Muskogee's USS Batfish Needs Major Repairs; Fundraiser Planned This Month
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - The USS Batfish in Muskogee needs major repairs after this year's flooding not only moved it, but damaged the inside and outside of the historic World War II submarine.
Now, the Muskogee War Memorial Park is hosting an upcoming fundraiser to help restore the boat to its former glory.
"All of us who work here, this is our life," Executive Director Brent Trout said. "This is what we dedicate ourselves to."
Trout said the spring floods wreaked havoc on the decades-old submarine.
"You can never be sure if a 75-year-old submarine is going to be waterproof or not," he said.
The old boat drifted across the park, and parts of the submarine leaked, letting a lot of water inside.
"Basically when it's a metal tube you're talking about, rust is the enemy, and 90 percent humidity is a rust environment," Trout said.
He said the boat is deteriorated all throughout, and although they've already put in around $70,000 making repairs, they're going to need a lot more than that.
"Our small organization cannot afford to fix the Batfish," he said.
Trout they're hoping the upcoming fundraiser at the Civic Center will help them on their way to raising around half a million dollars to build a new cradle and attach cables to the ship.
"We have to make sure for our future generations that it's put in a situation where the Batfish will never flood or float down the river again," Trout said.
It's a piece of history you can't find in many other places across the globe; that's why Trout said saving the Batfish is non-negotiable.
"We have to save this," he said. "Or we're going to lose a bunch of sacrifice by a bunch of brave Americans."
DATE: Nov. 22, 2019
WHERE: Muskogee Civic Center
TIME: 6-10 p.m., with happy hour starting at 5 p.m.
TICKETS: $40/single, $300/table
Visit mymuskogee.org for more info.