Sunday, July 31, 2005

Navy Chooses Arkansas Over Hawaii- The Star-Bulletin

Bid for USS Hoga lost
The Navy chooses Arkansas to home-port the historic tugboat

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Arkansas, rather than Hawaii, will be the permanent home port of the World War II tug boat USS Hoga, the smallest surviving vessel of the Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor attack.

The Navy ended a six-year campaign by a few local supporters to get the Hoga home-ported in Hawaii by announcing last week that the 99-foot vessel will be donated to the city of North Little Rock, Ark.

Charles Hinman, treasurer of the local Tugboat Hoga Preservation Society, said his group knew last year that it would never be able to bring the vessel to the islands, after a local bank turned them down because "we had no financial backing."

Hinman said his organization needed to raise at least $100,000 to start up, and they were far from getting that amount.

USS Arizona Memorial Historian Daniel Martinez said he was not surprised that the tugboat was given to North Little Rock, because "in the end the final determination by the Navy was based on a business plan."

Martinez said the National Park Service initially was involved in one of the first campaigns to secure the rights to the tugboat, because it has always felt that the vessel had "bona fide ties to Hawaii's history and the attack on Pearl Harbor."

Also, Hoga was representative of the island's maritime history, Martinez added.
Martinez said the Park Service could only serve in an advisory capacity, because the Navy would turn the Hoga over only to an entity that had a viable business plan. Past efforts by local backers to bring the Hoga had failed because they were never able to put together such a plan and because the Navy rejected their proposal to berth the Hoga between the Arizona Memorial Visitor Center and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum.

Rebuffed by the Navy, local Hoga supporters proposed two years ago berthing the Hoga near the Falls of Clyde at the Hawaii Maritime Center in Honolulu Harbor. Hinman said the state was willing to place the Hoga there.

Although the Hoga will not be returning to Pearl Harbor, Martinez said he is "gratified" to hear that "it is going to be preserved. That's the bottom line."

"The Hoga has been identified as one of the 10 most endangered objects and places," Martinez added.

Navy Secretary 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 on 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."

The Navy said the Hoga will be towed later this summer from its mothball fleet in Suisun Bay in Northern California through the Panama Canal and up the Mississippi River to the Arkansas River. It will join another historic naval vessel, the submarine Razorback, already on display at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum across from the future Clinton Presidential Library. Hoga is expected to be open to the public before the end of the year.

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

On Dec. 7, 1941, 11 of its 15 crewmen were hauled into duty within 10 minutes after Japanese bombs and torpedoes slammed into the U.S. Pacific Fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor.

The crew of the Hoga fought fires caused by Japanese bombs and torpedoes that consumed the decks of the battleships USS Arizona, Maryland and Tennessee for 72 hours nonstop, while also picking up survivors in the water.

The Hoga pulled the damaged repair ship USS Vestal from the burning battleship USS Arizona. Hoga pushed the minelayer USS Oglala to a nearby dock, and assisted the burning battleship USS Nevada by fighting fires and pushing the sinking vessel aground.

The Nevada, which had already taken a direct torpedo hit, was steaming toward the open sea. As a wave of attack fighters concentrated their fire on the wounded Nevada, it went aground at Hospital Point near the mouth of channel.

The Hoga pulled the sinking battleship free and moved it to the western side of the harbor's entrance, preventing it from blocking the narrow channel. This prevented the 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 Nimitz in February 1942.

In 1989 the Hoga was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. 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 in 1996.

The Brits Board the Boat

Former Royal Navy Sub Sailor Ivan Saunders (Chief Engineer) of Fareham, UK and Dawn McClemens, also of the UK, visited the Razorback/Muratreis on Sunday. Saunders served aboard the British submarines HM Finwhale and HM Onslaught from 1966-1974. Welcome aboard sir!

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.

For more Department of Defense news, visit For more news from around the fleet, visit Or, and

Now Hear This-- The Hoga is Now in the Fleet

Here is the USS Hoga(YT-146) in her current configuration. AIMM plans to take her back to her original WW 2 status. Visit for much more information about this little hero.

Arkansas First Lady Janet Huckabee Comes Aboard---Again!

