USS Des Moines Story

Posted on 3 Jan 04:37

In honor of this very important US Naval ship, its’ role in defense of our country and the many crew members who served with honor and distinction, this beautiful work of art was created. From the last remaining salvage of the Des Moines, the pen you see was turned from Teak Wood that comprised the deck of the ship. After being exposed to the elements for more than 68 years, this beautiful creation now represents one of the last pieces of the USS Des Moines.

The ship was launched 27 September 1946 by Bethlehem Steel Company, Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts; sponsored by Mrs. E. T. Meredith, Jr.; and commissioned 16 November 1948, Captain A. D. Chandler in command. She became the first of her class to mount the semi-automatic Mark 16 8 inch turrets [1] and carry the new Sikorsky HO3S-1 utility helicopters in place of seaplanes. Naval Services varied her operating schedule designed to maintain the readiness of the Navy to meet the constant demands of defense and foreign policy, Des Moines cruised from her home port at Newport, Rhode Island and after 1950, from Norfolk, Virginia on exercises of every type in the Caribbean, along the East Coast, in the Mediterranean Sea, and in North Atlantic waters.

Annually between 1949 and 1957 she deployed to the Mediterranean, during the first seven years serving as flagship for the 6th Task Fleet (known as the 6th Fleet from 1950). In 1952, and each year from 1954 to 1957, she carried midshipmen for summer training cruises, crossing to Northern European ports on the first four cruises. She also sailed to Northern Europe on NATO exercises in 1952, 1953, and 1955. On 18 February 1958, she cleared Norfolk for the Mediterranean once more, this time to remain as flagship for the 6th Fleet until July 1961 when was placed out of commission in reserve. After an attempt to turn her into a museum ship in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, failed, she was sold in 2005, and then towed to Brownsville, Texas, for scrapping. By July 2007, she had been completely broken up.


The Baron Rollerball Pen  features sterling silver hardware.The pen barrel material was acquired direct from Esco Marine Salvage, Brownsville, TX. The ink refill is a standard rollerball available at stationary and office supply stores. The creation of this pen was inspired by a west coast auction house and the pen has been available at charitable auctions up and down the west coast.