Submarine functional periscope unveiled at veterans museum

Donn Weaver is thrilled to introduce a functional, antique periscope on loan from the Navy. The project took two years of planning and installation to complete.

A piece of Navy history is now ready for public viewing at the Veterans Memorial Center on Merritt Island.

The new showpiece is a 42-foot tall, type 2F periscope that was in use on a Sturgeon class submarine between 1967 and 2004. These nuclear-powered fast attack submarines were considered the workhorses of the Navy’s fleet during the Cold War.

Community members came out to the museum on March 23 to celebrate the unveiling of the functional, interactive periscope. Donn Weaver, the chairman of the Brevard Veterans Council, said the device offers a view of Cocoa Beach about eight miles away with its 6X optics — perfect for viewing space launches.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity again to showcase to the county the expansion of the museum and the park,” Weaver said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 5 marked the completion of improvements to the Brevard County Veterans Park. The $1.3 million expansion included the installation of about 30,000 square feet of sidewalk and 547 linear feet of boardwalk, additional parking and new landscaping.

“The Veterans Memorial Center is such a huge part of who we are in Brevard County. They take great care of our veterans,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said. “I know the team worked really hard to get this part of the museum up.”

The Brevard Veterans Memorial Museum is full of military history, artifacts and memorabilia. An outdoor memorial features an impressive display of helicopters, monuments, benches, tanks and a view of the river. Every major war is represented.

“There’s really nothing better than celebrating the work that these men and women have done. And this is a great day because we get to look at something cool,” said Jennifer Sugarman, the president of the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Brevard County Veterans Park is located at 400 S. Sykes Creek Pkwy. on Merritt Island, and future plans call for building a $2.5 million amphitheater and special events center.