Arkansas First Lady Janet Huckabee (center) is a big supporter of the USS Razorback/Muratreis and AIMM. Here she is shown on a recent visit with, from left, Rose Crane, AIMM Development Counsel, Museum Director Greg Zonner, Maintenance Chief Jim Barnes and City of North Little Rock Parks and Recreation director Bob Rhoads.

Mrs. Huckabee has been to the boat numerous times and even rode her sail on a move from the downtown site to the quarry sub base last winter in a driving rainstorm. Although soaking wet and cold she was thrilled at the opportunity to be aboard such a historic boat. She strongly supports the project and has a great respect for the veterans and active service people of our country.

Navy Transfers Hoga- Ark. Democrat-Gazette

Navy transfers WWII tugboat to N. Little Rock
Museum gets 2 nd historic vessel

North Little Rock has landed a second historic naval vessel for its Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum on the Arkansas River. Navy Undersecretary Dionel "Dino" Aviles transferred ownership of the World War II tugboat Hoga to North Little Rock in a ceremony Thursday in the U.S. Capitol.

The Hoga was designated a National Historic Landmark for its role in fighting fires at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941, after Japan’s attack on the naval base that pushed the United States into World War II.

The Razorback submarine, on public display on the Arkansas River in North Little Rock’s downtown, is the first World War II vessel the city obtained for its maritime museum. The Razorback was present at the surrender of Japan in 1945.

"Now North Little Rock has joined Honolulu, Hawaii, as the only cities that have naval vessels from the beginning and ending of the second world war," said North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays, who attended the ceremony.

Hays has a pertinent date in mind for the Hoga to reach North Little Rock from Oakland, Calif., though arrangements still must be made. "We hope to have it here on or before Dec. 7," to commemorate the Pearl Harbor anniversary, Hays said. "I’ve even started making phone calls."

The 100-foot tug likely will need to be lifted onto a barge and towed from the West Coast through the Panama Canal and up the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers, Hays said. The estimated cost is $300,000 to $400,000, to be paid by museum donations and city money, he added. "We’ve got our fishhook out for grant money," Hays said. "The [fundraising] effort is going to continue, and [meeting the cost] will be a partnership between the city and the maritime museum."

Hays first heard about the Hoga in 1998, when Rep. Vic Snyder, D-Ark., told him the historic boat needed a city to adopt and preserve it. "The result is today’s transfer to North Little Rock and the preservation of this extremely important vessel for our Navy and our nation," Snyder said in a statement.

For 48 hours at Pearl Harbor, the Hoga rescued sailors, pushed disabled ships from harm’s way and battled ship fires along Battleship Row. In 1989, the Hoga achieved its historic landmark designation. Originally believed to be the only surviving yard craft from Pearl Harbor, a second tug, the Nokomis, was later discovered to exist.

From 1948-88, the Navy loaned the Hoga, renamed the City of Oakland, to fight fires in Oakland’s harbors. The boat was returned to the Navy in 1993 and placed on donation hold in July 1996 because of its historic status. The Navy awarded the Hoga to North Little Rock and its Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in March 2004 over four other groups in Hawaii, California and Florida. A Hollywood, Fla., organization filed a lawsuit last year challenging the Navy’s decision, but a federal district judge dismissed the challenge in January.

This story was published Friday, July 29, 2005
Copyright © 2005, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Hoga's Coming Home!

Today Mayor Hays and Museum Director Greg Zonner traveled to Washington D.C. to sign the transfer document which will add the U.S.S. Hoga (YT-146) to our "fleet".

They will attend a ceremony with SecNav (Secretary of Navy) and all of the Arkansas Congressional delegation at the Pentagon on 28 July.

The U.S.S. Hoga project was started several years ago when Congressman Vic Snyder (D-Ark) brought the valiant little tug's attention to Mayor Hays. The city of North Little Rock participated in a Navy Donation procedure and was successful in its bid. The Hoga was serving in Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941 and worked for two solid days fighting fires, moving burning vessels from the main channel and pulling injured sailors from the sea. With her addition, NLR now has the "alpha and omega" of WW 2, since the U.S.S. Razorback sat in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945 when the Japanese surrendered.

