Friday, August 21, 2009

"Sweet Pea"

The USS Portland memorial can be found at Fort Allen Park on Portland's Eastern Promenade. It was formally dedicated on July 4, 1962. All that remains at the site is the mainmast, bell and bridge shield. The ship, known as 'Sweet Pea', a heavy cruiser, played a very important role in WWII, and in so doing was selected as the site for the surrender of the Japanese in the Pacific. This occurred at the exact same time, September 2, 1945, as the ceremonies aboard the battleship Missouri. Later, it carried troops home from Europe, but suffered great damage, while caught in a hurricane. The ship was declared unseaworthy and decommissioned on July 12, 1946. Last year, the memorial was refurbished and rededicated on Veterans' Day 2008. One interesting sidelight of the day, along with sailors and family members of those who served in attendance, Mary Doughty rechristened the memorial. As a child of 12, she(then Mary Brooks) christened the ship on May 21, 1932 in the Quincy Massachusetts Shipyard. Dad, although an Army vet, always made it a point to point out the mainmast each time the family ventured to the Prom to look at the water. He was quite proud of that ship's history and its connection to the city.


  1. Wonderful memorial to the Portland. I liked the history and the fact the original christener of the ship re-dedicated the memorial.

  2. I lived just on the other side of the Towers for a couple of years and Fort Allen Park was a favorite hangout for me.