The L&A Veterans Council is considering purchasing a Vietnam War-era river patrol boat to display at Veterans Memorial Park in Lewiston. Submitted photo

LEWISTON — Asking people to “dream big,” L&A Veterans Council President Jerry DeWitt has proposed a major addition to Veterans Memorial Park on Main Street next to the Androscoggin River and Longley Bridge.

But that big dream includes a hefty price tag — $250,000 — that could prove to be much too costly.

“Any takers?” DeWitt asked in an email post to veterans and local officials.

The L&A Veterans Council is proposing the purchase of a Vietnam War-era river patrol boat. The Uniflite PBR model, built in 1972, is similar to the patrol boats used in the epic 1979 Vietnam War film “Apocalypse Now.”

The U.S. Navy craft with a rigid hull was used to patrol and search river traffic in the Mekong Delta and other waterways during the Vietnam War between 1966 and 1975.

The boat the veterans council is looking to purchase comes with three .50-caliber gas-operated machine guns and a replica M-60, as well as other equipment that would be found on such a Navy craft.


The boat is 31 feet, 10 inches long and the engines are reportedly in working condition.

The river patrol boat would be the latest homage to veterans of the Vietnam War in the park. A 90,000-pound M60A3 Army battle tank was placed in the park last December. In 2020, an Air Force LTV A-7D Corsair II fighter jet was placed on a pedestal in the park.

A memorial to Vietnam War veterans was dedicated in 2021.

The park also features 34 granite markers with the names of more than 7,500 local veterans who served the country in multiple wars and conflicts, as well as several honorary stone benches and military hardware.

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