Tuesday, November 29, 2005

New Patches Available

We have received three new patches at the AIMM museum store.

These patches are $5.00 each.

This patch was adopted as Razorback's patch in 1969:

This is another Razorback patch (from the 1960's):

Finally, we're especially excited to offer this patch, from Razorback's Turkish service as Muratreis. This patch has never before been publically available:

These patches, and many other items, are available at the AIMM museum store.

To order one, please send a check or Money Order for $6 ($5 for the patch and $1 for S&H) to:
Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum
300 Main Street
North Litle Rock, AR 72114
(sorry, we are not able to take credit card or Paypal orders at this time).

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Museum Holiday Schedule

As a reminder, the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum will be closed on the following days:
  • Christmas (December 22, 23, 24 & 25)
  • The week between Christmas and New Years (December 26 -30)
  • New Years Weekend (Saturday December 31 and Sunday January 1)
We will continue to be open all other weekends (weather permitting, of course).

Our hours will continue to be:
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to Dusk
  • Sunday: 1:00 p.m. to Dusk
Group tours will continue to be available by special request during the week (except as noted above), by calling 501-371-8320

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Reminder - Submarine Closed for the Holiday

As a reminder, the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum and USS Razorback will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

We will resume normal public tour hours on Saturday, December 3rd at 10:00 a.m.

Group tours may be arranged during the week by calling 501-371-8320.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

November 16, 2005

Dear Friend and Supporter of AIMM,

If you think back to your American History class, you may recall the story of the Pilgrims. They initially left England and went to Holland. When they left for the New World in 1620, the Mayflower housed two groups -- the Saints and the Strangers. The two groups had difficulties and ultimately wrote the Mayflower Compact to create a way to get along. In 1621, with the help of their Native American neighbors, they celebrated the bounty of their harvest -- the first Thanksgiving. However, it was not until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed an annual national holiday. President Franklin Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving back a week to create a longer season for Christmas shopping. This was unpopular and inspired Congress to permanently set the date on the fourth Thursday of November.

This story is retold to remind you that, as a supporter of the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, you have been at the very beginning of establishing a wonderful, growing, dynamic museum. AIMM will be telling the story of our American Heritage for many years to come because of your support and interest. But like the Pilgrim's journey and first winter, the start up of the museum has had unforeseen difficulties and inspiring moments. You are a part of it all and we are so very thankful for all you have done.

In the spirit of the season, AIMM is saying we realize you have given us much and we all have a great deal for which to be thankful. The USS Razorback is already sharing her story with visitors and students. The average attendance has been about 165 visitors each day she is open. We wish you could see the eyes of the children as they descend into the submarine for the first time. It is almost as meaningful as the eyes of submarine veterans who have not seen their boat for many years. Your continued support makes all of this possible.

The USS Razorback has been only slightly moved, as progress on the permanent mooring is made. The mooring work will enable AIMM to accommodate both the USS Razorback and the USS Hoga safely and securely. This portion of the project began with an estimate of almost 1 million dollars to reach completion. Every cost saving measure is being utilized, and the Razorback Base veterans continue volunteering an astounding number of hours as skilled labor.

The Beacon of Peace and Hope is moving forward with its planning efforts. This symbol will enable all of us to come together on the banks of the Arkansas River and pause to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom and how important it is to tell these stories to future generations.

Like the history of Thanksgiving, there are going to be many changes along the way, but we could never have gotten this far without you. We're thankful.

The first exhibit spaces are now open to the public and enhance the stories with artifacts that make this history come alive for the visitors. Your continued support will in large measure determine how quickly the exhibits can be expanded and enhanced.

We thank you for all you have done. The visitors to AIMM are thankful for your support and commitment. Together we can all look forward to many exciting events, exhibits and continued development as long as we all work together.

We hope that you and yours have an excellent Thanksgiving and holiday season. We wish you the very best and trust that the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum will continue to be as important to you in the future as you have already demonstrated.

If possible, come visit and see our progress firsthand. As you plan your end-of-the-year giving, keep us in mind.

Greg Zonner
Executive Director

Click here, to make a donation.

Solemn Ceremony Memorializes Turkish Founding President

Coskun Bayrak, PhD of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock speaks with the media after his remarks during the ceremony to honor the memory of Mustafa Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic and its first President.

The event was held aboard the USS Razorback on November 10, 2005. Museum Director Greg Zonner also made remarks.

Monday, November 14, 2005

New Photograph

A photograph of Razorback, as she appeared during World War II, was located by the AIMM staff in the collections of the US Naval Institute in Annapolis, MD. The Naval Institute, which has over 450,000 photographs in its collection, granted permission for AIMM to use the photograph in the museum at no addtional cost.

Bedford Camera and Video has produced an enlargement of this photograph, which now hangs on the walls of the museum.

Razorback's two 5" 25-caliber deck guns, periscopes, radar mast and even the port and starboard lookouts standing on the periscope shears, are clearly visible in this photograph.

To order copies of this photograph (USNI number 2813-P), or a photograph of YOUR submarine, contact the US Naval Institute Photo Archive Staff. Tell them that the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum sent you.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Closed due to Rain Today

Unfortunately, due to the rain and extremely slick conditions on deck, we are closed today.

