Tuesday, June 27, 2017

National Pollinator Week 2017

"National Pollinator Week 2017"

Public Event
National Pollinator Week, which ran from June 19-25, celebrates the animals that pollinate plants and helps raise awareness about conservation issues relating to these animals. The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum partnered with the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, a part of  the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, for their Pollinator passport program, which was a scavenger hunt where children visited various sites around Central Arkansas and answered questions related to pollinators. The museum contributed with a display about USS Hornet and USS Wasp, the two United States Navy ships that are named after pollinators.

Hornet and Wasp are two of the most prominent ship names in U.S. Navy history. There have been eight Hornets and ten Wasps. the original Wasp and Hornet among the first ships purchased by the fledgling U.S. Navy in 1775 and served in the American Revolution. Ships of these names also fought against the British with distinction in the War of 1812. USS Hornet became the first navy vessel to capture a British warship during the war. During the Spanish-American War, Hornet and Wasp were both civilian yachts that were converted into gunboats which distinguished themselves during operations off the coast of Cuba.

USS Wasp (CV-7) Launched in 1940 and sunk by a Japanese
submarine in September 1942 (Photo Courtesy of: Navsource)

USS Wasp (LHD-1), launched in 1989 seen here as it appears today
(Photo Courtesy of: US Navy)
During the early part of World War II, Hornet and Wasp were aircraft carriers which took part in several of the key battles of the war in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters before both were sunk by the Japanese during 1942. Their names were then given to two later aircraft carriers that served through the end of the war and beyond. Both ships recovered astronauts for NASA during the 1960's before being decommissioned. Wasp was scrapped in 1973 while Hornet was turned into a museum in Alameda, California (click here to learn more about USS Hornet museum). In 1989, the name Wasp was given to an amphibious assault ship which is still serving today. 

Author: Wesley Oliver

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

USS Little Rock (LCS 9) Crew Visit

USS Little Rock (LCS 9) Crew Visit


USS Little Rock (LCS 9) is a Freedom-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy.  This is the second ship named after the capitol city of Arkansas (USS Little Rock (CL 92) is a museum ship in Buffalo, New York).  The keel was laid on June 27, 2013, and christened on July 18, 2015.  The commissioning with take place in late September of 2017 in Buffalo, New York.  The commissioning of  USS Little Rock will mark the first time in the Navy's 240 year history that a ship will be commissioned alongside its namesake ship.  

The North Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau provided lunch for the crew's visit.

United States Naval Academy Parents Club of Arkansas volunteered their time to serve and enjoy a meal with the crew.

The crew members completed some maintenance work at the museum.  They were able to start the Fair Banks Morse engine, as well as paint Hoga's upper deck.

Thank you Little Rock crew and good luck with your sea trials.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen

Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Lunch

"Private Event"

The 2017 contestants for Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen enjoyed a lunch hosted at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum. After lunch the contestants experienced the submarine USS Razorback with guided tours as well as visited our exhibits.

The Miss America's Outstanding Teen was founded in 2005 and has become one of the top scholarship providers for teen girls in the United States. Scholarships paid to date is $1,020,156.14!

Congratulations to 
Miss Aubrey Elizabeth Reed, Miss Arkansas' Outstanding Teen 2017.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Promotion Ceremony

Promotion Ceremony

"Private Events"

LCDR Jordan Ferris held his promotion ceremony aboard the deck of USS Razorback (SS 394) in North Little Rock, Arkansas.  This ceremony on June 6, 2017, was a beautiful sunny and warm day.  

Congratulations Lieutenant Commander Ferris.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Arkansas Family Fun Days Event

3rd Annual Arkansas Family Fun Days

"Special Event"

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, along with six other attractions, offered discounted rates or sales to families.  Hiland Dairy along with local family attractions encourage families to start their summer off with quality family time.  This event offers parents and kids to get out of the house and have fun together.  Did your family participate?  Please share your experience!

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Thursday, May 11, 2017


The Arkansas Museum Association awarded the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum and the North Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau with high honors at their 51st annual conference. 

Stephanie Slagle with the North Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau was awarded Overall Achievement for her role organizing and leading the Arkansas Remembers Pearl Harbor Committee and the 75th commemorative ceremony.  The weeklong event saw 17 partners in Central Arkansas and around $20,000 in sponsorships to create this commemoration.  The ceremony at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum had approximately 1,200 people in attendance. 

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Exhibition for our exhibit about Pearl Harbor.  A big thank you to Cathy and Steve Owen for sponsoring the diorama and to our diorama craftsmen: Ken MacLeod, Bill Owens, Steve Staples, and Dix Wood.

