USS Inaugural, AM-242, was a 535-ton Admirable-class minesweeper commissioned in December of 1944. One of 120 ships completed in that class, she saw action off Okinawa, and after the war was decommissioned in 1946. From mothballs she was towed to St Louis, to serve as a museum ship in 1968. She supposedly broke her moorings during the flood of 1993, and sank a couple days later. Supposedly. She is in the news again, as the drought-lowered Mississippi River has dropped enough to reveal her rusting hulk lying to port, a few meters from shore.
But oh, what a story behind this old ‘sweeper. As Riverfront Times News tells us. Fraud, influence peddling, conflict of interest, theft, conspiracy theories, a wandering Bofors 40mm, hard feelings, shady shenanigans, you name it. Long article, but definitely worth the read! A site called SubLunar Photography has some nice shots of Inaugural in service, and as a derelict before the 3″/50 was removed.
Take fifteen minutes and put down the fruitcake and nog, and have a read.