As a landlocked destination, Arkansas is an unexpected location for a maritime museum, but history has come to life on the banks of the Arkansas River in the city of North Little Rock where a decommissioned World War II United Sates Navy tugboat and submarine are available for tours and events. These vessels are among the most unique in Arkansas and offer event attendees an experience they'll never forget.
USS Razorback Submarine
USS Razorback, a Balao-class submarine of the Sandlance variant, was built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. Her keel was laid on 09 September, 1943. Razorback was constructed in Drydock #1 at the shipyard, and she was launched, along with two sister ships (USS Redfish (SS 395) and USS Ronquil (SS 396)) on 27 January, 1944. USS Scabbardfish (SS 397) was also launched at the shipyard that day. This was the largest single-day launch of US submarines in history. Razorback conducted five combat patrols during World War II, sinking Japanese vessels, capturing Japanese POWs and rescuing American pilots who had been shot down. At the end of WWII, she was one of only 12 submarines selected to be present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrender was signed.
(YT-146) is best known for her actions during the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. Getting underway within 10 minutes after the first Japanese bombs fell, she went to work rescuing sailors in the water, fighting fires, and pulling ships out of harm's way. Hoga
pulled the repair ship USS Vestal
away from USS Arizona
's burning hull, assisted the damaged minesweeper USS Oglala
and the battleship USS Nevada
. She fought fires on the Nevada
as well as the battleships USS Maryland
, USS Tennessee,
and USS Arizona
. In all, Hoga
spent 72 continuous hours fighting fires. Hoga
is most recognized for pushing the sinking USS Nevada to safety and preventing her from blocking the narrow channel. For her work, Hoga
, her commanding officer, and his crew received a commendation from ADM Chester A. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet.
On July 28, 2005, the United States Navy officially transferred USS Hoga
to the City of North Little Rock. On November 23, 2015, Hoga
arrived at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in North Little Rock, Arkansas.