The Hoga is currently moored near San Francisco and planning for transportation and mooring in North Little Rock is well underway. Of course, we could still use donations to accomplish our most worthwhile task. Help us to preserve the history of two wonderful American treasures.

Don't forget to come a visit us on the north shore of the Arkansas River in downtown North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Click on the title of this message to view a KTHV news clip about this.

Work Continues

SubVets and city staff confer near the after engine room hatch. On Tuesday they placed the rectifiers inside the super structure. These folks are truly amazing to watch. And, to add to the mix, the heat index was nearly 105 degrees while they worked. As the sub guys say all the time, "Diesel Boats Forever!"

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Razorback Command Staff Visited

Capt. Joseph Talbert USN (ret) , left, and Chief Jim Mason (former COB) both of Razorback duty recently visited with one another at their old duty station. Talbert and Mason served at different times aboard the 394 and are both supporters of the museum. Each have contributed wonderful artifacts and other items as well as offered financial support. Nothing expresses approval of the way we are taking care of their "old girl" any more than donating precious items and hard earned dollars to the cause. We salute all of our supporters and visitors.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Maintenance Chief Barnes endures the HEAT--

North Little Rock's Maritime Maintenance Chief Jim Barnes is seen working on some air lines in the sail of the Razorback/Muratreis on 22 July.

The AIMM crew has to blow the ballasts once or so a week.

Remember, she's a "live" boat so there is a lot of daily maintenance required and our entire crew, both AIMM's and the city of North Little Rock's are to be commended for their hard work.

Also, today we had to close the tours down about two hours early because of the excessive heat. It was 110 degrees down below when the decision was made for the safety of staff and visitors. We are working diligently towards getting the old girl air conditioned but it is a very expensive proposition. If anyone knows any kind-hearted philanthropists looking for a wonderful place to put some money, please ask them to contact AIMM director Greg Zonner at or call him at 501-371-8320

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Razorback Comes Up River- About a Year Ago

Some of our readers have asked how we got the USS Razorback up the Arkansas River since the river is only certified by the Corps of Engineers to be 9 foot in depth. Well, Shane Foraker and crew simply slipped the 394 between two Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel barges that had been lowered in the water. After cradling the Razorback/Muratreis snugly between them, the barges were raised and voila up the river they came. Thanks to Bob Lincoln for this great photo.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Old Razorbackers Together Again- Aug. 2004

This photo shows nearly all of the USS Razorback sailors who came to North Little Rock on 29 August 2004 for the 394's grand homecoming event. It was an amazing thing to see all of these old salts together aboard their "old girl" one more time as she nestled up against the north shore of the Arkansas River. Not pictured is Captain Joe Talbert who also attended. (photo by Frank Hampson)

Resting in Tokyo Bay- 2 Sept 1945

The Razorback was one of 12 U.S. Submarines standing by in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945 as the Japanese surrendered. Our submarine is saturated in history. We look forward to you visiting and learning more about this magnificent war machine.
Reminder: Razorback will be closed Thursday 21 July.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

A Young Man Ponders Some History

Deck Hand Jonathan Hicks (left, yellow shirt) explains the aft torpedo loading hatch while a young visitor seems to be picturing the lesson. We are forever grateful to those who've made these lessons possible.

Don't forget, the Razorback will be closed for tours this coming Thursday (21 July) for a special event. We will re-open at 10 Friday morning.

Friday, July 15, 2005

A Beautiful Photo of the Downtown Arkansas River Area near the Razorback

Come visit the North Little Rock region and see many beautiful and exciting things. Be sure to take a walk along the River Trail. We look forward to seeing you and showing you why people always say we are the friendliest place they've ever visited. We make you feel at home.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


The USS Razorback will be closed on Thursday, July 21, 2005 for a special event. We will be open normal hours (10-6) on Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 1 til 6. Don't forget to visit the Maritime Museum Building.

Memphis Visitor Boards the Boat

Ten Year Old Kari Clevenger of Memphis visited the Razorback on July 14th with her family. Here Kari is seen going "down ladder" in the after torpedo room.

The Razorback/Muratreis continues to teach a young generation about the sacrifices of the submariners who served aboard. It is amazing to see how kids tend to connect to history while in the "steel tube".

