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USS Wilkes-Barre model donated to Diamond City

The model was made by SD Model Makers in Carlsbad, California.
Haley O'Brien
The model was made by SD Model Makers in Carlsbad, California.

The Williams family has deep roots in Wilkes-Barre and in the United States Navy. That's why Mark Williams decided to donate a model of the warship, named for the city, in honor of his parents.

Robert and Sandra Williams were born, raised, and married in Wilkes-Barre. After their mother's passing this summer, Mark had the idea to donate a model of the ship to the city to honor their late parents.

“Dad loved to make models," Robert Williams Jr. said, "And he was in the Navy. He was on the USS Independence, the aircraft carrier.”

Mark Williams, now of Bloomsburg, spearheaded the project. He unveiled the 50-inch hand-crafted boat surrounded by family members and city leaders.

"Everyone that comes into City Hall is going to stop and look at it, I promise you," Wilkes-Barre Mayor George Brown said.

The USS Wilkes Barre was in Pearl Harbor and earned four battle stars for its service during World War II. It was commissioned in 1944 and decommissioned in 1947. According to the U.S. Naval Institute, the ship sunk during underwater explosive tests in 1972, and currently serves as an artificial reef off the Florida Keys.

“We’d just like the city of Wilkes-Barre to enjoy this and hopefully it will be a nice memory of my mother and father.”

The replica is on display on the first floor of City Hall along with a collection of historic photographs.