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Save The Clamagore

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:41 am
by Board Admin

> From:
> To:
> Subject: Save The Clamagore
> Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2012 18:26:54 -0700
> Hi shipmate,
> As you may have heard, the USS Clamagore at Patriots Point is facing the scrap heap. Neither Patriots Point nor the state of South Carolina has the money to pay for the much needed multi-million dollar overhaul.
> The USS Clamagore Veterans Association has established a fund and a website where you may donate money to save the Clamagore.
> Please visit the website here:
> A $2.00 donation is all that is asked of each of us (you may, of course, give more as many have). We also need your help is seeing that every submariner in the world knows about Clamagore.
> So, after you've donated, please pass this message on to every submariner that you know. Send it by email; post it on facebook pages of submarine friends; tweet it to your followers on twitter; put it on your blog or website; have your kids and grandkids put it on their facebook pages. You get the idea.
> Your help is much appreciated.
> Steve Morawiec
> USSVICB Newsletter Editor

Re: Save The Clamagore (UPDATE)

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:01 am
by Board Admin
Final descent

Abigail Darlington
Posted: November 2, 2013

The USS Clamagore is nearing the end of its rope at Patriots Point. The Patriots Point Development Authority plans to hand over the rusting submarine to Reefmakers, a Florida-based organization that specializes in sinking vessels to create artificial reefs.

The Clamagore could be out of Charleston Harbor as soon as next month, said Mac Burdette, executive director of Patriots Point.

Once Reefmakers finds a destination, the sub will be taken from the state-owned tourist attraction and remediated to ensure it won’t harm the environment.

The Clamagore Veterans Association has tried for two years to keep the sub its members served on from heading to the ocean floor, but they couldn’t raise the estimated $4 million.

The 400-member group also was unable to find a municipality or organization to adopt the vessel and fund its upkeep, which would cost at least $250,000 annually, said Bob Dewar, president.

The Patriots Point Development Authority extended the deadline several times to give the association more time to raise money. The agency also helped locate donors, Dewar said.

“Patriots Point, as far as the administration, has gone way above and beyond the call of duty. Previous boards ignored her, and that’s how she got in such bad shape,” Dewar said. “It just comes a time when you have to ask what’s going to be the best thing not just for Patriots Point but for the boat. Submerged, (the sub) is going to last a lot longer.”

A separate group of sub veterans, The Clamagore Restoration and Maintenance Association, also took up the cause. It said it’s not willing to let the sub go down without a fight.

“We’re submarine sailors, we don’t give up. That’s our history,” said spokesman Rick Wise. “When we give up, then we’re usually on the bottom for good.”

The group’s immediate goal is to find a place to keep the sub while they seek to raise restoration money. Wise said he is not convinced that the project would be as expensive as Patriots Point has estimated.

“I agree that it’s going to cost a bit to do it, but whether it’s going to be that much or not, that’s just a number,” he said.

Patriots Point commissioned an independent marine engineer to conduct the assessment.

The state agency can’t afford another expensive vessel repair. It still has to repay a majority of the $9.2 million it borrowed from the state to patch the Laffey warship. The aircraft carrier Yorktown is also deteriorating, and that fix could cost up to $100 million.

“If we had $4 million available, we would choose under our priorities to put it into The Yorktown. It’s not a matter of heart, it’s a matter of business,” Burdette said.

Fundraising experts told Dewar that it would take his group up to five years to raise the money it needed. Meanwhile, Burdette noted that the marine engineer’s report determined the vessel couldn’t withstand a hurricane.

“We’ve given them almost two years to raise the money to restore the Clamagore,” Burdette said. “It’s not been possible and we are not going to take the chance of the Clamagore going through another hurricane season as fragile as she is. It could end up in catastrophic results.”

Burdette said the state agency will work with the Clamagore Veterans Association to create a landside memorial at Patriots Point to honor the sub and its crew.

Wise said his group fears the fate of the submarine if it’s turned over to Reefmakers.

“If it becomes too expensive for them to make it environmentally neutral, then they will sell it as scrap. That’s probably what will happen to it,” he said.

Joe Weatherby with Reefmakers disagreed.

“We save (vessels) from the scrappers,” he said. “Our proposition is to find them a good home,” he said. “We’re all about the dignity of the ships and the veterans who served on them.”

Weatherby said turning the Clamagore into a reef will cost millions of dollars, but that he’s already seen interest from communities who would be willing to cover the cost. ... p_docnum=1

Re: Save The Clamagore

Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:55 am
by Board Admin
Submarine vets continue push to save USS Clamagore
Posted: Apr 04, 2014 10:20 AM EST
Updated: Apr 11, 2014 10:24 AM EST
By News 2 Staff

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC - While Patriots Point is under contract to allow the Clamagore submarine to be sunk and used as a fishing and diving reef off the coast of Florida, many Lowcountry submarine veterans say this battle is not over.

