Our USS NORTH DAKOTA float that made its debut in the Mandan 4th of July Parade took part today, July 20th,  in the North Dakota State Fair Parade in Minot.  It was towed to Minot, set up, driven in the parade and taken down by two Destroyer Sailors!  Electronics Technician First Class Rich Dunn, who served on USS SAMPSON (DDG-10) in the mid-1970s, and Captain Bob Wefald (then Ensign/Lieutenant Junior Grade), who served on USS LYNDE McCORMICK (DDG-8) from FEB 65 to JUN 67, quickly mastered the techniques of setting up and taking down the float for travel back to Bismarck.

It was a big parade and we were interviewed on KXMC TV as we drove through the fairgrounds.  If there is a link I’ll post it tomorrow.  Here are a few parade photos.

Rich Dunn stands by our float and the vehicle Chamber President Kelvin Hulett let us use to tow the float.


USS North Dakota Committee Chairman Bob Wefald with a good close up view of the float.


Our float was greeted by the flags of Scandinavia and a Danish windmill in Minot’s beautiful Scandinavian Park (Minot holds its annual Norsk Hostfest celebrating its Scandinavian heritage on October 1st – 5th).  The flags L to R are those of Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Canada.  Yes, we know Canada is not in Scandinavia, but with Minot being close to the Canadian border and a great place for Canadian shoppers we always give a warm welcome to our friends from Canada.  The Danish flag is behind the ships crest.


A Norwegian Stave Church guards over our boat.


Rich Dunn greeted the unit ahead of us.  They are once a year WWII MP reenactors.  Rich is talking with “General Douglas MacArthur” played by Dick Davis of Hazelton ND with Scott Haugen of Williston ND as his driver.


There is no official notice yet as to the christening date.  The Secretary of the navy has signed a letter setting the date but General Dynamics Electric Boat has to make the final arrangements and officially announce the date.  Stay tuned.


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