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A World War II-era U.S. Navy deck gun is being moved from its long-time home at San Francisco’s Treasure Island to the World War II cargo ship SS Red Oak Victory, which is now a museum ship in Richmond.
The San Rafael-based contractor Maggiora & Ghilotti Inc. was scheduled to move the dismantled, 40,000-pound deck gun on Wednesday. The gun has fallen into disrepair after decades of use as a training tool for naval personnel on Treasure Island, according to the Red Oak Victory museum.
The Treasure Island Development Authority chose to save the deck gun, now covered in graffiti and rust, rather than send it to be scrapped. Eventually, the gun will be mounted in the Red Oak Victory’s stern gun tub, where a similar gun was mounted during the war.
The Red Oak Victory was built at the Kaiser Richmond Shipyards in late 1944 and is the last surviving vessel of the 747 ships built at the shipyards. The Navy used the Red Oak Victory from its commissioning in late 1944 until mid-1946.
The Richmond Museum Association now owns the ship, which is part of the larger Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond.
Crews will restore and repaint the deck gun on the dock adjacent to the ship before it is placed in its permanent location. Once placed, the 5-inch/38-caliber gun will join a 3-inch/50-caliber deck gun and a pair of 20mm machine guns aboard the Red Oak Victory, which will then have the full suite of weapons that were used while it was in service during World War II.