Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Goodbye Kodachrome

We don't normally comment about non-submarine news, but this is one item that seems worthy of note.

The last place to process Kodak Kodachrome film is closing.

You can read the story on the New York Times website.

Kodak quit manufacturing the film, used by both professional and amateur photographers (and celebrated in song) last year, citing declining demand in the face of the explosion of digital photography.

Here at AIMM, we have scanned MANY photographs taken by Razorback sailors on Kodachrome film, and of course, many more taken in black and white (and with excellent skill). We're thankful that photography advanced enough after World War II to make it affordable for the average submarine sailor to be able to afford to buy cameras and film and take lots of photos...

Monday, December 27, 2010

New in the Library - Book Featuring RAZORBACK Sailors

McFarland Publishing
has just released a new book, titled Food in the American Military - A History. Written by John and Carol Fisher, it covers the entire gamut of ways and means for feeding men under arms, both in the field and in the barracks. Each chapter is devoted to a particular conflict or era, and the food practices of each service are examined within the context of that era.

An entire section is devoted to food preparation in the submarine service. Razorback cooks Maurice Barksdale and Mark Marmon were both interviewed about their experience about cooking for diesel submarine crews underway in the 1960s. AIMM staff member Joe Mathis was also interviewed about his more recent experiences aboard nuclear submarines, but from the viewpoint of a crewmember being cooked for.

Particular attention is paid to both the technological advances and to the social pressures that changed military food over time. Drawing heavily on first-person accounts throughout the book, the Fishers have constructed an interesting and often compelling narrative.

AIMM will be ordering this book, so if you would like a copy, please let us know. Retail price for Food in the American Military - A History is $38.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

AIMM Closed Christmas Weekend

Although AIMM is normally open weekends, because Christmas Day falls on a Saturday this year, we will be closed the entire weekend in order to allow our staff to spend time with their families.

We will be open our regular hours on New Year's weekend, including New Year's Day.

We hope that everyone has a safe and joyous time during this season.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

NPR Story - Research Sub ALVIN to get new hull and upgrades

The research submarine Alvin is about to leave active research for an 18-month upgrade and overhaul.

It has been in operation for 46 years, doing both scientific research in the deep ocean while remaining available to conduct deep-water missions for the U.S. Navy. Some of these missions are public, such as the search for, and ultimate recovery of a nuclear bomb in the waters off Palomares, Spain in 1966. Others remain classified.

Most recently, Alvin has been conducting research on the effects of the Gulf oil spill.

Alvin will return to service in 2012.

Image courtesy of NOAA.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New in the Library

Eight Survived by Douglas A. Campbell is the story of USS Flier (SS-250) and the eight men who survived her sinking.

On August 13, 1944, Flier struck a Japanese mine in the Balabac Strait, between modern-day Malaysia and the Philippines. Although the submarine sank in a matter of seconds, fifteen men somehow escaped. Unfortunately, many of these men were badly injured, and lacking any survival equipment, only eight managed to swim the approximately five miles to a nearby island.

These men were able to avoid capture by the Japanese, who were still occupying the Philippines and were actively patrolling, by both airplane and boat. They managed to make contact with a resistance group and were ultimately rescued by USS Redfin (SS-272).

They were the only men to survive the sinking of their submarine in enemy waters and avoid capture by the Japanese. (A small group of men survived the similar sinking of USS Robalo (SS-273) in the same area. They were known to have been captured and tortured by the Japanese, but they did not survive captivity.)

Eight Survived is published by Lyons Press and is available through your local bookstore, or online. Image courtesy of Lyons Press.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meet the Newest Member of the Crew - Cap'n Stormy!

Cap'n Stormy joined our gallant crew yesterday, courtesy of Fred Weilminster, USSVI Razorback Base member and WWII submarine veteran. Fred served aboard USS Pintado (SS-387) during World War II.

We want to thank Fred for his generous gift, and we'd like everybody to give Cap't Stormy a warm welcome.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

USS Arkansas (CGN-41) Exhibit Coming Soon

USS Arkansas (CGN-41) was the last ship to be named for the state. After she was decommissioned in 1998, parts of the vessel were removed for preservation. Of course, AIMM did not even exist at the time. One of her anchors is on display outside of the Craighead County Courthouse in the northeast part of the state. The other has been on display, along with a length of anchor chain, outside the museum for several years now. It can be seen even when the museum is closed, and is a popular backdrop for photographs.

This fall, we have been working to put several other artifacts on display, including the sternplate, the helm station, and the Captain's chair.

The sternplate has been properly preserved, repainted and has now been moved down to the museum for display. Once the weather warms back up, we will do some touch-up painting (including painting the letters black, like they should be).

The helm station and Captain's chair will be on display next to the sternplate. We will post more pictures as the exhibit progresses.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

KUAR Program About Pearl Harbor Now Available for Download

As an update, the audio of the show that aired on KUAR's "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" show on Tuesday, December 7th is now available for download.

The direct link to the audio file is here. It is a 40MB MP3 file, which can be played on your computer, or on most any portable device.

For more information about the show, go to the "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" page.

KUAR's home page is here.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Radio Show About Pearl Harbor

The radio show "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow", which offers perspectives on our world through the eyes of three different generations, will air a program about the Pearl Harbor attack. Greg Stitz, AIMM's Curator, participated in the program as a representative of the middle generation.

The show will air on the evening of December 7th at 7:00 p.m. It is broadcast on KUAR, 89.1FM, the public radio station for central Arkansas. It is also available as a podcast through ITunes.