The Distinguished Museum Professional of the Year was awarded to the Museum’s Director of Operations, Allison Hiblong.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Work Week 2017

The Razorback Association, Razorback crew members, came again this year to work on special projects at the museum.  The main projects completed were starting the number 1 engine aboard USS Razorback again, installing a railing aboard Hoga, and preserving the Razorback nameplates.

The crew included past crew members off the submarine, along with some sons and grandsons of these crew members.

The number one engine was first started at the museum in 2013.  But the past few years work was being completed to allow the engine to run for longer periods of time and more effectively.  This year a rebuilt governor was installed to the number one engine.  This governor was rebuilt by the Governor Control Systems in Mandeville, Louisiana.  The governor is now the cleanest equipment aboard the submarine!  The enginemen of the week were able to start the engine multiple times and allow it to run for 20-30 minutes at a time.  See this video of the engine starting up from inside: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_kd7Xk6S0g.

Hoga served with the United States Navy from 1941 until 1948.  After that she was loaned to the Oakland Fire Department and served from 1948 to 1994.  During that time her exterior changed, so the museum has been working on preserving Hoga back to her original 1941 appearance.  A railing on the upper deck was removed at some point in her history, so we had four volunteers work to reinstall that railing.

Two of our crew members worked diligently to preserve Razorback’s nameplates.  These are now all spiffy for our visitors this summer!

A past cook off Razorback brought two of his grandsons to cook for the crew while they were in town. 

We always appreciate the work that these guys do and love to hear their sea stories throughout the week, even if we have heard them more than once.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

27 Years as a National Historic Landmark

"This Day in History"

June 30, 1989

National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.  Today, just over 2,500 historic buildings, sites, structures, objects, or districts bear this national distinction. 

National Historic Landmarks are designated because they are:
                Sites where events of national historical significance occurred;
                Places where prominent persons lived or worked;
                Icons of ideals that shaped the nation;
                Outstanding examples of design or construction;
                Places characterizing a way of life; or
                Archeological sites able to yield information.

The State of Arkansas currently has 18 National Historic Landmarks; including Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs, Little Rock Central High School, Parkin Indian Mound, and Rohwer Relocation Center Memorial Cemetery.  The 18th landmark brought into the state was on November 23, 2015, Hoga (YT 146). 

Hoga (YT 146) is a United States Navy Woban-class district harbor tug.  The tug was placed into service on May 22, 1941; assigned to the 14th Naval District at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  On December 7, 1941, Hoga was moored with other yard service craft near the drydocks when the attack began.  Hoga was underway within ten minutes of the first strike by the Japanese.  The tug extinguished fires on burning battleships and other vessels in the harbor and rescued wounded seamen from the oily waters.

“Hoga particularly distinguished herself through her crew’s actions in helping beach the burning and sinking battleship USS Nevada at Hospital Point as her run for the open sea was aborted by Japanese bombers who intended to sink her [the battleship] in the channel and block Pearl Harbor.” -- Application for National Historic Landmark Status

June 30, 1989, while Hoga served in the Oakland Fire Department, she was awarded the status of National Historic Landmark for her efforts in Pearl Harbor.

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

75th Anniversary of Hoga's Launch

"This Day in History"

December 31, 1940

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is starting our 75th Anniversary series of World War II events in 2016.  The blog will begin with Hoga's 75th Anniversary events.

Hoga at Consolidated Shipbuilding facility in Morris Heights, New York, undated.
Photograph courtesy of US National Archives.

Seventy-five years ago today, a Woban Class District Harbor Tug YT-146 was launched.  The Consolidated Shipbuilding Corporation in Morris Heights, New York, built the tug known as Hoga along with three other tug boats.  

Hoga is 100 feel long, a beam of 25 feet, and a draft of 9 feet, 7 inches.  The boat's displacement is 218 tons and uses one propeller and two diesel engines to propel the boat to 12 knots.  This yard tug is typical of hundreds of World War II-era naval service craft.

Coming Soon: Visitors will be able to walk aboard the main deck of USS Hoga, the last surviving Naval vessel from the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Preservation on the boat's interior is happening now. You can help the museum open these areas to the general public by making a tax-deductible donation at https://www.gofundme.com/zsbwqtys.  

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hoga's Saga

"Museum Updates"

Two thousand and fifteen was a big year for the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, the City of North Little Rock, the State of Arkansas, and to all who are interested in national history.  On July 28, 2005, the U.S. Navy officially transferred Hoga to the City of North Little Rock to be a permanent exhibit.  November 23, 2015, Hoga arrived at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.  Why is this so important?

