Vintage ship’s bell set for rededicated at Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters

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LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A bell that signaled time on a destroyer that served as the training grounds for the New York Naval Militia in the 1920s was rededicated on Tuesday.

Over 100 years after the Flusser was built, the refurbished bell will be placed in the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters on Old Niskayuna Road in Latham.

Shipwrights mounted the 40-pound bell on the U.S.S. Flusser, a 314-foot-long destroyer crewed by 114 sailors. The Flusser was armed with torpedoes and 4.5-inch guns, with a speed of 35 knots.

Ship’s bells have been used since the 15th century to signal the time, indicate locations in foggy waters, and to mark the moment when a captain or officer of high rank gets on or off the ship.

The bell ended up in the New York State Armory in Oswego after the Navy scrapped the Flusser in 1930. When the Armory closed, the bell transferred to the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga. It is squeaky clean, polished, and mounted in a black walnut frame.

After the rededication, the bell finds its new home in the entryway of the headquarters where it will be used in naval ceremonies.

The rededication included ringing the bell to make four bells, or 2 p.m.

Ships use this bell system to account for each half-hour of a sailor’s four-hour watch.

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