Monday, December 31, 2012

Celebrating New Years Eve at Sea

Members of the military, by the very nature of their service, spend many, if not most holidays far from home, and the men who sailed aboard Razorback were no exception.  These pictures were taken on New Years Eve, 1966.  While we do not know exactly where Razorback was when these pictures were taken, we do know that she was deployed to the Western Pacific during that time.

These pictures come from the scrapbook of CAPT Ken Brown, USN (ret), who was Razorback's Commanding Officer from March of 1966 until May 1968.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Oral History Available

One of the vessels sunk during the Pearl Harbor attack was the minelayer USS Oglala (CM-4).

One of Oglala's crewmen was Gail Jones, a native of Central Arkansas.  He was kind enough to sit down and retell his story recently.  His oral history interview is available on the AIMM Website, along with the oral history interviews of a number of former Razorback crewmen.

Mr. Jone's ship, Oglala was moored alongside the light cruiser USS Helena (CL-50) on the morning of the attack.  A Japanese plane attacked Helena with a single torpedo that passed under the minelayer and struck it's target.  However, the warhead was so large that the explosion also damaged Oglala.

Because she was an older warship (her keel was laid in 1904), Oglala did not have the same standards of watertight integrity that other, more modern ships had.  When it became clear that she was going to sink, Oglala was moved to an empty spot so she would not block other ships, or damage them as she rolled over.

After the attack, Oglala was righted and repaired.  She was converted to a repair ship and returned to service in 1943.  Decommissioned after the war, she served as a depot ship for the National Defense Reserve Fleet until 1965, when she was finally sold for scrapping.

Monday, December 17, 2012

New Artifact in the Museum

This engine order telegraph, or EOT, was recently donated to the museum.  The donor did not know what ship it had come from, but it is similar to the EOT aboard Hoga, and will give our visitors a chance to experience a little bit of what being on the bridge of a ship is like.

Everyone pitched in and helped restore this, but Joe Mathis, our resident electrical expert, was able to get all the lights and bells working again, and Cope Plastics generously donated new lenses for the sides, as the existing ones were badly scratched and worn, making it difficult to see the markings inside.

If you have the chance, you should come by and check it out.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Effects of Prolonged Submergence

This is what a submarine's hull looks like after being submerged for 43 days straight.  Razorback is in Yokosuka, Japan in November, 1968.

USS Salmon (SS-573) is alongside.

The deck logs from this period are available on the AIMM website, if you want to see first hand what was going on.

This photograph is courtesy of William Zwicker, who was a Machinist's Mate aboard Razorback in the late 1960s.  He loaned his personal scrapbook to the museum so that we could scan the photographs.

The entire scrapbook is also on our website.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Free Tours (and Hot Dogs) on the 71st Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack

Free Tours (and Hot Dogs) 
on the 71st Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack

In remembrance of the 71st anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack, and in honor of the memory of the servicemen who lost their lives on that day, the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum will be offering free tours of USS Razorback.

We will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

We have a group of submarine veterans coming in to give tours, so even if you have toured in the past, it would be a great time to come back and learn even more.

We will be serving free hot dogs and soft drinks for lunch.

Guests will also receive a free American flag as a memento.

- - - - - - -
On December 7, 1941, our Nation suffered one of the most devastating attacks ever to befall the American people. In less than 2 hours, the bombs that rained on Pearl Harbor robbed thousands of men, women, and children of their lives; in little more than a day, our country was thrust into the greatest conflict the world had ever known. We mark this anniversary by honoring the patriots who perished more than seven decades ago, extending our thoughts and prayers to the loved ones they left behind, and showing our gratitude to a generation of service members who carried our Nation through some of the 20th century's darkest moments.
In his address to the Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt affirmed that "with confidence in our Armed Forces -- with the unbounding determination of our people -- we will gain the inevitable triumph." Millions stood up and shipped out to meet that call to service, fighting heroically on Europe's distant shores and pressing island by island across the Pacific. Millions more carried out the fight in factories and shipyards here at home, building the arsenal of democracy that propelled America to the victory President Roosevelt foresaw. On every front, we faced down impossible odds -- and out of the ashes of conflict, America rose more prepared than ever to meet the challenges of the day, sure that there was no trial we could not overcome.
Today, we pay solemn tribute to America's sons and daughters who made the ultimate sacrifice at Oahu. As we do, let us also reaffirm that their legacy will always burn bright -- whether in the memory of those who knew them, the spirit of service that guides our men and women in uniform today, or the heart of the country they kept strong and free.
The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2012, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. I encourage all Americans to observe this solemn day of remembrance and to honor our military, past and present, with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I urge all Federal agencies and interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff this December 7 in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.