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USS Williamsburg, Truman's Yacht, Rusts In Italy As Retiree Looks For Help Saving Historic Ship (VIDEO)

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A once proud yacht that sailed the world as a World War II gunboat -- and then served as the impressive presidential nautical quarters of Harry S. Truman -- is now almost forgotten, left to rust like junk in Italy.

In four or five years, the USS Williamsburg may simply fall apart from disrepair, unless the efforts of an Italian retiree manage to save the ship and restore it to its former glory, according to NBC News.

Gianfranco Oddone is a retired ship repairman who has made it his mission to find an American buyer for the USS Williamsburg before it's too late.

"The style of ship, I think it's a fine piece of naval architecture," Oddone told NBC News during a video interview.

He holds out hope that maybe a wealthy businessman -- or a group of businessmen -- will ultimately come to the noble vessel's aid.

"You have a certain number of millionaires, of billionaires," he said. "If they would donate 25 euros each, you would raise a lot of money."

The USS Williamsburg was the sixth in a line of presidential yachts used to ply the seas, according to Time Magazine. After serving during World War II, the ship was recommissioned for Truman in 1945, the outlet noted.

Winston Churchill was hosted there, as were other dignitaries debating foreign diplomacy with the president, according to The Los Angeles Times.

In 1969, the ship was reinvented as a floating restaurant in New Jersey. And then for a few years in the 1980s and early '90s, it rested on the Potomac, the Times reported. It eventually was moved after the District of Columbia complained it was in the way.

Other presidential yachts, such as the long-serving boat the Sequoia, have been designated National Historic Landmarks. But perhaps a more intriguing option for the USS Williamsburg was floated last March by New Hampshire resident Steve Lindsey.

"The USS Williamsburg, restored, would look grand near DiMillo's in Portland Harbor, painted glistening white," Lindsey wrote for the Maine Portland Press Herald. "Why not honor Maine's proud maritime traditions by preserving one of the presidential yachts? Why not bring home one of Bath Iron Works' most celebrated ships?"

Visit NBC News to learn more about retiree Gianfranco Oddone's efforts to save the USS Williamsburg.

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