Thursday, October 27, 2005

Two Big Parts of American History Side By Side

The Razorback can be seen resting at her temporary sub base awaiting completion of her permanent mooring site in the North Little Rock Maritime Center. In the foreground is one of several narrative signs explaining the history of the area where the sub is moored. It seems the site sits on the location that was used to move Native Americans along the "Trail of Tears". This is right along the Millenium Trail in North Little Rock's Riverfront Park. Posted by Picasa

AIMM Volunteer and WW II USS Lexington sailor Shorty Hagerman (left) presents USS Razorback caps to Pearl Harbor survivors (from left) Larry Herrea, Aaron Jenkins and Mike Carmicheal on their recent visit to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum. It was our pleasure and privilege to host the Pearl survivors and their families.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Clarence Huffman, Former Crewman (1946-47), Visits

Clarence Huffman, from Mt. Airy, NC, recently visited USS Razorback.

Mr. Huffman, a crewman from 1946-47, was a Gunner's Mate "Striker", meaning he was a Seaman (E-3) who was attempting to earn a promotion to E-4 (Gunner's Mate Third Class) (Yes, Navy ranks and rates can be confusing, but take notes, there WILL be a test...)

Mr. Huffman's primary duty post as Forward Planesman, and here is a picture of him at his post:

Mr. Huffman was aboard Razorback when she became the first US warship since 1917 (and the first ever American Submarine) to visit Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He said that over 5,000 people visited the submarine during the weekend she was open for public tours.

Mr. Huffman very kindly donated four photographs from his personal collection. Two of the photographs show Razorback in drydock in Pearl Harbor, HI. This photo shows Seaman Huffman on deck:

Other photographs show details of one of the 40mm gun mounts and Razorback's aft deck, including her after 5" gun.

Mr. Huffman also donated a USS Razorback cruise book and an original patch.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

AIMM Featured in SEA CLASSICS Magazine

The November 2005 issue of Sea Classics magazine features a short article about the transfer of USS Hoga to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.

Entitled "It's Official: Historic Pearl Harbor Tug Hoga Goes to Little Rock, Arkansas, Maritime Museum", the article is the lead item in the "Now Hear This!" segment of the magazine, a regular feature that covers significant Naval and Martime events around the world.

The article, on page 6, details the formal transfer ceremony on July 28, discusses Hoga's proud history and national significance and also features two photographs of Hoga - one of her fighting the fires aboard USS Nevada and a second photo showing her during her career as a fireboat for the Port of Oakland, CA.

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

Sea Classics is published monthly by Challenge Publications and is available by subscription or at your local book store.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Danish Navy and Marines Have Landed

Greg Stitz, center grey shirt, prepares to take members of the Royal Danish Navy and some Danish Marines into the Razorback. The Danes were here particpating in a shooting competition at Camp Robinson. One of the sailors who serves on a sub said they used an M-4 carbine in their shooting since, "it is short and fits easily into a submarine." Thanks for dropping by. Posted by Picasa

How'd They Do That?

Here's how the move upriver looked from atop the Broadway Bridge which spans the Arkansas River between North Little Rock and Little Rock. (John Jones Photo) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A boy and his grandpa--

AIMM volunteer Johnny Studdard (r red hat) and his 5 year old grandson Joshua Tate-Lee of Sardis, Arkansas watch as Shorty Hagerman (l red hat) discusses moving the gangway with some CNLR street department men. Joshua had just ridden in the sail while underway. His grandpa said, "He was a hand full but loved every minute of it, and wore me out."

What do you want to bet that Josh will never forget the day he rode a submarine with his granddaddy? I suspect he'll tell that story for years to come.

The move was accomplished in grand fashion without a hitch due to the combined efforts of all involved.

A photo upload with all the photos from move day is available by going to:

This file is large and unless you have hi-speed we don't suggest an attempt to download. It will be available for about 5 more days.

The View From the Stern on the Move--

A photo from the Aft Torpedo Room hatch on the way upriver on Monday. The Tug Harry L. Hastings is off the port side and the NLR Service Barge 1 is moored starboard. The Barge will serve as temporary boarding barge while the Razorback awaits final mooring. (CNLR Mayor's Office Photo)

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Tug M/V Cole eases the 394 into her temporary dock.

Today the USS Razorback was moved upriver about a 1000 yards so that the permanent mooring can be placed at the Maritime Center. Work should take 60 days or so. Tours will continue on Saturdays from 10 until dusk and Sundays from 1:00 until dusk. Parking will be at the current location or in the empty lot just west of the Riverfront Wyndham. The Museum Building is still in the same location and is open during tour hours. For more information contact the museum at 501-371-8320 or email or .

