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Discovering History at Meding’s Seafood: The Propeller of USS Shangri-La

Nestled in the charming town of Milford, Delaware, Meding’s Seafood offers more than just a delightful dining experience. Beyond the delectable seafood and inviting atmosphere, visitors are treated to a unique piece of naval history—the propeller of the USS Shangri-La.

The USS Shangri-La: A Legacy of Service

Commissioned in 1944, the USS Shangri-La (CV-38) was an Essex-class aircraft carrier that played a significant role in World War II and the Korean War. Named after the mythical place described by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the launch point for the Doolittle Raid, the USS Shangri-La boasted an illustrious career, participating in critical operations across the Pacific Theater.

A Symbol of Maritime Heritage

The propeller on display at Meding’s Seafood is a tangible reminder of the ship’s storied past. This massive piece of engineering is a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship that powered the USS Shangri-La through countless missions. Visitors can marvel at its size and imagine the incredible force it once exerted to propel the mighty carrier through the seas.

From Ocean to Land

After the USS Shangri-La was decommissioned in 1971, its propeller found a new home at Meding’s Seafood. The restaurant, known for its fresh and delicious seafood offerings, proudly showcases this historic artifact, allowing patrons to connect with a piece of naval history while enjoying their meals.

Other Propellers: Where Are They Now?

The USS Shangri-La had four propellers in total, as was standard for Essex-class aircraft carriers. The fate of all four propellers isn’t entirely clear, but it’s possible to provide some insights based on typical practices and available information:

  • Meding’s Seafood, Milford, DE: As mentioned, one of the propellers is proudly displayed at Meding’s Seafood in Milford, Delaware.
  • Naval Museums and Memorials: Often, components like propellers from decommissioned ships are donated to naval museums or memorials. Checking with institutions like the National Museum of the United States Navy in Washington, D.C., or other naval museums around the country might provide leads on the other propellers.
  • Private Collections: Occasionally, such artifacts end up in private collections or are auctioned off to collectors of naval memorabilia. While harder to trace, propellers could be held by private individuals or smaller museums.
  • Scrap and Recycling: Some parts from decommissioned ships are sold for scrap or recycled, especially if they are not claimed by museums or other institutions.

A Unique Dining Experience

Dining at Meding’s Seafood is an experience like no other. Not only can guests savor mouthwatering dishes, but they can also take a moment to reflect on the rich history embodied by the USS Shangri-La’s propeller. It serves as a conversation starter, sparking interest and curiosity about the ship’s past and the broader maritime history of the United States.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a seafood lover, or simply someone looking for a unique dining experience, Meding’s Seafood in Milford, DE, offers a special opportunity to explore a piece of naval heritage. The propeller of the USS Shangri-La stands as a proud reminder of the bravery and dedication of those who served aboard the iconic carrier, making every visit to Meding’s Seafood a memorable one.