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   USS Flier (SS-250)

Great Lakes Naval Memorial & Museum
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 our nation. 

New exhibits 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, SSN-679.

GLNMM - Museum Floor 

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 Theater.

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. 

USS 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 patrol.

Silversides in World War II

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.

USCGC 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. 

USCGC McLane

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. 

As of 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.

Today, USCGC 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.   

 



 

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