Welcome aboard Kari!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

River Rail Trolleys Salute the Brits--

In memory of those whose lives were lost in the U.K., the River Rail Trolley posted the Union Jack. Our thoughts are across the pond.

A History Lesson from Maurice Barksdale

From the AIMM TEAM: The above photo is of Maurice Barksdale (see story below) when he first saw the USS Razorback come around the bend while he was awaiting her arrival in New Orleans in June of 2004. Maurice was at the original meeting in North Little Rock (along with other sub vets) with Mayor Hays seeking a place for his old boat to "rest her oars". And, as he says at the end of his short history--"the rest is history."

I was ordered to the U.S.S. Razorback, (SS-394) in December 1960 at the completion of submarine school training in Groton, Connecticut.

I reported to the Razorback on January 5, 1961 in San Diego, California. I was a CS3. We left for “WestPac” (Western Pacific) in late March or early April 1961. We stopped at Pearl Harbor, Guam, Chichi Jima and arrived at our Japanese home port of Yokuska. We operated out of Japan for quite a while. This included “Special Ops” which included some of the “Blind Man’s Bluff” actions. ( I still do not talk about it.) We headed back to the states in late August.

I qualified on September 29, 1961. We spent time in the yards at Hunters Point, San Francisco. We had the famous “deep dive” on our first dive out of the yards. I was standing in the After Battery hatch listening to the Diving Officer call out the depth and I started to pray after hearing him say “passing 700 feet.”

The Old Girl came through and we had a wonderful excursion to the HemisFair in Seattle. We returned to San Diego and participated in the nuclear test off Christmas Island. We were very close to the explosion and the Old Girl took quite a roll. I was advanced to CS2 in November 1962 and was transferred to the U.S.S. Pomfret (SS-391) in January 1963 because the Razorback was heading back to WestPac. I was discharged in March 1963.

I returned to Texas and enrolled at U.T. Arlington. I received my undergraduate degree at U.T. Arlington and my Masters at Texas Christian University. I lost all contact with my Razorback shipmates until I “found” Bassett and Opple on the internet.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Quick Note To Our Readers

Remember to check this blog often and to scroll through and click on "comments" to see what some of our blog visitors have to say. You can comment too. This is your place as much as it is ours. The internet has made it very easy to connect with old friends and new friends too. The AIMM team.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Where You Will Be and Other Stuff

Here are the compartments aboard the USS Razorback. Your tour will enter the After Torpedo Room and exit the Forward Torpedo Room after moving forward through the main compartments. Remember ladies, no dresses or high heeled shoes! Everyone must be able to climb up and down a 12 foot ladder and bringing infants or kids under 5 is discouraged since it is difficult for ingress and egress.

Tours available Thursday through Saturdays from 10 until 6 and Sundays from 1 until 6. Most tours have a short wait time which is usually perfect for a walk through the temporary museum.

Also, remember we must not give tours during inclement weather. There is a link on the left to a weather radar. Have a good day.

The USS Hoga (YT-146)

The USS Hoga is a tiny little tugboat with a great big history. The photo at left shows the USS Hoga fighting fire aboard the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The Navy has awarded the Hoga to AIMM and the City of North Little Rock after a grueling process.

Mayor Hays and Greg Zonner will be traveling to Washington D.C. very soon to complete the transaction by signing the transfer agreement. More information will be posted as we need to. When we get the Hoga here, AIMM will have boats that served from the beginning of the war in Pearl Harbor to the signing of the surrender documents by Japan. The Razorback was one of 12 submarines that stood by in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945 as the surrender was being signed on the decks of the USS Missouri. Arkansas is very lucky to have two historic vessels such as these for people to experience.

AIMM Volunteers Do It All

AIMM volunteer Nick Berg discovers it's all not fun and games to keep the area around the submarine "policed" and looking nice for our visitors. The boat will be closed until Thursday morning at 10:00. Sub Vets will be busy this week preparing the inside decks of the 394 for tile work. Many have compared the days we are closed to the days the subs came to port for repairs.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

'Nuff Said!

Not much needs to be said other than what this vintage poster reads.

