USS Macon replica returns to city hall with help of Macon mayor
By Madeline Bare, Mitch Jaugstetter and Laurel Huster
MACON, Ga. — A replica of the USS Macon Naval ship is back on display in the lobby of Macon’s Government Building.
The Macon Mayor Robert Reichert said that when he became mayor in 2007 he wanted the replica to be moved to city hall. For years, it had been hidden away at a city conference center.
“As a child, I remember coming to city hall and seeing and being impressed by the size and the detail of the USS Macon replica model,” Reichert said.
Reichert said that when he became mayor the model was under a stairwell in the conference center where it could not be seen very well.
The replica’s case had been slightly damaged with some of the glass cracked.
While Reichert was attempting to move the USS Macon replica, he found out that the model is owned by the U.S. Naval Department’s archives.
“It really is a significant model in the hearts and minds of a lot of people,” Reichert said.
The replica of the USS Macon is an exact scale model, and was built by the Naval Department in 1945. It was used to test that everything operated properly on the real ship.
The USS Macon was a heavy cruiser that was built for use in World War II and was finished in 1945.
By the time the USS Macon made it to the Pacific Theater, the war was over and the ship’s main job shifted to visiting countries.
It was one of the few war ships to ever sail through the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The USS Macon was decommissioned and scrapped in the late 1960s.
Since it was decommissioned, the sailors that had sailed on the USS Macon formed an alumni association.
In 2015, the USS Macon Alumni Association held their annual meeting in Macon.
“It’s really interesting to see the reaction of former sailors on the ship. Some that will come and stare, some that will come and tear up and some that will come and bring small children and family members and stand in front of that case and reflect,” Reichert said.
Reichert also believes that the ship is a reminder of the people who have served in every branch of the military.
“It kind of serves as a visible reminder of what a debt of gratitude we all owe to our military veterans and current service members,” Reichert said.
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