Shots of USS Inaugural

Update: I went back in February of 2013 and in October of 2021.

Much ado has been made about how the forlorn wreck of the USS Inaugural, a minesweeper that survived World War II only to sink in the Mississippi in the Great Flood of 1993, is now easily viewable just south of the MacArthur Bridge.

It is worth checking out, in what can be best described as a legally ambiguous location; who owns this stretch of the riverfront? There are no signs to aid in the determination of this fact.

As such, you just need to climb over a mound of detritus, and the wreck is right there in front of you; just look for the break in the flood wall at Rutger Street.

Looming just across the river is the giant Cahokia Power Station, sitting in splendid isolation on the Illinois riverbank.

3 Comments Add yours


    It’s sad – the salvage owner, John Patzius, is apparently the one who removed the 3″/50 bow gun and one of the 40mm stern singles by cutting torch several months ago. He is also the one who took the bow twin 40mms a few years ago, which has been on a trailer up at Bob Cassily’s cementland for some time.

    There is a long thread on “Underground Ozarks” about the ship, with a lot of info posted since this past Summer, and many photos before the tagging (also info on the steamships Montana, Gordon C. Greene, and Betsy Anne – the latter of which I contributed).

  2. W. White says:

    The Inaugural is back above the waterline, again. I don’t know whether the Mississippi will stay low enough for long enough for more of the ship to be carved up for scrap. I doubt it, though. The news footage appeared to show a small area of water between the shore and the ship.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      I bet this is a good time to go see it! The water is incredibly low–friends I know who grew up on the water said they’ve never seen it this way for as long as they remember.

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