USS Flier (SS-250)
Great Lakes Naval Memorial &
Host of the Memorial Ceremony
A memorial ceremony for the men of USS Flier was held at the
Great Lakes Naval Memorial & Museum in Muskegon, Michigan, on
August 12-13, 2010, the 66th Anniversary of the loss of the vessel.
The Great Lakes Naval Memorial & Museum (GLNMM) is the home of the
historic World War II submarine, USS Silversides (SS-236), the highest-scoring American
boat of the War still in existence. USS Silversides is a GATO
Class Fleet Submarine, as was USS Flier, and maintains her World War II
configuration and appearance.
USS Silversides, Muskegon, Michigan
Photo courtesy of Great
Lakes Naval Memorial & Museum
Already a key
player as one of Muskegon County's tourism attractions, Great Lakes
Naval Memorial and Museum is proud of the new 16,500 square foot
facility dedicated in June of 2009 as the Robert G. Morin, Sr.
Facility. Located on the south side of the Muskegon Channel and the
north end of beautiful Pere Marquette Park, GLNMM is a fitting tribute
for all who have served are serving the naval and maritime traditions of
enhanced with artifacts tell the story of World War II, the submarine's
critical role in that combat, and how science and technology was
advanced from those military efforts. Wall murals enter WWII at the
bombing of Pearl Harbor. From the gathering storm of 1919 – 1940 to the
time line during WWII, learn how the Pacific War leaders lead the
world. Learn about Passive Sonar and Active Sonar, Periscopes, and how
Submarines Dive and Surface. Explore the Depths of the Ocean. Continue
your journey through the Cold War and read about nuclear SILVERSIDES,
Relax in the
seventy-two seat theater which features a 25 minute video presentation
“Days of Infamy” created by Dr. Steve Demos, a museum board member. The
film plays off of President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech to Congress in
the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It tells the history
of the war and of USS SILVERSIDES’ involvement in the South Pacific
Shop in the
Museum Store and find the perfect souvenir for everyone on your list.
Choose from books, posters, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, lapel pins,
Michigan products, toys, games, and military memorabilia. Sample the
many flavors of fudge made fresh at GLNMM. Museum staff will package
everything for your trip home.
GLNMM is a
major destination and offers tours aboard USS SILVERSIDES, a WWII
submarine, and USCGC McLANE, a 1927 Coast Guard Cutter. We invite you
to climb aboard and immerse yourself into the past. Explore the decks
and compartments and experience firsthand what it was like to serve on
board these military vessels.
SILVERSIDES, SS236, was built at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in
Vallejo, California. Her keel was laid on November 4, 1940. She was
launched in August of 1941 and commissioned as a U.S. submarine on
December 15, 1941, eight days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
SILVERSIDES made a total of fourteen combat war patrols and was
considered a very lucky boat, having only one casualty throughout her
four years of active service. She ranked third in number of ships sank
and fifth in tonnage. SILVERSIDES sank 30 Japanese vessels and damaged
14. For outstanding and aggressive performance during four patrols,
SILVERSIDES was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. Additionally she
earned the Navy Commendation Ribbon with 12 battle stars. Silversides
rescued two pilots that were shot down during the war off the coast of
Japan during the 14th war patrol. Additionally, SILVERSIDES
destroyed 16 mines between the 13th and 14th
In October of
1947, SILVERSIDES became a Naval Reserve Training vessel berthed at
Chicago, Illinois. SILVERSIDES was stricken from Naval Register in 1969
and sat idle at Navy Pier in Chicago until she fell into a state of
extreme disrepair. In 1972, just a short time before she was scheduled
to be scrapped, SILVERSIDES was transferred to a Chicago volunteer group
dedicated to her restoration. SILVERSIDES was forced to leave Navy Pier
in 1985. A group headed by Robert G. Morin, Sr. proposed to move the
boat to Muskegon for completion of the restoration, and final Navy
approval was granted in 1987. USS SILVERSIDES arrived in Muskegon on
August 7, 1987.
McLane was built by the American Brown Boveri Electric Company in
Camden, New Jersey in 1927 at a cost of $63,173. She was launched March
22, 1927 and was commissioned April 8, 1927. McLANE served 41 years and
was decommissioned December 31, 1968. She was sold to the Marine
Navigation and Training Association, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois on
November 14, 1969. Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum acquired her
in 1993. McLANE is 125 feet long, giving her, and the rest of her
class, the nickname of “Buck and a Quarter” ships.
McLANE is one
of 33 sister ships in the Active Patrol Boat Class authorized by
President Calvin Coolidge’s administration as part of this country’s
efforts to enforce the Volstead Act, also known as Prohibition. She was
built to intercept the smugglers and to confiscate and destroy the
contact boats and their cargo. Because of this, it was not long before
the Coast Guard Cutters got the nickname “Rum Chasers.”
From 1928 to
1931 McLANE was assigned to San Pedro, California where she participated
in the Bearing Sea Patrol. She was transferred to Panama City,
Florida in 1935. The following year she was transferred again,
this time to Curtis Bay, Maryland where she was station through 1939
undergoing numerous refits between patrols. Prohibition ended on
December 5, 1933. When WWII began, the role of the Active Class Cutters changed
dramatically. They were given the designation “WSC” which stood for
“sub chaser” and were assigned to coastal waters to prevent enemy subs
from entering harbors.
November 1, 1941, McLANE began to operate as part of the US Navy. She
was re-named USS McLANE and was stationed in Ketchikan, Alaska from 1941
to 1945. The mission was to keep sharp surveillance of the area. For
her service during WWII, McLANE earned the following battle awards:
American-Defense Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, National
Defense Service Medal and one bronze battle star, American Area Campaign
Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
McLANE is proudly berthed in Muskegon, Michigan along with USS
SILVERSIDES, a National Historic Landmark.
An exhibit on USS Flier is
being readied for display in the museum.