Offered for sale here is a rare nickel-plated US Navy bell from a Destroyer class size navy vessel. This large ship's bell with US in raised letters on one side and measures 15 3/4 inch at the mouth with a red-painted bell interior. The bell is displayed on a custom made white oak stand and hung using a solid 1 1/4 inch round copper rod that rests in half-moon cutouts and is affixed through a hole in the rod with a large brass acorn nut on top. The total ensemble measures 22" wide X 16" deep and 24" tall to the top of the mounted rod. The bell survives in good functioning order and retains a worn nickel finish from years of seagoing use. The bell weighs a hefty approximately 75 pounds! From the Bill Mitchell Maritime Collection.
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ABOUT THE COLLECTION
This item is part of a lifetime collection accumulated by Bill Clifford. Bill is retired President of BAE Systems Ship Repair, a leading non-nuclear ship repair, maintenance and modernization company based in Norfolk, Va., in 2015. Clifford has 46 years of experience working in the public and private maritime sector when he retired last year.
As President of Ship Repair since 2008, Clifford lead more than 5,000 highly-skilled employees while managing full-service shipyards strategically located in Norfolk, Va.; Jacksonville and Mayport, Fla.; Mobile, Ala.; San Diego and San Francisco, Calif.; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Prior to joining BAE in 2005, he served in executive management positions in several shipyards including the managing partner of a Hawaii shipyard consortium.
Clifford served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for 20 years. His sea tours included the USS Wallace L. Lind (DD 703) which provided plane-guarding and gun-fire support services off the coast of Vietnam; the USS Ault (DD 698) as the Chief Engineer; the USS Fairfax County (LST 1193) as the Chief Engineer and the USS Papago (ATF 160), where he was the commanding officer of this towing and salvage asset. He served ashore at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, the Pacific Fleet Staff as the Diving and Salvage Officer and Commanding Officer of the Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity (SIMA) at Pearl Harbor, HI. He is a 1969 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and earned a masterís degree in mechanical engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School and attended the Navyís Diving and Salvage Officer course at the Washington Navy Yard.