The Hardworking Razorback Base Amid the History

USSVI Razorback Base members were treated to a July 1 early look at the Museum Building during a reception to thank volunteers. Greg and Bonnie Zonner thought it important for the sub vets to have input since we consider them plankowners of the project.

Drop by for a visit and see the history of the USS Razorback/TCG Muratreis. The Museum Building is a short distance east of the submarine inside the NLR Maritime Center area.

Admission to the museum is free and there is a small fee to visit the 394 boat.

Rectifying the Situation

USSVI Razorback Base member Greg Schwerman is seen working on a DC rectifier in an attempt to get air-conditioning aboard the 394. Schwerman is a submarine veteran and a big supporter of AIMM. He obtained the surplus equipment and is spearheading the work to get them finished.

AIMM is always in need of help in the form of dollars (see donation link to left) as well as sweat equity.

We thank everyone who has helped us along the way.

A Razorback Plankowner

Mayor George Dement of Bossier City, Louisiana is seen giving his oral history about his time aboard the USS Razorback. Mayor Dement is a 394 Plankowner and the boat's original cook.

What stories he has to tell. Mayor Dement (Little Georgie as he was known to his fellow crew) has visited the USS Razorback/Muratreis several times and we look forward to more of him since he recently retired after a long and distinguished career leading the city of Bossier.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Another of AIMM's Volunteers

Meet Herman "Shorty" Hagerman, ABM2C (USS Lexington 1943-1946) of North Little Rock.

Shorty is standing in the control room of the Razorback. This photo was taken by CDR Robert Walls, USN (ret) the last XO of the 394 while Walls was visiting recently.

Despite Shorty being a carrier vet, Walls pronounced him "Qualified" after Shorty led Walls through his old boat. It was an emotional visit for all.

Along with others, Shorty has put in many hours of time taking care of the Razorback/Muratreis. His contribution is very unique in that many children--and adults--love to hear him speak of his time in some of the most famous battles of the Pacific campaign. Our hats are off to one of our true heroes, Herman "Shorty" Hagerman.

To view CDR Walls photo album of his visit simply click on the title of this message.

Late Saturday Afternoon Tour Prepares to go Below

Deck Hand Terence Betts (left red shirt) prepares to take a group down the ATR hatch late on Saturday afternoon. The Clinton Library can be seen in the upper left background. The library is a five minute car or trolley ride away.

A Little Submarine History- The SSTs

You might remember in the entry below about David Farmer, one of our AIMM volunteers, it stated he served aboard the USS Marlin SST2.

Well, here that puppy is. A tiny Razorback! To see more of the history about these small warriors, click on the title of this entry.

A Retrospective Visit to the Deck of the 394

Submariner Benjamin Winderweedle is "shipped over" by Lt. B. Talton aboard the USS Razorback several months ago. Winderweedle brought his young son along for the ceremony. Afterwards, Winderweedle (who serves on a nuclear sub) toured the Razorback and remembered all of those who served before him. Thanks Benjamin for your dedication and service to the United States. It was our pleasure to welcome you aboard. May fair winds follow your travels.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Gates are About to Open and the Zs Get Ready

AIMM Director Greg Zonner, his son Andy and wife Bonnie down some lunch in preparation for another busy day. Andy and Bonnie have put in an unbelievable number of hours preparing the submarine and museum for visitors. Thanks for all you guys do.

Four Razorback sailors from the sixties recently reunited in Arkansas aboard the USS Razorback. From left to right- Enrile Trinidad EMCM (SS) USN (ret), Marcial M. Pamintuan, SD2 (SS), Dom "Big Al" Alvarado, SD2 (SS) and Ireneo Alcala, SD3 (SS) enjoy a moment after touring the 394. Each remembered where they slept and what they did in vivid detail thanks to the complete nature of the submarine. Alcala resides in Illinois and the others live in California.

After spending time aboard and being interviewed by the local media, the group then went through the museum where Alvarado and Trinidad discovered their photos and signatures in several of the displays. They were very pleased to be among the very first visitors to the museum building.