We apologize for any inconvenience, but this necessary for the safety of both our staff and our visitors.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Media Contact: Denver Peacock

Arkansas Queen
Fact Sheet

The Arkansas Queen was built in 1994 at Freeport Shipyard in Florida. She was designed by the Naval Architectural Firm of DeJong and LeBet.

Originally named the Peconic River Queen, the vessel was two decks high as it cruised under a fixed low bridge on her way up the Peconic Sound on Long Island, New York.

The current owners bought the boat in 2002 and took it to Serodino Marine in Chattanooga, Tennessee where the pilot house was raised, a third open deck and taller stacks were added. The interior was extensively remodeled into an elegant replica of the grand steamboat era. It operated in Tunica, Mississippi from 2003-2005.

Now, sporting a brand new Calliope, the Arkansas Queen will be berthed at the North Shore Maritime Center in North Little Rock.

The complex will include the Arkansas Queen Riverboat and 1939 Towboat M/V Patriot which will serve as a wharfboat with offices, reception area and gift shop, the Salty Parrot on the river café, the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, the USS Razorback submarine and the USS Hoga, a WWII tugboat present at Pearl Harbor.

The Arkansas Queen is inspected and certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry 338 passengers and crew. She can seat 250 for lunch or dinner.

The vessel is 130 feet overall from the tip of her boarding stage to the paddlewheel. All steel, she displaces 271 tons and is powered by Cummins Diesels and Generators.

The elegant interior has a main deck with bandstand, dance floor and bar, Mezzanine, and a second deck with its own serving area and bar.

There are outside areas for passengers on all three decks.

The Arkansas Queen will begin it’s regular schedule in March, 2006.

There will be Sightseeing Cruises with narration by the Captain, Deli-Lunch Cruises, Dinner/Entertainment Cruises and Gospel Music Dinner Cruises. The riverboat will be available for private and group charters and meetings.

For more information contact: Capt. Robert Lumpp, Linda West or Jane Malton at (501) 372-5777 or take a virtual tour on line at arkansasqueen.com.


Media Contact: Denver Peacock
Arkansas Queen
Media Advisory/Logistics


Wednesday, November 9

The Arkansas Queen is scheduled to depart Tunica on Wednesday morning, November 9. She will travel downstream 100 miles on the Mississippi River where she will remain overnight at Mile 600 near the mouth of the White River on the lower Mississippi. Scheduled arrival at Mile 600 will be between 4:00pm and 5:00pm.

Thursday, November 10

The Arkansas Queen is scheduled to depart Mile 600 at 5:00am on Thursday morning, November 10. She will travel about 73 miles to Pine Bluff where she will remain overnight at a private location near Mile 73.

She will likely arrive at the mouth of the White River (Mile 0) at Montgomery Point Lock and Dam at 5:15am. She will travel 10 miles up the White River to Lock 1 (Mile 10), where she will enter the Arkansas Post Canal. After three miles in the canal, she will enter Lock 2 (Mile 13) at 9:00am.

She will travel six more miles before entering the Arkansas River at Mile 19 (near Pendleton, Ark.). She will arrive at Lock 3 at 12:30pm and Lock 4 at 2:30pm. Scheduled arrival at Pine Bluff will be 5:00pm.

Friday, November 11

The Arkansas Queen is scheduled to depart Pine Bluff at 7:00am on Friday morning, November 11. She will travel about 48 miles to Mile 119 at North Little Rock. She will travel through Lock 5 at 11:30am/12:00pm, and through Lock 6 at 1:00pm.

She is scheduled to arrive in North Little Rock at the North Shore Maritime Center (near the Main Street Bridge) at 2:00pm. Street address for the North Shore Maritime Center is 100 Riverfront Park in North Little Rock.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mooring Moving Along

Members of Mobley Construction sink mooring supports at the North Little Rock Maritime Center. Construction is moving right along at the permanent site. The Arkansas Queen should be here at the end of this week. Go to www.ArkansasQueen.com to see more about that exciting addition to our riverfront fleet. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Special Event to be Held aboard Razorback/Muratreis

The USS Razorback/TCG Muratreis will be hosting a service to mark the anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Ataturk is considered the “George Washington” of Turkey.

The event will be held aboard the Razorback which served as the Muratreis in the Turkish Navy after she was turned over to the Turks by the US Navy at the end of her distinguished career as the USS Razorback. She is now the anchor of the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in North Little Rock.

The event will begin at 9:00 AM on November 10, 2005.

For more information contact:
Dr. Coskun Bayrak at 501.454.1255

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Men Who Walk Apart

Men Who Walk Apart
By: Unknown

In the days when with other war correspondents I loitered about Honolulu, waiting with polite skepticism for the Pacific fleet to work its miracle, submarines held interest only as mysterious gadgets that had no real part in the war we lived with. We would see them slide into the harbor occasionally, salt-caked, battered and ugly-looking-ling, black sewer pipes covered with patches of white. We were struck by the pomp and circumstance of their arrival, with a bony-looking four –piper ahead and sometimes another behind them. We had heard the legend of how one of them had to work for two days to get the channel patrol to quit dropping depth charges on it, so we weren’t surprised at the escort.

