Beating Swords Into Tourist Shares

S.F. tries, tries again to bring the USS Missouri "home"

Last October, in fact, Hunters Point's Astoria Metal Corp. was all set to scrap the aircraft carrier, which (besides its WWII battles) scored some peacetime successes retrieving the crews of Apollo 11 and Apollo 12.

But the Hornet had been designated a national historic landmark, and the ACHF successfully sued the Navy to stop the scrapping. The Navy canceled the scrap contract, and now Astoria reportedly is out about $1 million that it spent on lobbying and preparations to take delivery, not to mention the actual breakup value of the ship's thousands of tons of steel and its teak-wood flight deck.

Missouri activist Russ Gorman welcomes the Alameda-based Hornet as completing an air-sub-surface triangle composed of the carrier, the submarine Pampanito at the Wharf, and the Missouri, and he's sanguine about his own prospects for the latter: "We need something to represent the Navy here. ... If you ask me, I think our chances are above 90 percent.

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