'America's Flagship' could be sold for scrap

The S.S. United States, the world’s fastest ship, could be sold for scrap if a large sum of money isn't secured by the end of October.

The S.S. United States, once the world’s fastest ship, could be sold for scrap if a large sum of money isn't secured by the end of October.

"This is where all the beautiful people would have congregated," said former crewmember Joe Rota as he pointed out the ship's ballroom, "You would see tons of black ties and long dresses."

It was known as America's Flagship, transporting America's elite during the 1950s and '60s to Europe and beyond. 

Over the past 16 years, the S.S. United States has been docked along a pier in South Philadelphia, rusting away while costing an estimated sixty-thousand dollars a month to maintain. 

But, now, that money is running out and preservations are scrambling to raise enough money to keep it afloat for the next six months.

"Gosh, if America's Flagship is allowed to be trashed, what does that say about us," asked Susan Gibbs, the S.S. United States Conservancy's Executive Director.

Gibbs, along with her colleagues, have been tirelessly working to save the ship for more than a decade, developing plans to transform the ship into a complex fitting for today.

But, for Gibbs, her connection is especially personal as the granddaughter of the ship's designer, Williams Francis.

"It's a big thing. It's worth fighting for. It's a shared legacy that means something. It means a lot," said Gibbs.

Preservations have until October 31st to collect its funds. Donations can be made at http://www.ssusc.org/

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