Friday, December 26, 2008

Passing of "Shorty" Hagerman

Herman E. “Shorty” Hagerman

February 24, 1927 – December 26, 2008

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Shorty Hagerman. Shorty apparently had a heart attack about 5 a.m. today.

Although Shorty sailed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-16) during WWII, he was a very strong supporter of the Razorback Base and AIMM. He was our “master-of-arms” at AIMM and was often the first person to the barge in the morning getting the coffee ready.

Shorty joined USSVI in September 2004. He was a LIFE member of both USSVI and the Razorback Base. He was a World War II veteran, and, I believe, a plank owner on the USS Lexington Association. He served 1943-1945 as an ABM 2/C (Aviation Boatswain's Mate). He saw action in most of the major Pacific battles. Shorty was a great storyteller, and generally took little urging. He usually wore his Arkansas Championship Bull Rider belt buckle.

Shorty loved his motorcycles, including the trike he last had. He was active in Rolling Thunder, serving as a board member and chaplain. Shorty also quite often rode with the Patriot Guard.

We loved Shorty and will miss him.

The Patriot Guard Riders have set up a page on their website for anyone to post messages about Shorty.

Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday

Roller-Owens Funeral Home

5509 John F. Kennedy Blvd.

North Little Rock
, AR 72116


Service Tuesday 10 a.m. at Funeral Home

Interment will be at:

Forest Hills Cemetery
10200 Highway 5 N.

, AR 72002

Phone: (501) 455-1067

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Naval History Magazine Now Available at the Museum Store

Published by the United States Naval Institute, Naval History is the world's preeminent naval and maritime history magazine.

Each bimonthly issue, illuminated with dramatic photography and fine art, features new historical discoveries, insightful essays, scholarly analyses, interviews with notable naval veterans and historians, book reviews, and firsthand accounts by the people who participated in our naval triumphs and tragedies.

Naval History covers your maritime heritage with the authority and high style expected of all U.S. Naval Institute publications.

Individual issues are $5 each. The current issue is the February 2009 issue.

(Cover image courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute)

Friday, December 05, 2008

ENS Rodney Foss Remembered

While doing the research for the Pearl Harbor exhibit, "This is War" in 2006, we discovered that two of the Arkansans that had been killed during the Pearl Harbor attack later had ships named after them.

However, we couldn't find much information beyond their names and a minimal amount of biographical information.

Thanks to Sheila Lampkin with the Drew County Historical Museum, we now have a picture and more information about one of these men, Ensign Rodney Shelton Foss.

Ensign Foss was born in Monticello, AR on 17 August, 1919 to George R. and Linnie Shelton Foss. He was born at the home of his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Shelton, on Main Street between the railroad tracks and the Drew County Courthouse. (This site is now occupied by a park and other buildings).

Soon thereafter, the family moved to Pine Bluff, AR, where Rodney's father was a sales representative for the Parke-Davis Drug Co. Rodney did return to Monticello during his youth to visit relatives. At least one close cousin remembers him fondly.

Rodney graduated from Pine Bluff High School, then attended the University of Arkansas and Louisana State University before deciding to enter the military. Rodney enlisted in the U.S. Navy on 05 September, 1940 and received training at Northwester University in Chicago, IL before being commissioned as an Ensign.

On the morning of 07 December, 1941, Ensign Foss was trying to help get planes out of their hangers at Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station when he was killed by machinegun fire from an attacking Japanese airplane.

Ensign Foss' body was returned to Monticello and he is interred in Oakland Cemetary.

Ensign Foss was posthumously awarded a Commendation, a Pacific Fleet medal, and a Purple Heart.

USS Foss (DE-59) was named in his honor and was christened by his mother on 13 April, 1943 at the shipyards in Birmingham, MA. A younger brother, Charles Foss, of Baton Rouge, LA remembers the trip north for the christening very well.

USS Foss was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and served in support of the Normandy invasion during World War II. She later served during the Korean War, earing a battle star and served off Cape Canaveral, FL during rocket tests.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pearl Harbor Day

December 7th, 2008, is the 67th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In that attack, over 2,000 American servicemen and women lost their lives.

AIMM recently updated its exhibit on the Pearl Harbor attack, titled “This is War! - USS Hoga and the Pearl Harbor Attack”

The title is taken from a member of USS Hoga’s crew that day. Many Arkansans lost their lives during the attack. In fact, an Arkansan may have been the first American killed in the attack.

For more information about his story and the attack, please come visit AIMM and see the new exhibit.

The U.S. Naval Historical Center Pearl Harbor webpage has extensive resources about the Pearl Harbor attack, including:

  • Oral Histories from survivors

  • Photographs

  • Teacher Lesson Plans

We ask that all our visitors take a moment to remember the men and women lost that day, as well as our military men and women on duty around the world, and to keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers today.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

New Submarine Models in the Museum Store

The AIMM Museum Store is now carrying a line of 1/700 scale model submarines, including a kit that can be built to show how USS Razorback appeared when she was first commissioned in 1944.

These submarines have excellent detail and are reasonably easy to assemble. They are, however, quite small. For example, the 1/700 Los Angeles class model is only 6" long.

We carry the following kits:

USS Gato (SS-212) 1941 Version (pre-war):

USS Balao (SS-285)

USS Los Angeles (SSN-688):
USS San Francisco (SSN-711):
USS Seawolf (SSN-21):
USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23):We even carry a few foreign submarines:

Russian Oscar-class SSGN:

Russian Typhoon class SSBN:

These models sell for $7.00 each in the museum store.