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USS OREGON CREW VISITS 100 YEAR OLD RADIO ROOM
USS Oregon (BB 3) Radio Shack With Present Owner Dee Bruch & PCU Oregon (SSN 793) Crew
One of the places the visiting crew members of the new USS Oregon (SSN 793) visited while touring Oregon recently was the actual radio room from the battleship USS Oregon (BB 3). Captain Daniel Patrick, Commanding Officer remarked he was astonished that this still existed after so many years. The radio room was added to the battleship sometime just before WWI and removed when the ship was stripped of its superstructure in 1943. Mr. Carl Braun, who was a Navy radio operator in WWI and afterwards operated the paper mill in Oregon City, arranged to have the metal radio room moved to his backyard in West Linn, Oregon where it still stands today.
Over the years after acquiring the "radio shack", Mr. Braun moved most of the radio equipment into his large basement and outfitted the adjoining rooms with a nautical theme. In addition to the period radio equipment, he has recreated the ship's brig, gedunk (soda fountain), galley (kitchen) and a large wardroom which is used as a rumpus room now. The creator of this maritime museum passed away in 1975 but the present owner, Dee Burch still maintains it all.
He hosted the captain and four other members of the USS Oregon's crew along with some Navy League members to a tour recently. As Gary Piercy, VP-Navy League commented, "I had heard rumors about this radio shack but only thought it was a myth and didn't think it existed. Wow! And, these rooms are a maritime treasure."
In addition, to many old pictures of the ship, some walls have recessed scenes of oceans with an inside panel that moves when a button is pushed to give the impression of being on a ship at sea. The brig has the original steel door with a stack of four cots inside a small room just like the real brig! The "gedunk" which sailors used to call the soda fountain, is part of the present bar area and the galley has a 1920's antique electric oven/stove and refrigerator. All the walls (bulkheads) are wood paneled similar to an old ship with a mast going up through the ceiling as well as a miniature smokestack.
Hopefully we can arrange to have another gathering here in the not too distant future so we can all enjoy the creativity and remembrance of this man who loved his time in the Navy.