Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Re: U.S. Navy bell

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    • #11788
      jackbell
      Participant

      Go online to Wikipedia for an article about the USS [name of vessel deleted by request of bell’s owner] with photo. Perhaps you have already. This bell, like all USS bells bearing the name of the vessel, is still Navy property and private ownership is illegal. That’s the reason it was to go to the Naval Academy.

    • #16432
      hjlong3
      Participant

      The USS [name of vessel deleted by request of bell’s owner] Inscription is not an official USNavy inscription. There is a rule that the letters be a certain size and while in service, the bell would have only USN and the year. When the ship is decommissioned, the bell is sent to the Naval History & Heritage Command at the Naval Ship Yard in Washington DC for storage. The bells are used on new ships with the same name and are frequently loaned to Naval Reserve Centers, other Naval facilities, and veteran’s clubs with the understanding that they remain the posession of the Navy and are to be returned when no longer needed. This bell was probably a presentation bell that was inscribed to commemorate the USS [name of vessel deleted by request of bell’s owner]. If it was an official USN Ship Bell it would have come with the proviso that it be returned to the history center when no longer needed. The inscription on the plaque would imply that the plaque came from the USS Florida, but the bell??? You might want to contact the Naval History & Heritage Command at their web site
      http://www.history.navy.mil .
      Harry Long, MD

    • #16433
      hjlong3
      Participant

      The USS [name of vessel deleted by request of bell’s owner] was commissioned in 1884. It was a dispatch ship and served as a flag ship during the Spanish-American War and WWI. It was frequently used to carry mail and dispatches and on occasion carried the President. Florida V (BB-30) was not commissioned until 1911. Florida III was originally the Steam Frigate Wampanoag until recommissioned Florida III between 1869-1885. Thus, I believe that your bell commemorates [name of vessel deleted by request of bell’s owner] and was probably used as a presentation bell or as a historic artifact at an Officer’s club or service club. The Naval History & Heritage Center may be able to give you a detailed history of the bell. You might have to return it to the Navy, however.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #16434
      hjlong3
      Participant

      Navy Ship Bells were often cast by the bronze foundry of the shipyard where the ship was built or by a regional bell founder. Since the [name of vessel deleted by request of bell’s owner] was built in Chester, PA, the bell was probably cast at the shipyard or may have been cast by Joseph Bernhard of Philadelphia. I don’t know how you will find that information unless the Navy kept records of where the bell was cast.
      Harry Long, MD

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