For decades the USS Ling has stood as a memorial to the brave sailors who served in World War II. Sadly, the Balao-class submarine has fallen on hard times and the New Jersey Naval Museum was set to close its doors permanently. However, before that happened the sub was vandalized and several artifacts were stolen, but authorities have reached a breakthrough.
Last August, the USS Ling’s hatches were opened letting in several feet of water causing massive damage to the vessel. Four bronze plaques valued at $10,000 from the museum were also stolen. Police are reporting that three people have been identified in connection with the vandalism and theft of the USS Ling.
“The organization is extremely pleased with the progress that Detective Koenig has had with the investigation. In the absence of his effort and initiative, we feel that this probably would have gone unsolved.”
– Gilbert De Laat (New Jersey Naval Museum President)
Jon Stevens and Laura Palmese were arrested after swimming across the river to steal artifacts from the USS Ling, although it is uncertain if they were connected to the flooding. The plaques were returned to the authorities by a man who claimed that he took them for “safekeeping” ahead of the eviction and the museum will not press charges.
A bit of justice has been served after the desecration of this memorial, but the search continues for the vandals who flooded the USS Ling.