The USS Silversides Submarine Museum is located in Muskegon, Michigan, and is dedicated to preserving the history of the USS Silversides, a World War II-era submarine. The museum is located on the shore of Muskegon Lake, adjacent to the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum.
The USS Silversides was commissioned in December 1941, just days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was named after a small fish that is known for its ability to hide from predators. The submarine served in the Pacific Theater during World War II and was credited with sinking 23 enemy vessels, including several Japanese warships.
After the war, the USS Silversides was decommissioned and eventually sold for scrap. However, a group of Muskegon residents raised funds to purchase the submarine and bring it to Muskegon as a memorial to the sailors who served aboard her. The submarine arrived in Muskegon in August 1987 and was opened to the public as a museum the following year.
Today, the USS Silversides Submarine Museum features a tour of the USS Silversides itself, as well as exhibits and displays that highlight the history of submarines and their role in military conflicts. Visitors can see artifacts from the submarine's service, such as torpedoes, periscopes, and a replica of the "Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast," the flag that the submarine flew after sinking its first Japanese ship.
The museum also offers educational programs for students and hosts events throughout the year, including an annual Submarine Veterans Memorial Service. It is a popular attraction for visitors to Muskegon and a fitting tribute to the brave sailors who served aboard the USS Silversides during World War II.
- The USS Silversides was launched on August 26, 1941, just a few months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
- The submarine was initially assigned to the Pacific Fleet and began its first war patrol in January 1942.
- During its 14 war patrols, the USS Silversides sank a total of 23 enemy ships, including a Japanese aircraft carrier, a battleship, and several destroyers.
- The submarine also rescued 14 American airmen who had been shot down over the Pacific and were adrift at sea.
- After the war, the USS Silversides was used for training purposes before being decommissioned in 1946.
- The submarine was sold for scrap in 1947, but a group of Muskegon residents raised $250,000 to purchase the submarine and bring it to Muskegon as a memorial.
- The USS Silversides arrived in Muskegon on August 16, 1987, and was opened to the public as a museum in 1988.
- The museum has undergone several expansions and renovations over the years, including the addition of a research library and an exhibit on the Cold War.
- In addition to tours of the submarine, the museum features a collection of artifacts and memorabilia related to submarines and their crews.
- The USS Silversides Submarine Museum is run by the nonprofit Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum, which also operates a nearby museum dedicated to the history of the U.S. Navy.
USS Silversides (SS-236)
The USS Silversides (SS-236) was a Gato-class submarine that served in the United States Navy during World War II. It was named after a small fish known for its silvery color and its ability to hide from predators.
The submarine was commissioned on December 15, 1941, just ten days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It underwent shakedown training off the East Coast before being assigned to the Pacific Fleet in May 1942.
During its 14 war patrols, the USS Silversides sank a total of 23 enemy ships, including several Japanese warships and merchant vessels. It also rescued 14 American airmen who had been shot down over the Pacific and were adrift at sea.
The USS Silversides was known for its aggressive tactics and successful engagements with the enemy. In one notable action, the submarine engaged a Japanese convoy and sank two ships while evading enemy depth charges.
The submarine was decommissioned after the war in 1946 and was later sold for scrap. However, it was purchased by a group of Muskegon residents and brought to Muskegon, Michigan, where it was opened to the public as a museum in 1988. Today, visitors to the USS Silversides Submarine Museum can tour the submarine and learn about its history and its role in World War II. The museum also features exhibits and displays that highlight the history of submarines and their crews, as well as educational programs for students.
The USS Silversides Submarine Museum is located in Muskegon, Michigan, which is situated in the northwestern part of the state, along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Muskegon is about 35 miles northwest of Grand Rapids, Michigan's second-largest city, and about 85 miles west of Lansing, the state capital. The museum is situated on the south shore of Muskegon Lake, a large inland lake that is connected to Lake Michigan via a channel. The museum is easily accessible by car, and there is ample parking available on-site.