Musicians plan benefit concert to repair historic submarine

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Rushing floodwaters from the Arkansas River caused many in Muskogee to worry about the fate of a historic submarine. Now, a group of local musicians is working to save it.

The USS Batfish emerged from seven different combat patrols during World War II. The Batfish has an unofficial record of enduring 125 depth charge explosions in one terrifying eight-hour period.

Once the war was over, the USS Batfish found its final resting place in the Port of Muskogee, along the Arkansas River.

As severe weather caused the river to flood, the waters also lifted the Batfish off of its spot.

Officials tell KJRH that the submarine now sits 12 feet uphill and its gangway, which stuck out from the stern, is twisted and unusable.

Engineers say it is actually in a good location, but it will still take about 120 semi-truck loads worth of dirt to secure the 1,500-ton submarine.

In all, it will cost about $1.5 million.

Now, the Association of Muskogee Musicians and Performers have set out to raise money to repair the submarine.

The 'USS Batfish Benefit' will occur at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Family on Saturday, July 27.

Beginning at 7 p.m., guests can listen to award-winning acts like Travis Bond & The Rebel Souls, The Billy Arnett Band and Ahna Jennings.

“The community spirit and pride within Green Country has really shown since the flood that occurred in late May. To see a group like AMMP offer to throw everyone a wonderful night to raise money, celebrate life, and relieve stress – it was a blessing,” said Brent Trout, Executive Director of the Muskogee War Memorial Park: Home of the USS Batfish.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the event is $10 per person.

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