Friday, July 29, 2005

From the US Navy News

Navy Signs Hoga Donation Contract
Story Number: NNS050729-037/29/2005
Special release from the U.S. Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Dionel Aviles, under secretary of the Navy, signed a donation contract July 28 officially transferring the historic, World War II harbor tug Hoga (YTB 146) to the city of North Little Rock, Ark., for the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.

The city plans to transport the vessel from the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet, in Suisun Bay, Calif., to a display site in North Little Rock, on the Arkansas River.

Secretary of the Navy Gordon England said, “This historic vessel serves as a testament to the unrelenting courage and fierce determination exhibited by Hoga's crew during the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941. I am confident that the city of North Little Rock and the people of the state of Arkansas will preserve Hoga as a proud part of America’s naval heritage.”

Hoga’s transit through the Panama Canal and up the Mississippi River to the Arkansas River will take place later this summer. The vessel will be refurbished and converted into a naval museum and memorial by the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum. It will join another historic naval vessel, the submarine Razorback already on display in North Little Rock.

Hoga is expected to be open to the public before the end of the year.

Hoga was built by Consolidated Shipbuilders, Morris Heights, N.Y. The vessel was launched Dec. 31, 1940, and placed into service May 22, 1941.

Coming under attack in Pearl Harbor on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Hoga saved several ships caught in the harbor. The vessel pulled the damaged repair ship USS Vestal (AR 4) away from the burning USS Arizona (BB 39), and fought fires aboard Arizona.

Hoga pushed the minelayer USS Oglala (CM 4) to a nearby dock, and assisted the burning USS Nevada (BB 36) by fighting fires and pushing the sinking vessel aground. This prevented Nevada from sinking in the channel and blocking the fleet’s access to the open sea.

For its actions, Hoga received a commendation from Adm. Chester A. Nimitz in February 1942.

Hoga was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in June 1989. After serving as a firefighting tug for 45 years on San Francisco Bay, the vessel was retired in 1993 and returned to Navy custody. Hoga was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register July 12, 1996. Hoga is the last remaining naval vessel afloat that saw action in Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

The creation of the Hoga museum and memorial in North Little Rock will allow future generations to share and commemorate its rich history.

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