USS Hoga at sea trials, 1941.
Photograph courtesey of the United States Navy.
USS Hoga (YT 146)

The United States Navy yard tug Hoga is typical of hundreds of World War II-era naval service craft. This Woban Class District Harbor Tug was built in Morris Heights, New York, by the Consolidated Shipbuilding Corporation in 1940.  Hoga was placed into service with the U. S. Navy on May 22, 1941, and allocated to the 14th Naval District at the Naval Station in Pearl Harbor.

USS Hoga at the Pearl Harbor Attack

USS Hoga assisting USS Nevada on 12-07-1941.
Photograph courtesy of National Archives.
Hoga, is of exceptional significance in American history; Hoga is one of two known surviving yard craft present at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet on December 7, 1941.  While not engaged in combatting the enemy, the yard craft performed heroic service, fighting fires on burning battleships and other vessels in the harbor and rescuing wounded sailors from the oily waters of Battleship Row.

Hoga, particularly distinguished herself through her crew’s actions in helping beach the burning and sinking battleship USS Nevada at Hospital Point, as her run for the open sea was aborted by Japanese bombers intending to sink her in the channel and block access to Pearl Harbor. 

USS Hoga fighting fires on Battleship Row on 12-07-1941.
Photograph courtesy of National Archives.
Hoga also pushed the repair ship USS Vestal away from USS Arizona's burning hull and assisted the damaged minesweeper USS Oglala. In all, Hoga spent 72 continuous hours fighting fires on USS Maryland, USS Tennessee, USS Arizona and others.  Hoga, her commanding officer, and the crew received a commendation from Admiral Chester A. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet.

USS Hoga during World War II

On December 7, 1941, eleven ships were sunk and nine ships were damaged in Pearl Harbor.  In the weeks following the attack, a great deal of repair work was done by the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard.  Hoga, her sister yard tugs, and support craft worked hard assisting in the salvage, refitting, and repairing of damaged vessels.

Despite the damage that had been done by the Japanese attack, Pearl Harbor remained an active naval base. The yard tugs, such as Hoga, moved ships in and out of Pearl Harbor throughout the war.

USS Hoga Serving the Port of Oakland

Port of Oakland, Oakland fireboat, 1957.
Photograph courtesy of Oakland Public Library.
In 1948, Hoga was transferred on loan to the Port of Oakland for use as a fireboat.  The re-christened Port of Oakland (later changed to City of Oakland) entered service in July 1948.  She was modified to increase her fire-fighting capability.  As an Oakland fireboat, the vessel combated numerous shipboard fires, waterfront blazes, and rescued persons in the water.  City of Oakland served as a tour boat for President Jimmy Carter during a 35-minute tour of the port on July 3, 1980. 

City of Oakland, Oakland fireboat, circa 1980.
Photograph courtesy of Oakland Fire Department.

Hoga received National Landmark Status on June 30, 1989, while still serving as the fireboat City of Oakland. After 45 years in the Oakland Fire Department, Hoga was returned to the United States Navy in 1994.  From there she was moved to the Maritime Administration’s Suisan Bay Reserve Fleet.  Hoga was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in 1996.

USS Hoga Restoration

USS Hoga 2012.

Restoration work was performed on Hoga between 2012 and 2014, while docked at Mare Island Ship Yard, Vallejo, California.  Major repairs were made to Hoga’s hull and boat deck to ensure water tight integrity.  Firefighting equipment and non-original external piping added during the 1948 refit was removed.  Old paint was removed by hydro-blasting, and Hoga was re-painted; restoring the ship, as close as possible, to her original appearance.  

USS Hoga 2014.

USS Hoga’s Journey to North Little Rock

USS Hoga's transport from San Francisco to San Diego.
Video courtesy of Patrick Hays.

Hoga was towed from San Francisco to San Diego by the tug A. N. Tillett from Pacific Tugboat Service on September 25, 2015.  Then on October 1, 2015, Tillett transported Hoga to Ensenada, Mexico.  

USS Hoga being heavy lifted by Peters and May.

USS Hoga transported through the Panama Canal.
Once in Ensenada a boat transport company, Peters and May Global Marine Transport, agreed to carry Hoga to the gulf. Thorco Isadora, a carrier ship, lifted Hoga onto its deck and carried the little tug from Ensenada to the gulf, traveling through the Panama Canal on October 15, 2015. 

