USS Constellation nears final destination

BREMERTON — The USS Constellation is expected to complete its 16,000-mile trip Thursday from Bremerton to Brownsville, Texas, provided the weather cooperates

International Shipbreaking Ltd., which the Navy is paying $3 million to tow the Vietnam-era ship away and dismantle it, had planned a ceremony upon its arrival. Manager Chris Green said Wednesday that it has been flooded by veterans asking to attend. It can’t accommodate them all and doesn’t want to exclude anybody, so won’t be hosting the event. Green suggests visitors watch the ship pull in from tour boats.

The company will be making commemorative coins from Constellation metal and 3-by-4-inch plates of steel. These and other items from the ship will be available for purchase at a company eBay store.

The Connie, which left Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in August, was too big to fit through the Panama Canal and had to be towed around South America. It will soon be followed by the USS Ranger, which is in Bremerton.

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