They also did a two-hour interview with Sandra Taylor-Smith and Cary Bradburn of the North Little Rock History Commission. Taylor-Smith and Bradburn have been compiling notes from interviews with Razorback sailors for ultimate publication. If you are a Razorback sailor they would like to hear from you. E-Mail them at

Discovery at the Maritime Museum

Enrile Trinidad (L) and Dom "Big Al" Alvarado point to their photographs on an exhibit in the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum. They were both quite excited to make the discovery. The former Razorback sailors were in town with 2 other 394'rs from the sixties. Alvarado's EMail address is: He can put you in touch with the rest of his crew. He wishes to hear from other 394 vets.

The temporary museum building is located a short distance east of the submarine. Entrance to the museum is free but a fee is required to actually board the USS Razorback/TCG Muratreis.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Action off the Starboard Bow Sir!

Bring the kids to feed the catfish! We keep the water stirring off the starboard side of the boat next to the entry barge. Kids love to throw the fish pellets in and watch the fish and turtles go crazy. It's never a dull moment around the ole submarine...

Meet One of AIMM's Volunteer Teams

Meet two of AIMM's most loyal volunteers and supporters--David C. Farmer, QMC (SS), USN (ret) and his wife Jane Farmer, R.N. David is seen polishing the nose cone for an MK-37 torpedo while Jane offers her best advice.

Chief Farmer joined the Navy in 1950 and retired in 1970. He served on the USS Picuda (SS 382), the USS Seacat (SS 399) and the USS Marlin (SST 2).

David and Jane have three children, Charlotte Burtts of Jacksonville, Arkansas; Paul Farmer of North Little Rock and Cheryl Zerell of Maumelle, Arkansas. They also have four grandchildren. The Farmers reside in North Little Rock. They have been married nearly 50 years.

David and Jane have put in many hours which is greatly appreciated. You can generally find them hanging around the Maritime Museum Building. David's E-Mail address is:

BZ David and Jane. Thanks for all you have done and continue to do.

You Must Remember This

The USS Razorback tours can NOT be conducted during inclement weather. This is necessitated by the fact that she is not in her final mooring configuration yet and the temporary service barge and deck of the Razorback become very slippery when wet. If you will click on the title of this message, it will take you to a weather site for our area. Before coming to tour, be sure to check the skies!

Also remember that the 394 is a "live" boat with fairly tight compartments and hatches which visitors must pass through to truly experience the rich history of this boat. This means climbing down a 12 foot ladder and up a 14 foot ladder and stepping through water-tight hatches between compartments.

Each tour group is restricted to no more than 8 people and tours last between 35 to 45 minutes. Tours usually depart every 15 minutes and a wait is sometimes required. After touring the boat, you are welcome to amble through the temporary museum building a short walking distance from the Razorback.

Cold drinks, water and gift items are available at the boat.

For more information call: 501-371-8320 or 501-340-5309

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Photos by John C. Jones

These are a couple of great photos by John C. Jones, AIMM's Volunteer Photographer. The Razorback is sitting in her permanent mooring site with the Alltel Arena in the background. The other shot is taken from the bow of the Razorback showing the Little Rock skyline and one of the new trolleys crossing the Main Street Bridge connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock. Come and pay us a visit. Remember, the sub is open for tours Thursday thru Saturday from 10 until 6 and on Sundays from 1 until 6. For more information call 501-371-8320 or 501-340-5309

A Shot of the 394 being Prepared For a Big Event

Here is a photograph from August of 2004 when the Razorback was undergoing preparations for her "Grand Homecoming" event. Nearly 100 former Razorback sailors got to ride her to her "coming out" party.

Be sure to visit for information and also stop by the USSVI Razorback Base's website at both are loaded up with photos and other great background on our project.

Our Deck Hands Who Will Guide You on Your Tour of the Razorback/Muratreis. From Left to Right: Terence Betts, Brian Thomas, Katie Worrell, Alex Thomas, Jasmine Bell, Chelsea Betts, Jonathan Hicks and Kyle Smith. They do a great job for us.

The USS Razorback Heads to Sea While the Sun Hides in the Clouds

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

An Editorial about Our Commodore from the 5 July Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Play ball!
Pat Hays throws a steee-rike !

A retired couple we know moved to North Little Rock (Park Hill) a few years back from the south side of the river. And they won’t shut up about the mayor.

