USS RAZORBACKAs of this writing, the Arkansas Inland Maritme Museum has only one exhibit, and this is it. It's the U.S.S. Razorback. It was built in 1944 and served in the U.S. Navy until 1970, when it was sold to the Turkish navy, where it served until 2002 as TCG Murat Reis. That's a long service career for a ship built to last three years.

Two more ships have been acquired by the museum. One is a harbor tug, and right now it's in San Francisco waiting for the AIMM to arrange for it to be towed to its new home. The other is a destroyer tender, and is expected to be added to the collection this year.

The tour costs five bucks and takes maybe half an hour. It's a little claustrophobic as you might expect of a submarine tour, and there are lots of valves and pipes and things to bump your head on. In other words it's time well-spent. You'll be amazed to think that sixty to ninety men could live in such a confined space for months at a time.

The name Razorback is fortuitous. It refers to a species of South Pacific whale, not to the State's animal totem. A group of veteran submariners learned that the Turks were selling the sub. They acquired it with the intention of restoration and decided that Arkansas would be the best place to harbor a boat known as the Razorback.

Find the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum at Riverfront Park on the North Little Rock side of the river. 501-371-8320.


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