USS Cincinnati submarine memorial to get permanent home in West Chester

The submarine will dock permanently at VOA park

WEST CHESTER — After approximately eight years of searching, the USS Cincinnati memorial will finally have a permanent home.

The USS Cincinnati will surface at Voice of America Park in West Chester, beginning in 2025.

Members of the Cincinnati chapter of the Navy League of the United States have been working for more than 20 years to establish a USS Cincinnati Cold War Memorial Peace Pavilion.

The USS Cincinnati was a nuclear-powered submarine that was built during the Cold War. It was one of 62 sister submarines, and its purpose was to defend the U.S. homeland and carriers against the USSR submarines. In addition, the USS Cincinnati gathered information about the USSR.

The submarine was in service from 1978 until the USSR collapsed in 1991. It was decommissioned in 1996 and scrapped in a naval shipyard in 2012.

The memorial will be 362 feet long, weighing 100 tons in total. It will include the following original USS Cincinnati pieces that were donated in 2013 to be put on display:

  • The Conning Tower and the attached forward planes
  • The Upper Rudder
  • The emergency diesel engine generator — called the “Big Red Machine” after the shipyard decided to paint it red since it was built in 1974, in the same decade of multiple Cincinnati Reds World Series runs

The conning tower weighs 50 tons and the upper rudder is more than a dozen feet tall, weighing about 22 tons.

The display of items is meant to recognize the nation’s 50-year investment in the Cold War, the Cincinnati veterans who served in the war, the local companies who contributed and the war’s peaceful end.

President of The Submarine Cincinnati Memorial Association Joseph Japp said that putting the USS Cincinnati at Voice of America Park was perfect because they heavily participated in the Cold War like the submarine. He said Voice of America broadcast throughout World War II and the Cold War.

Japp said in addition to the submarine, there will be educational kiosks and displays that will provide information about the submarine to help kids become interested in STEM opportunities or skilled trades.

He said educating people about the U.S. investment in the Cold War is important.

“We need to continue to educate people about the investment that our nation had to make for 50 years of Cold War from right at the end of World War II, through the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991,” said Japp. “That entire span of history, we were making gigantic investments to secure our nation’s defense and, frankly, the free world. And USS Cincinnati is frankly, just an icon of that. It’s a representation of the investment we made.”

To learn more about the USS Cincinnati and the memorial, click here.

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