It’s Pat Hays this and Pat Hays that. They talk about seeing him out in the ’hood. They talk about the twice-weekly garbage pickupfree!—and the leaf sucker-upper that’ll inhale what you rake to the curb. They talk about the new light posts along JFK and how, if a bulb blows, it’s replaced faster’n you can say Patrick Henry Hays.

In short, it’s the little things. And those folks aren’t alone. Which explains why Pat Hays is now the longest-serving mayor in the history of North Little Rock. He gets the little things done. And, as he proved this week, he can get the big things done, too.

Mayor Hays wanted a new minorleague baseball park in North Little Rock.

He wanted it along the Arkansas River next to the Broadway Bridge.

He wanted the Arkansas Travelers committed to the move.

He wanted the city council to put a one-cent, two-year sales tax on the ballot to pay for the park (and expand the Hays Senior Citizens’ Center).

He wanted it done Monday.

Mayor Hays went 4 for 5. He got it done Tuesday. (Slacker!)

The special election on that sales tax is set for August 9 th. If it passes, Mayor Hays says the Travs will be playing in Stephens Field come opening day 2007.

We tell ya, for those on the slower moving side of the river, looking to the other shore must be like looking into a parallel world of opposites.

Can you imagine Little Rock’s clunky bureaucracy pulling this off? And managing to avoid a deal-breaking impasse between Big Money (read Stephens) and Big Personality (read Bill Valentine)?

Can you imagine Little Rock’s board of directors slapping a sales-tax option on the ballot that fast, without a year’s worth of focus groups, expensive outside consultants, and a fight that splits the city 33 ways from Sunday?

It takes some imagining, doesn’t it? But at least Little Rock got in the game this time, if too late to save the Travs. That was encouraging. And the mayor and city manager were in there swinging in the bottom of the ninth, when Pat Hays took the mound to close it out.

Call it a moral victory for Little Rock. But score it another big W for the can-do mayor.
This story was published Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Copyright © 2005, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved.This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc.

Former State Treasurer Jimmie Lou Fisher Comes Aboard

Former Arkansas State Treasurer and past gubernatorial candidate Jimmie Lou Fisher and her nephew Taylor recently visited the USS Razorback. Fisher introduced Bill Clinton to the world on the night he announced he was running for president.

Here they are are shown enjoying a break sitting on the Captain's bunk in "O" country.

Ms. Fisher was amazed at the size and complexity of the submarine. Her nephew pronounced his tour, "hot but awesome and I can't wait to get to Wild River Country!"

Monday, July 04, 2005

Old Glory and the Turkish Flag

Some have asked why the Turkish flag flies alongside Old Glory atop the Razorback. After the Razorback left the U.S. Navy in 1970, she was transferred to Turkey where she served as the TCG Muratreis until 2001 when she was decommissioned in Turkey and transferred to the City of North Little Rock. The Razorback/Muratreis served both countries with distinction to become the longest continuing serving submarine in history. You can see information related to her stay in Turkey by visiting our Maritime Museum Building in North Little Rock.

Razorback Sailors Issuing a Report

Former Razorback sailors Roger A. Lyle, QM1 (SS) USNR (ret) and Herschel Holtman, RM2 (SS) chat with Jim Barnes of AIMM (Jim served aboard the Diodon) and another Razorback sailor, Jim Franks EM3, after they came topside from a long awaited visit. Lyle, of Texas, and Holtman of Pennsylvania both visited on 4 July 2005. Franks resides in Hot Springs Village and is a member of the USSVI Razorback Base.

The Razorback Awaits her Visitors

The USS Razorback flies her holiday flag and sits patiently this morning awaiting her Independence Day Visitors. Our doors open today at noon and we will remain open until 6 PM. Thanks for your continued support.

To view a 20 minute special on the Razorback which aired on WB42 locally, simply click on the title of this post.

Hello and Welcome

Hello to all and welcome to our new Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum blog. This will be a quick way to update information about the USS Razorback and the USS Hoga and the happenings at the maritime center in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Currently we are touring the USS Razorback from 10 until 6 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and from 1 until 6 on Sundays.

We will be open on July 4th from noon until 6.

Feel free to utilize this board by leaving comments and requests. We will look at the comments each day and may post them as an upfront article.

Welcome Aboard!