Friday, October 07, 2005

Sundown from the Forward Torpedo Room Hatch- Photo by: John C. Jones

80? Are you sure Chief?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Important Notice

For more information contact: AR Inland Maritime Museum at (501) 371-8320

USS Razorback to Make Temporary Move

The USS Razorback Submarine will make a temporary move on or around October 12 to the Corps of Engineers Landing located in the North Shore Riverwalk just east of the Broadway Bridge. This site is about 200 yards up-river of her current location. Parking will remain at the current location.

The move will allow contractors to install footings at her current location to permit the barges Savannah Lou and Mary Munns to be moored. The addition of the barges will allow for the expansion of the North Shore Maritime Center, home of the USS Razorback and Arkansas Queen Riverboat.

The USS Razorback will be displaced for up to three months, however tours will continue at her temporary home at the North Shore Riverwalk. Tour hours are Saturdays, 10 a.m. until dusk and Sundays from 1 p.m. until dusk.

For more information, call the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum at (501) 371-8320 or e-mail:

Sunday, October 02, 2005

About that submarine ... (From the Arkansas Times)

Every once in awhile I have criticized the Razorback submarine that the
mayor of North Little Rock brought to his city. I wrote that there were many
more important things that the city needed. And I have never seen or written
a good word about the Imax theater that the town's aviation big-shots built
close to the Little Rock airport. I thought it ought to be in downtown
Little Rock. After all, no one boarding or leaving a plane is going to have
the time to see a movie.

Well, I've sort of changed my mind.

For the first time in 16 years I have had a 4-year-old boy in my

house whom we wanted to entertain. His name is Benjamin McCord, our grandson
who lives in Austin, Texas.

Anyway, after a week of taking walks, watching videos and playing with toys,
his grandmother and I had to start looking for other things he could see and
enjoy. Naturally, we took him to watch the Travelers play in War Memorial
Park, but he wasn't too excited about that because his mother and father
take him to ball games all the time in Round Rock, Texas (besides that's
triple-A, not double-A ball). And anyway, the game got into extra innings -
and the Travelers lost.

Ben likes trucks and always points out the big ones when we are driving. My
wife's nephew who lives near Pinnacle Mountain is an independent driver who
takes his huge rig all over the country. Luckily, he was in town for a few
days rest so we took Ben out to see his truck, and he got to crawl all over
it, much to his delight.

Ben also likes trains. So I called a friend who works for the Union Pacific
to see if I could drive Ben into the huge, 24-hour-a-day hump yard in North
Little Rock and let him go up in the tower and watch freight trains be
assembled. But my friend informed me that since 9-11 the government hasn't
allowed visitors to go into these yards because of fear of terrorists.

So I took Ben to the Little Rock Zoo one afternoon. He liked that for a
while, but it was so hot that day that the animals were asleep under trees
and bushes. So we didn't get to see very many, and he really didn't like the
snakes in the cages inside the buildings. I didn't either. One of them was
15 feet long.

The next day my wife mentioned the submarine in North Little Rock, which is
open to visitors Saturday and Sunday on the bank of the Arkansas River. She
thought Ben would like it, and besides that, she also wanted to see it. I
tried to talk her out of it since it was such a hot day, but we went.

The USS Razorback was built for our World War II Navy in 1944 and did its
duty chasing and attacking enemy ships. In 1970 it was sold to the Turkish
Navy, and in March 2004 North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays bought it largely
because its name was USS Razorback. Of course, the submarine was named for
an ocean creature rather than the University of Arkansas football team, but
what did that matter to a UA alumnus like the mayor?

Every group gets a deck hand to take them through the 311-foot submarine to
explain what you see and to tell the sub's history. Our deck hand was Brian
Thomas, a 20-year-old college student, and I was glad to have him when I saw
that we had to climb straight down into the sub on a 12-foot ladder and
climb straight up on a 14-foot one to get out. Brian put his arms around Ben
and helped him do his ladder work. Walking through the different
compartments was most interesting, and Ben was fascinated.

The next morning I accidentally saw the Imax's much-too-tiny ad in the daily
paper, saying that it was not only presenting movies but also films and
lectures in the "EpiSphere" (a planetarium). So on Ben's last day with us,
we found ourselves leaning back in our seats looking up at a film made by
the astronauts during their space explorations. This was followed by an
uncomplicated and beautiful film of all the planets. Then we were treated to
an interesting showing and explanation of the stars we would see that night
in Little Rock, a talk made by Pam Shireman, the director of the EpiSphere.
Ben listened and never took his eyes off the planetarium.

I think almost any kid would like to walk through a boat that could take him
to the bottom of the sea and then the next day see all the stars and planets
high in the sky. Ben really liked it. And so did his grandparents.

Originally published 29 September, 2005 in the Arkansas Times