Museum Relocation

Its no secret, the park has some issues.  The flood in 2019 caused some serious issues.  On top of the flooding, the lease is up on the land.  The War Memorial Park Board commissioned a feasibility study to consider moving the USS Batfish.  They considered options that the study presented.  You can download and read a draft of the executive summary in the link below.

Just recently the board met and it looks like the Three Forks Harbor location is at the top of the list.

One thing we know for sure, it will be expensive, a lot of work and take a lot of dedicated people to keep the history and memories alive.

You can watch the recent interview by Channel 6 news with the Alex Reynolds, Chairman for the War Memorial Trust here.

2019 Flood

A week of relentless rain caused water on the Arkansas River near Muskogee, Oklahoma, to rise more than 42 feet, inundating the submarine. The river was higher than any level since May 1943, when it topped 48 feet. The river hasn’t hit 40 feet since then; the closest it came was 1986, when levels hit 39.6 feet.

The Batfish floated in 1986, too, and came close to snapping its lone tether and floating off.

But if it wasn’t for that history and the work of dozens of people over the last 48 hours, the Batfish might have broken free, floated downstream and collided with a bridge, or somehow worse, a dam.

The entire site of the museum and memorial was at risk of flooding. The mast of the USS Oklahoma, which sat at the bottom of Pearl Harbor after Dec. 7th, 1941 for 70 years, was already underwater once again.

Volunteers did the best they can to save history. The group rescued and cataloged 17,000 artifacts, some priceless, others personal, before the worst of the flooding hit. They couldn’t save them all, but they saved the ones with real history, real meaning.

Photos from the 2019 Flood