You might be surprised to learn that you can tour a real, floating submarine in a land-locked state like Arkansas but it’s true.
The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum doesn’t just have a “boat or two,” they’ve two historic vessels bookending World War II! Both the USS Hoga and the USS Razorback are here.
The USS Hoga is a tugboat that was instrumental during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Not only did the vessel rescue sailors and fight fires, it also pushed the sinking USS Nevada to safety, preventing it from blocking the narrow channel. The Hoga spent 72 continuous hours fighting fires on that infamous day and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
The USS Razorback, on the other hand, was in Tokyo Bay during the formal surrender of Japan. The Razorback conducted 5 combat patrols during World War II and saw plenty of action. She sank enemy vessels, captured POWs, and rescued shot down American pilots. The Razorback was one of only 12 submarines selected to be in Tokyo Bay during the Japanese surrender.
Visiting the Museum
Visitors to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum can tour the USS Razorback and experience some of what it was like to be a submariner.
The USS Razorback has been kept 90 percent operational for as authentic an experience as possible. Of course, authenticity means you’ll enter the sub via a climb down a 14-foot ladder … so don’t be surprised!
A tour of the USS Razorback will immerse you in the sights, sounds, and, yes, smells of a submarine. You’ll come to understand what it must have been like to sail on such a vessel.
Don’t worry if you’re unable to make the climb down into the USS Razorback, though. The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum has more to offer!
Along with the famous sub, there is also the famous tugboat, USS Hoga to visit. While this vessel is currently undergoing safety inspections, it will soon be open to the public.
Other museum exhibits include the battleship USS Arkansas (BB-33), and the missile cruiser USS Arkansas (CGN-41). The museum library contains extensive materials on U.S. naval and general military history, the Vietnam War, and the history of maritime piracy. There is also a collection from the Arkansas River Historical Society about the history of the Arkansas River.
The North Shore Riverwalk around the museum has memorials dedicated to two lost submarines: the USS Snook and the USS Scorpion. A Peace Garden nearby allows for a quiet place to contemplate a world that doesn’t need warships.
Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum
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