We went on an adventure today to the USS Silversides 236 Submarine Museum in Muskegon, Michigan silversidesmuseum.org. This is a self guided tour. It was really interesting to be able to step on a submarine that was in battle during WWII. It is the most famous submarine from WWII. This submarine sank more than 30 Japanese vessels and damaged more than 14 and took down more tonnage than other surviving submarine from WWII.
I was amazed at how small all the areas were. It was hard to believe that they only had a tiny locker to keep all of their belongings in and some of them even had to share a bed. As we were going along the submarine, I just kept thinking how in the world did these guys not crack their heads open going from area to another. The doorways are small are raised and if they were in a hurry, they would definitely have to be watching what they were doing. I wasn’t in any hurry and I was nervous about hitting my head or tripping as I was going through the doorway.
We were able to see the both the forward and after torpedo rooms. In the forward torpedo room, there were actually bunks for the crewmen that worked in that area to sleep on. They even had a replica of the torpedo that the submarine carried in the forward torpedo room for us to see.
As we continued down the submarine, we came to the forward battery compartment. This area contained the pantry, ward room, officers staterooms, and the ship’s office was. One of the many interesting facts that we learned was that in the ward area, they actually performed an appendectomy. Could you imagine having your appendix taken out in the ward area of the submarine? I don’t think I would want to have experienced that!
Next, we saw the control room, conning tower, after battery compartment,the forward and after engine room, the maneuvering room, and then finally the after torpedo room. Of course, we kept having to remind my husband that he was NOT allowed to play with any of the buttons, knobs, dials, switches, levers, or wheels. He was so excited to look at everything and it was such a temptation to touch everything. I am glad to say, he obeyed all the rules and didn’t touch a thing. Sarah was really good about reminding him about NOT touching things.
After leaving the submarine, we went inside to look through the museum. The information was so informative and we learned to so much. They had a timeline of the first attacks on Pearl Harbor and pictures of the ships that were sunk in the attack. They even had German uniforms to look at as well as what a POW might have been served if they had been taken prisoner during the war.
I’m so glad that we took the time to see the submarine and the museum. It helps to remind us how the brave men served during WWII and to also remind us that lives were lost.
We need to remember that freedom comes with a price and that price is the lives of the brave men and women that have fought for us and continue to fight for us today.
The next time you see a solider, take a minute and thank them for their service.