Author Topic: Muskegon's USS Silversides submarine: Stay overnight amid history  (Read 10681 times)


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Nice Article on the Silversides

MUSKEGON, Mich. -- Oh, the stories a WWII submarine could tell -- especially the USS Silversides at the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum in Muskegon.

Imagine being able to get inside a historic wartime submarine and experience what it must have been like to sail a sub trolling the waters of the South Pacific 60-plus years ago.

Today, children, adults and groups who opt to stay overnight onboard, get a rare glimpse inside the USS Silversides at the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum in Muskegon. The submarine is one of the main draws at this unique maritime museum.

"People of all ages find out new things they never knew anything about it," says Cathy Morin, the museum's assistant director. "When you combine history, ships, oceans and underwater spy adventures, it's a hypnotic combination."

In addition, Morin says one of the museum's goals is to educate people about travel on the world's waterways, including the Great Lakes.

In the deep

Named for a small fish of the same name, the Silversides once slid beneath the surface of some of the most dangerous waters in the world.

Come aboard the historic sub, and you'll find it's easy to imagine yourself a member of the long-ago crew. Take a deep breath, and you still can smell the faint aroma of diesel fuel once used during wartime ventures.

Silversides was a master at hiding in deep, dark, waters, far away from enemy ships. Even so, in the 1940s, large ships were not always easily identifiable with that era's available technology. Silversides was one of the U.S. Navy's top fighting ships, but she was operating before computers, cell phones and the Internet.

The story of Silversides started in 1941, eight days after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. She was put into action in the Pacific fleet of U.S. ships. It was here she roamed the waters of enemy shipping lanes on the East China Sea.

Because of her perilous duty, she earned the nickname, "the Lucky Boat." Miraculously, only one person, a torpedo man, was killed in action. That came about during the ship's first war patrol.

Silversides was credited with sinking or damaging war targets on 14 war patrols during WWII.

When the war was over, the submarine was used as a training boat in the Chicago area. Today, she is shipshape, since she last was refurbished in 1945.

If you tire of taking in the submarine's life story, move back a couple of decades and find out what a bootlegger ship is all about.

The museum also features the USCGC McLane, an authentic 1927 Prohibition-era vessel used to scout out the illegal sale and transportation of alcohol during the Roaring '20s.

Sleep on a sub

Not everyone can say they've slept on a sub.

Find out what it feels like to be assigned to a designated sleeping area, have a red "battle lighting" left on for your night light or have "down-the-hatch" evening snacks.

"Guests who spend the night can walk the decks, take command of the bridge, eat in the galley and sleep in the same berths that brave sailors did long ago," Morin says.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke