MACKINAW CITY (WWJ/AP) – A funeral flag presented to the widow of a captain who once served on the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw is now part of the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum’s collections.
The flag was one of two pieces donated to the museum last week. It was given to Shirley Honke on July 6, 2011, which was when the cremains of Capt. Jim Honke were committed to the sea during a ceremony held on the ship, according to the Cheboygan Daily Tribune.
She wanted the flag to stay with the ship.
“I would think an appropriate place for this flag will be in the captain’s quarters,” said Lisa Pallagi, museum director. That was where Honke stayed during his time as commanding officer of the original icebreaker from 1980 to 1983. He retired after 37 years with the Coast Guard.
The other contribution was a framed enlargement of a photo of the U.S. Coast Guard Barque “Eagle.” It was donated by Richard Campbell of Mackinaw City.
“The photo hung for many years in the office of a very good friend of mine,” Campbell told the newspaper. “I always admired it and when he passed away I was very happy to learn that he had arranged for me to receive it. I have enjoyed it but it belongs on the Mackinaw.”
The Eagle was built at the Blohm & Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, in 1936, and commissioned as Horst Wessel, Eagle. It was one of three sail-training ships operated by the pre-World War II German navy.
At the end of World War II it was taken over by the United States as a war reparation. The U.S. re-commissioned it as the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Eagle and it then went to its home port in New London, Conn., where it has served ever since.
Decommissioned in 2006 the ship known as the “Queen of the Great Lakes” now resides at her namesake home of Mackinaw City, Michigan, and is open as a museum for public tours and group events. The Mackinaw is docked on the eastern end of the old railroad dock and street entry to the dock is just south of the Shepler blue maintenance building.
The museum is open daily from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. except Aug. 18 – Oct. 13 when the hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tickets are $11 for adults, $6 for kids age 6-17. Kids age 5 and under get in free.
Special discounts are offered for those holding a valid military identification card, former crew and families.
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