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WWII Submarine to Become Arkansas Museum

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  • WWII Submarine to Become Arkansas Museum

    courtesy of the Guardian

    WWII Submarine to Become Arkansas Museum

    Sunday June 20, 2004 9:16 PM


    Associated Press Writer

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The USS Razorback, a World War II submarine that is the world's longest-serving sub, is back in U.S. water, starting a voyage up the Mississippi River to become an inland museum in Arkansas.

    The Navy decommissioned the 312-foot vessel on Nov. 30, 1970, and handed it over to the Turkish navy, which recently agreed after two-and-a-half years of negotiations to sell it to North Little Rock, Ark., for $1.

    ``This has never been done before - bringing a submarine back to the U.S.,'' said John Adams, a retired U.S. Navy officer and the project manager of the operation.

    The rusty, barnacled Razorback entered the Mississippi on Saturday, towed by the same oceangoing tugboat that has been with it since its departure from Istanbul on May 5, and docked in New Orleans.

    In about two and a half weeks, it is scheduled to get underway again, pushed up the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers by tugboat to North Little Rock, where it will become the centerpiece of a planned maritime museum.

    Submarine veterans in decorated vests and caps snapped photographs as it came upriver.

    ``It really looks good. It's like going back home when you look at that thing,'' said Edward Monroe-Jones, a submarine historian and author of a history of the Razorback. He served on the Razorback for seven months as a seaman in 1953.

    The Razorback, also known as the SS-394, was launched in 1944 and took part in the surrender of Japan on Sept. 2, 1945, in Tokyo Bay. It was awarded five battle stars during World War II and four during the Vietnam War.

    After World War II, the Razorback was streamlined and became a ``GUPPY,'' the acronym for Greater Underwater Propulsion Power vessel.

    ``They hopped them up, just like we did with our Model A's back in the 1940s and 1950s,'' Monroe-Jones said.

    Max Bassett was the only veteran who made the entire trip from Turkey.

    ``How many guys who are 69 years old get a chance to do this?'' Bassett said. He was a machinist and engineer on the Razorback from 1959 to 1962, and was in the engine room when the Razorback was involved in hydrogen bomb tests at Christmas Island.

    During the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, the vessel picked up an extra passenger, an injured bird that Bassett and other crew members fed.

    ``He just crash landed on the deck one night - the night we left Gibraltar,'' Bassett said.

    ``Hopefully he'll make it on to Arkansas,'' Bassett said. ``He's free, he's wild, he comes and goes.''


    On the Net:

    North Little Rock Maritime Museum:
    All your ACG posts are belong to us!

  • #2
    Excellent news.

    Soviet and Canadian medal collector!


    • #3
      There is a WW2 submarine here in Wisconsin also that you can tour. The USS Cobia is at the maritime museum in Manitowoc. Or if you are in the Chicago area you can tour the German sub U-505 at the Museum of Science and Industry.


      • #4
        Ubiquitous link to ACG Submarine Museum photo-tour by yours-truly:

        Royal Navy Submarine Museum

        Here you will see photos of HMS Alliance - RN Submarine of WWII vintage that is sat out of the water and is a tourable exhibit.

        Dr. S.
        Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.


        • #5
          USS Razorback is now as Arkansas musuem.

          I will likely will check it out sometime later, including with pictures and stories (Maybe) and it took a little while to into Arkansas, but it's in Arkansas waters now.


          • #6
            Well done, Razorback. welcome home.
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?


            • #7
              Little Special Add on:

              WWII Tugboat To Be Officially Given To NLR



              • #8
                Originally posted by Tiger1
                There is a WW2 submarine here in Wisconsin also that you can tour. The USS Cobia is at the maritime museum in Manitowoc. Or if you are in the Chicago area you can tour the German sub U-505 at the Museum of Science and Industry.

                Wow! Outstanding! The "Manitowoc Boats" were known throughout the fleet as some of the best constructed submarines that the U.S. built in WW II. They were much more sturdily constructed than other boats of their class, that were built in East Coast shipyards.
                "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"


                • #9

                  I had a thread in the Battlefields Museum section for both the U505 and the USS Cobia (Wisconsin Maritime Museum) maybe its time I reopen them.

                  "History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." Dwight D. Eisenhower


                  • #10
                    USS Razorback update.....


                    I still got plans to go there this end of the summer and I will take a lot of pics


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