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Navy decides to keep decommissioned ship in response to retirees' concerns

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The R.O.C. Navy Command yesterday said it has decided to keep a decommissioned warship amid concerns raised by a group of retired Navy personnel after it was reported that the Navy could destroy the ship for financial reasons.

In a released statement, the Navy Command said it did consider turning the R.O.C. Chung Hai (LST-201) Tank Landing Ship (中海號登陸艦) into a target ship for an upcoming drill because of a limited budget and difficulty maintaining the condition of the vessel.

However, since many have expressed concerns over the proposal, the Navy decided to drop the plan for now.

The Navy will continue to work with local government and possibly draft a new proposal for how to make use of the decommissioned ship so that people can better understand the contribution it made in R.O.C. war history, it noted.

Originally the US LST-755 Class Tank Landing Ship, the ship joined the R.O.C. Navy in 1946 and was later renamed the Chung Hai.

In August 1958, R.O.C. Chung Hai was involved in a battle in the Taiwan Straits, where it successfully attacked and sank an invading Chinese torpedo boat.

The ship was decommissioned at a Kaohsiung port in Feb. 2010, after serving the country for over six decades.

Upon learning the news that the Navy could destroy the ship, a group of retired Naval personnel who had previously served on the vessel launched an online petition to urge the military to reconsider the plan and turn the ship into a museum instead.

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