For a long time submarine men were as rare in our jittery little community as visitors from Mars. After a while we came to see more of them we marked them instantly as creatures apart. They were for the most part pale and nearly always thin young men who walked quietly aloof with others of their kind. High-hat, some of the gobs from the surface ships called them, but they said it without resentment or unkindness. If these lads considered themselves a special breed of Navy men—well, so did everybody else. The boots looked at them with obvious awe, the older men with grave respect. For, what ever the current status of the submarines as warships, nothing had lessened their hold on the imagination of men in the less secret services. It was tradition in the Navy that only the most intelligent applicants were ever selected for the submarines, that only the men without fear volunteered for the duty and that only the strong survived.

For my part, I was struck with the extreme youth of the submariners. The skippers were all lieutenant commanders, few of whom seemed to be more than thirty years old. The crew men, you felt, might average nineteen or twenty. The CPOs of the service, the graybeards and high priests of this highly exclusive sect, were usually twenty-five or twenty-six.

One thing about them, strikingly obvious to those who lived net door to them in the close confines of wartime Honolulu was their resilience. Uniformly when they came off patrol they were pallid and strained-looking and tired. All of them were thin, some positively emaciated, as you might expect in men who had just passed a couple of months locked away form sunlight inside an iron barrel. They were alert and pleasant and interested in their surroundings, but so far as my own observations went few of them in their first two or three days ashore ever laughed out loud.

If any of them went out and got drunk, which certainly seemed a good and excusable idea, they did it like everything else they did, in their own way and at their own convenience. Even after the provost’s antiliquor order had been repealed you never saw one of them in any of the local dives. I, for one, was too old a hand to figure that this indicated they had been recruited in Sunday schools of the stricter order, but it did seem to hint at least that they were fastidious.

They would come ashore and for two or three days disappear from sight, which I suppose was not remarkable inasmuch as in those days they were quartered on the base. But in a matter of some seventy-two hours they’d be in circulation again and we’d stand and look at them as they passed wondering at their metamorphosis. By some miracle of the Hawaiian sun or more likely of their tough youthfulness, they would have lost their corpselike whiteness and with it their grave reserve. You knew, while doubting the evidence of your own eyes, that they were ready for sea duty and in another day or two they’d be gone again—once more on their way to Japan or the mid-Pacific islands or the chill deadliness of the Aleutians.

None of them talked to us, and since we shared some of the fleet’s awe of them we made no effort to break sown their reserve. They were kids, of course, like the average run of American kids, and there was no shyness about them. But they weren’t supposed to talk about themselves or their work and they didn’t. Whether or not we felt that they might have anything important to say if they had chosen to talk, we somehow respected the delicacy of their position chiefly, because we instinctively respected the men themselves.

One surprising thing about them—and even now after I have lived with them and eaten in their messes and shared to some small extent their lives aboard the submarines, I still wonder at it—was their mutual tolerance. It had long been my conviction that two of the best friends on earth weather-bound in a lonely cabin, or marooned on a sand bar somewhere, would most likely be at each other’s throats in a week. Yet here were men who lived virtually in each other’s laps for months on end saecula saeculcrum, and ashore, where they had every opportunity to separate and enjoy a few hours of privacy, were seldom out of one another’s company. Where you saw one of them you seldom saw less than half a dozen. And while they would fight willingly-individually or collectively-with members of the lesser services, they seldom so much as raised their voices to any of their own kind.

I heard a correspondent mention to a submarine skipper one time that they were more like a family than a ship’s crew and the captain snorted.

“A family!” he said. “Listen, we couldn’t live in one of these pipes if we acted like a family. Brother, we’re all in there together and we have to get along!”

We didn’t know much about the submarines in those days but we were certainly learning something about the men who sailed in them and we were beginning in a vague way to understand why they thought themselves different. The main reason seemed to be that they were different.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

New Artifacts Found Aboard Razorback

During the ongoing effort to preserve and restore the officer's Wardroom aboard Razorback, two vinyl record albums were found:

Both are American albums from Columbia Records.

One is Ray Conniff and the Singers, "Concert in Stereo - Live at the Sahara - Tahoe" (Columbia #G30122, released in 1969). Ray Conniff had 12 Top Ten LPs in the 1950's and 60's, with over 50 million total albums sold.

The other album is Lynn Anderson's "No Love at All" (Columbia #C 30099, released in 1970) It reached #22 on Billboard's Top Country Albums Chart and the title track reached #15 on Billboard's Top Country Singles Chart. (Ms. Anderson had several #1 Country Music hits. She is best known on the Pop Charts for "Rose Garden", which reached #3 in 1970.)

Both records are marked "TCG MURAT REIS" in pen across the top of the label. The Ray Conniff album is marked #"6", and the Lynn Anderson album is marked #"14".

These albums, along with the many other artifacts in our collection, provide facinating insights into Razorback's history, both as an American submarine and during her service as Murat Reis.