Thorco Isadora stopped in Fort Lauderdale to drop off cargo, was delayed in New Orleans, and then offloaded Hoga in Houston on November 7, 2015. 

USS Hoga on the Arkansas River.
Photograph courtesy of James D. Hayes.
 Hard’s Marine Service used their tug, Martha Renae, to move Hoga from Houston to New Orleans from November 11-13, 2015.  The Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel Company transported Hoga up the Mississippi River on November 17, 2015, with their tug Jake West.  Once in the Arkansas River, Bruce Oakley Inc.’s subsidiary Jantran Inc. moved Hoga into North Little Rock with their tug Brother Wilson on November 23, 2015.
USS Hoga arriving at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.

USS Hoga's Ceremony
North Little Rock Police Honor Guard.
Photograph courtesy of John Barr.

On December 7, 2015, the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum along with the Arkansas’s Secretary of State’s Office held the Pearl Harbor Survivor Ceremony.  To honor the 74th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the State of Arkansas honored the last three surviving Arkansas Pearl Harbor survivors. 
Three Arkansas Pearl Harbor Survivors.
Photograph courtesy of John Barr.

Vic Snyder, AIMM Board Member.
Photograph courtesy of John Barr.
North Little Rock Police Bugler.
Photograph courtesy of John Barr.

The ceremony was emceed by AIMM Board member Vic Snyder.  The North Little Rock Police Department Honor Guard posted the colors and provided a bugler player for the event.  Boy Scout Troop #198 from Mabelvale, Arkansas, lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.  

North Little Rock Community Concert Band.
Photograph courtesy of John Barr.

The North Little Rock Community Concert Band, directed by Ricco Belotti, volunteered their talents to perform the National Anthem and Arkansas Pearl Harbor Survivor March.  The Two Bell Ceremony in honor of those who served on December 7, 1941, was performed by the Fleet Reserve Association.  

Susan Hutchinson, First Lady of Arkansas.  Photograph courtesy of John Barr.
Speakers for the ceremony included First Lady of Arkansas Susan Hutchinson, Secretary of State Mark Martin, Mayor of North Little Rock Joe Smith, as well as AIMM Board members Patrick Hays and Major General Don Morrow.  

Secretary of State Mark Martin.  Photograph courtesy of John Barr.
Mayor Joe Smith, City of North Little Rock.
Photograph courtesy of John Barr.
Patrick Hays, AIMM Board Member.
Photograph courtesy of John Barr.
Major General Don Morrow, AIMM Board President.
Photograph courtesy of John Barr.

Ribbon Cutting to officially open USS Hoga for public viewing.
Photograph courtesy of John Barr.

The ceremony concluded with the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce’s Ribbon Cutting.

Photograph courtesy of John Barr.

Following the Pearl Harbor Survivor ceremony, the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum hosted a free day to board the main deck of USS Hoga.  

Photograph courtesy of John Barr.

The USSVI Razorback Base, which consists of submarine veterans from Central Arkansas, volunteered to assist the general public aboard USS Hoga.

Photograph courtesy of John Barr.

Refreshments following the ceremony were provided by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, United States Daughters of 1812 and Colonial Dames of the 17th Century.

Finally, the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum board and staff want to give a big THANKS to all donors and supporters who were committed in bringing USS Hoga to Arkansas.

The next step is to move Hoga further up the Arkansas River to her permanent mooring location at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.  We are expecting this to happen at the beginning of 2016.  Once she is put into place, preservation work will continue on the boat's interior.  Preservation work is going to be completed based on EPA and historic preservation standards.  The museum is continuing to collect donations to complete the interior work that Hoga requires to become available to the general public.  

Support is welcomed through volunteer efforts and financial contributions.  Those interested in volunteering at the museum are asked to come by the museum and fill out a volunteer application.  The application will be forwarded to our Maintenance Chief at the museum.  Financial contributions can be made in many different ways: 
  1. In person during the museum's operating hours. http://aimmuseum.org/hours-admission/
  2. A check made out to Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum designated for USS Hoga mailed to 120 Riverfront Park Drive, North Little Rock 72114.
  3. Paypal via the museum's website.  http://aimmuseum.org/donate/
  4. Go Fund Me "Save the Hoga" account.  https://www.gofundme.com/zsbwqtys
Once Hoga is opened to the public, the State of Arkansas will have the only place in the world where visitors can walk aboard a Navy vessel that served in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and a Navy vessel that was at the formal surrender of the Empire of Japan on September 2, 1945.  

Stay tuned for more updates!!

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