More than two decades after it was discovered at the bottom of Lake Champlain (between Vermont and New York), a Revolutionary War gunboat may see the light of day under a museum plan to raise, preserve and put the vessel on display.
The Spitfire, a 54-foot boat that’s part of a fleet built by Benedict Arnold before he turned traitor, sank a day after the 1776 Battle of Valcour Island, helping delay a British advance down the lake. The Spitfire’s sinking made it possible for the 1777 American victory at the Battle of Saratoga, a key moment in the American Revolution because it led to French recognition of the fledgling United States of America.
The Spitfire was found during a 1997 sonar survey of the lake. Museum divers check on it yearly. Its mast is still erect and the bow cannon still in the firing position. The ammunition and other artifacts from the battle are buried in mud.
The five-phase plan for raising and preserving the Spitfire calls for planning and construction of a facility on the Burlington, Vermont, waterfront where the Spitfire would be preserved before it is brought to the surface between 2024 and 2026. The first two years of planning would cost an estimated $1 million while the 22-year process would cost about $44 million.
You can read more about the project in an Associated press article at: https://yhoo.it/2sYdr7W.
You can also read more about the history of the Spitfire in Wikipedia at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Spitfire_(1776_gunboat).