be notified.”

Four warships have been christened the USS Vicksburg, and the Old Depot Museum is already home to a model of the modern-day cruiser and an assortment of memorabilia that was donated by sailors aboard the World War II-era incarnation of the USS Vicksburg.

The World War II-era items include the ship’s logbook, photos and 8 mm films, which are currently tucked away in the museum’s library.

Benway is also constructing a nearly 7-foot scale model of the USS Vicksburg, a Cleveland-class cruiser that launched in 1944.

“It’s almost finished,” he said.

The first USS Vicksburg was commissioned in 1863 and served as a Union blockader during the Civil War, and the second boat to use the name was commissioned in 1897.

The Old Depot Museum is in the former Mississippi Valley and Yazoo Railroad Station.

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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