Shipwrecked. For 19 years, this relic from the past had been a landmark at this spot on the bank of the Mississippi River south of St. Louis. Its journey here makes an interesting tale. It was the Inaugural, a US minesweeper that served in the Okinawa in World War II. When it was retired after the war, the ocean going vessel was brought up the Mississippi River to St. Louis to be converted into a museum. After being on display for a quarter-century, tragedy struck in the summer of 1993 when flood waters knocked it free of its dock and swept it into the Poplar Street Bridge (visible in the background). A gash in its hull caused it to capsize and sink, and here it has sat ever since. Normally, most of the vessel was underwater. But due to abnormally low river levels, the boat had been almost fully out of the water in mid January 2013. This created the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with the impressive ship. However, it also spelled the end for the Inaugural, as scrappers moved in quickly. By the time of this photo, the wheelhouse was already dismantled and hauled off, and scrappers (including the fellow camouflaged against the ship in this photo, who claimed to be the owner of the ship) were already working on stripping down the hull. The Inaugural is just a faint memory now, another relic lost to a terrible turn of events. Enjoying a brighter future, for now at least, a UP ES44AC rolls across the 1917-built MacArthur Bridge in the background with a westbound coal empty. It is not known if General MacArthur ever came into contact with the Inaugural in its service days, but in a roundabout way, he did in the latter half of the 20th Century in St. Louis.