Vice President Kamala Harris stands at the USS Constitution desk. A sailor from Lyman, Donald F. Morse IV, helped build the desk. Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

A master craftsman and Navy sailor from Lyman was part of a team that used reclaimed materials from the USS Constitution to artfully create the White House desk of Vice President Kamala Harris and the Pentagon desk of the secretary of the Navy.

Donald F. Morse IV, a 2008 graduate of Massabesic High School in Waterboro, is a member of the four-person team that designed and built the so-called heritage desks. Builder Second Class Morse is assigned to the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command in Washington, D.C.

The desk made from materials from the world’s oldest commissioned warship was presented to the Office of the Vice President shortly after the inauguration. Last month, the heritage command presented to the Office of the Secretary of the Navy a desk similarly made from USS Constitution wood, plus parts from one of Constitution’s sister ships, the USS Chesapeake; the sloop-of-war museum ship USS Constellation; and the battleships USS Texas, USS Arizona and USS New Jersey.

According to a Navy news release, Morse is part of a team of U.S. Navy Construction Battalion (Seabee) personnel training to hone their skills as master craftsmen in woodworking and metalworking. They were assisted by shipwrights of Naval History Heritage Command Detachment Boston. They began the project Jan. 4 at the Washington Navy Yard in the National Museum of the U.S. Navy’s workshop and finished on Feb. 19.

In addition to Morse, the team included Steelworker Second Class Elijohana Cole of the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command in Washington; Builder First Class Hilary K. Lemelin, USS Constitution, Boston; and Senior Chief Constructionman Noah W. Zeigler, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia.

“These desks honor our nation’s past and reflect our resolve to ensure America’s maritime superiority well into the future,” said Naval History Heritage Command Director Rear Admiral Sam Cox, U.S. Navy, retired, who commissioned the desks.


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