Where & How it all began
Shortly after the USS Albany CG -10 was decommissioned in 1980, a dedicated Naval veteran by the name of Al Bursi ( USS Salem ) took the initiative to write letters to various public officials in an effort to bring the ship named Albany to the shores of Albany, New York.
Through these communications Congressman Samuel Stratton and Senator Floss had responded to his plea. With this, the thought had snowballed and led to the establishment of the “USS Albany Veterans Memorial Committee”.
Under the direction of Captain William Windover a large group consisting of active naval personnel, government officials, retired navy and various dedicated naval veterans worked on numerous fund raising efforts to make this project a reality. The main objective was to bring the ship to the shores of Albany, New York as a floating memorial for all Veterans of New York State. Many long hours and a lot of hard work was expelled, but in the spring of 1990 the Navy Department notified our group that it no longer could hold onto the vessel due to costs and budget cut backs. Based on the lack of local governmental commitment and available funds the Veterans Memorial Committee had to relinquish their ties with the Navy Department. A bid package was then prepared for the scrap sale of the CG -10, hence being sold to the Jacobson Scrap Metal Co. of Virginia.
As the lantern seemed to be getting dimmer, I (Wayne Van Amburgh) received a phone call from a gentlemen by the name of Hilton Dana of Florida. He had asked if I would be interested in working on running the First reunion for the USS Albany. Hilton and I in a short ten month period of time was able to put together a program that brought 212 people to Albany, New York for this gala event. From this program came many accomplishments, an Association was formed, Plank ownerships were established, Officers elected, the formation of the USS Albany Exhibit Committee and as of 2014, Twenty five more successful reunion programs have been held.
With the commitment to continue to make and preserve history the exhibit committee worked from September 1990 to locate and restore artifacts from all ships named “Albany”. The task of dealing with federal and state government was very frustrating and very time consuming. Finally, after three long years and much dedication of the five man committee, on 2 September 1993 the “USS Albany Heritage Exhibit” became a reality.
The exhibit is open 7 days a week for all visitors and citizens visiting New York State to enjoy. The committee’s objectives are to continue to obtain memorabilia for restoration and periodically change and upgrade the display.