The USS Clamagore needs about $4 million of work. That's money Patriots Point does not have.

Tom Lufkin is the Chairman of the Clamagore Restoration and Maintenance Association. He says his group is asking Patriots Point to give them the Clamagore. They would display it alongside the HL Hunley at a museum at the old Navy base.

However, Patriots Point officials have already signed a contract with a Florida company to have the Clamagore taken to Florida and sunk off the coast as a reef.

State Rep. Joe Danning has a resolution at the statehouse that would require patriots point to wait a year for additional fundraising before allowing the Clamagore to be sunk. Danning says the fact that the resolution could interfere with the contract Patriots Point's board has signed may prevent the resolution from passing.

Lufkin says they just need that one extra year. "If we can't raise the money in a year after becoming a 501(c)(3) will acknowledge that it can't be done. But we know the money can be raised in the project is a viable project."

Mac Burdette, the executive director of Patriots Point says, "we respect them, we revere them, because they are our veterans, but the bottom line is, they are too late."

Patriots Point has only raised about $35,000 for the $4 million project. It costs Patriots Point about $60,000 per year to maintain the Clamagore in it's current state.

You can visit for more information. ... -clamagore

Re: Save The Clamagore

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 12:23 am
by Board Admin
Submariners are Suing South Carolina to Save Cold War-Era Attack Boat
By: Ben Werner
April 19, 2019 5:35 PM • Updated: April 22, 2019 12:11 PM

This post has been updated to clarify the proposed location of the artificial reef made from the hull of former USS Clamagore. The attack boat was previously planned to be sunk off of Key West, Fla. However, the lawsuit said the proposed location was off the coast of Charleston, S.C.

A group of retired submariners is fighting the State of South Carolina to keep what is believed to be the last World War II and Cold War-era GUPPY III submarine from forever becoming an underwater playground for fish and SCUBA divers.

Citing the high cost of preserving the 75-year-old former USS Clamagore (SS-343) at a pier across the Cooper River from Charleston, S.C., the sub’s operator, the Patriots Point Development Authority, wants to turn it into an artificial reef off the coast of Charleston, S.C., according to court documents obtained by USNI News. Previously, Patriots Point officials had said the submarine would be sunk off of Key West, Fla.

The all-volunteer USS Clamagore SS-343 Restoration and Maintenance Association say, according to a 1979 agreement transferring Clamagore to the state, the sub can’t be sunk without approval from the Secretary of the Navy. Plus, the volunteers are arguing in court they have a better plan to preserve the sub.

For a fraction of the price it will cost to sink Clamagore, the volunteers say they can bring the boat to a nearby drydock, have its hull repaired, according to their lawsuit filed earlier this week in a Charleston County, S.C., court.

“Detyens Shipyards, Inc. has estimated it will only cost $300,000 to transport the submarine to North Charleston, dry dock it, clean, repair and preserve the complete hull,” the volunteers’ lawsuit states.

Their goal is to move Clamagore for display ashore near the H.L. Hunley museum housing the Confederate submarine in North Charleston, S.C., according to the group’s website.

Instead of giving the volunteers a chance to raise funds necessary for the preservation, the suit claims the development authority is intent on asking lawmakers to transfer $2.7 million from the state’s education budget to fund preparations to sink the sub off the Carolina coast.

The Charleston, S.C., Post and Courier first reported the pending lawsuit. A spokesman for the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum did not immediately return a request for comment. U.S. Navy officials told USNI News on Friday they were not aware of any pending request to sink Clamagore.

In 2017, Naval History magazine reported the museum had explored other options for Clamagore and found that scrapping the boat or sinking it as a reef were the only cost-effective options.

“Reefing,” Patriot’s Point Director of Operations Bob Howard, said at the time, is a “dignified way to continue [the Clamagore’s] existence in another mission.”

For nearly 40 years, Clamagore has served as a museum showcasing the rugged conditions common in middle 20th century’s diesel-powered submarine service. The development authority, which operates the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, also has on display World War II carrier, the former USS Yorktown (CV-10), and destroyer, the former USS Laffey (DD-724). Annually, the about 270,000 people visit the museum, according to the Patriots Point fact sheet.

Clamagore was originally a Balao-class submarine, launched from Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., during the closing days of World War II. In 1948 the sub underwent a greater underwater propulsion program, or GUPPY, upgrade. At first, Clamagore was a GUPPY II and then a GUPPY III when a 15-foot section was added to accommodate new technology, according to U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. For most of its service, Clamagore nicknamed the “Gray Ghost of the Florida Coast” operated in the Atlantic and Caribbean.

From 1952 to 1954, a newly promoted Lt. William Crowe served aboard Clamagore. Crowe would eventually become Adm. Crowe, the 11th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1985, according to his biography with the Naval History and Heritage Command. ... ttack-boat