U.S.S. Silversides Submarine Museum to open this weekend with brand new exhibit, annual Lost Boat Ceremony and documentary screening
The U.S.S. Silversides Museum will kick start its season with a new exhibit as well as events commemorating Memorial Day this weekend.
MUSKEGON, MI – The U.S.S. Silversides Museum will kick start
its season with a new exhibit as well as events commemorating Memorial Day this
The museum officially opens on May 25, when it unveils its
“U.S.S. Flier” exhibit to the public.
The exhibit tells the story of the U.S.S.
Flier, a World War II submarine that sank in 1944 after it was struck by a mine
in the Balabac Strait in the Philippines. The sub sank, bringing down the 78
men who were inside.
Fourteen men who were out on the decks survived the
explosion, but only eight, including Grand Haven native Alvin Jacobson,
survived the 17-hour swim to land.
The men then swam to another island, where they encountered
the Coastwatchers, a group of sympathetic Filipinos who helped them evade the
Japanese until they were picked up the by U.S.S. Redfin.
The exhibit will depict this story through artifacts, video
and audio, said Frank Marczak, the museum’s executive director.
It will also
include recreations of the hut the Coastwatchers used, as well as the U.S.S.
Flier’s cigarette deck, which was above the water at the time of the explosion,
In addition, the exhibit will explain how the submarine was
recovered, using information Jacobson collected and examined before his death
“This is kind of the first big exhibit that this board has
undertaken,” since the museum opened in 2008, Marczak said.
He said the exhibit couldn’t have happened without at
$10,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, $40,000 from
the Grand Haven Community Foundation and “generous” donations by private
“It’s a pretty big deal,” he said.
To celebrate the opening of the U.S.S. Flier exhibit, the
museum will offer $6 tickets all day Saturday. The tickets include museum entry
and admission into the U.S.S. Silversides Submarine.
Otherwise, visitors can check out the exhibit and other
museum offerings from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. seven days a week throughout the
Museum and submarine admission is $15 for adults; $12.50 for
those 62 years old and above; $10.50 for children 5 to 18 years old; and free
for those under 4 years old.
The museum will also kick off the season with its annual
Lost Boat Ceremony at 11 a.m. on May 26. The event honors World War II submariners who
lost their lives during the war.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Vice Admiral Albert H.
Konetzi, Jr., who served as deputy commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. State
Sen. Geoff Hansen, R-Hart, will also attend and speak at the event.
Later that day, the museum will also host two screenings of
the documentary “Honor Flight: One Last Mission” in conjunction with Harbor
Hospice and Muskegon Community College.
The film follows four
World War II veterans and the people who help them visit the Washington, D.C., memorial
that was created for them in 2004 through a program called Honor Flight, which flies
veterans to the memorial.
Marczak said the film was emotional and moving.
“This is a ‘bring your Kleenex’ movie,” he said.
The screenings are free, but space is limited. To reserve a
spot for either the 2 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. screening, call Harbor Hospice at (231)
728-3442 or the Silversides Museum at (231) 755-1230.
For more information about the U.S.S. Flier exhibit, the
Lost Boat Ceremony or the “Honor Flight” screening, visit www.silversidesmuseum.org.