Biloxi Moves Historic Bell Inside City Hall

Right after police said the Golden Fisherman statue was stolen so it could be sold for scrap metal, Biloxi leaders realized other artifacts needed to be better secured. That's why the bell off the USS Biloxi is now in a corner of City Hall.

Before Katrina, the bell was on display at the Seafood Industry Museum.

According to the City of Biloxi, the bell is one of two artifacts the city possesses regarding the storied USS Biloxi. The other is the ship's superstructure, which stands in Guice Park, near the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor.

The 608-foot, 10,000-ton USS Biloxi, known by her 1,200 officers and crew as "The Busy Bee," earned nine battle stars during her service from January 1944 to May 1945. During that period, the Biloxi completed one of the longest continuous tours of combat duty by any U.S. warship, never missing a major operation in the Pacific.

Operating in support of carriers making air strikes against the very heart of the enemy homeland, Tokyo itself, the Biloxi saw action in battles at Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Formosa, Leyte Gulf, Saipan, the Phillipines, and was one of the first ships to evacuate allied prisoners of war from Nagasaki, Japan shortly after the atomic bomb was dropped.

On March 27, 1945, during the assault on Okinawa, the Biloxi was attacked by four Japanese kamikaze planes. Three were shot down, but a fourth, riddled with bullets, crashed into the Biloxi, and a 1,100-pound bomb was later found unexploded below the ship's hangar deck.

The ship was decommissioned on Oct. 29, 1946, and broken up for scrap. The ship's superstructure, however, was saved and erected in Guice Park near the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor.