Wednesday, September 09, 2009

In Memoriam - USS Grayling (SS-209) - Sunk 09 September 1943

USS Grayling (SS-209) was lost on her eight war patrol after having damaged a 6,000 ton freighter and sinking a small 250-ton tanker. She completed a special operation in the Philippines, delivering cargo to a group of guerrillas who were fighting the Japanese.

After the war it was learned that on 09 September, 1943, the Japanese transport Hokuan Maru, a passenger-cargo vessel of around 9,000 tons, reported a submarine in shallow water west of Luzon. She made a run over the area and, "noted an impact with a submerged object." This was in Grayling's patrol area. If any other Japanese attacks were made, the records did not survive the end of the war. Therefore, this most likely the cause of Grayling's loss.

Grayling received six battle stars for her World War II service.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

AIMM Returns to Fall Hours Soon

With the start of school, and as the days get shorter, AIMM is preparing to return to fall hours.

We will be open our regular schedule this week, through the holiday weekend, but starting Monday, September 8, we will return to our fall schedule:

  • Monday - Thursday - Closed
  • Friday - Open - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday - Open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday - Open 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Schools, churches and other groups wishing to schedule a group tour during the week are welcome to do so. The minimum group size is only 8 adults.

A special school rate is available to public, private, charter and even home-school groups.

Group tours can be scheduled by calling the museum office at 501-371-8320.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Unusual Sinking of Submarine U-28

During the First World War, it was typical for German submarines to use their deck guns to sink merchant vessels, rather than using torpedoes.

On 02 September, 1917, the small German submarine U-28, 971 tons displacement and only 212 feet long, attacked the British merchant ship Olive Branch, 4,649 tons.

The submarine fired torpedoes which only damaged the merchant ship, but did not sink her. So, the German submarine surfaced in order to use her deck guns to finish off her victim.

What the Captain and crew of U-28 did not know was that Olive Branch was carrying a full load of ammunition and the initial torpedo hit had started a fire in the cargo hold.

While the submarine was firing her deck guns, the ship's cargo exploded, sinking the submarine.

Some reports have said that the explosion was so severe that a truck was thrown into the air and came crashing down on the submarine. While this may not be true, there is no doubt that U-28 was sunk by the explosion of her victim.

There were no survivors from the submarine.

Source: Great Britain's National Maritime Museum: