Active Duty and Reserve Chief Petty Officers
By Lacie Lowry - The News On 6
A massive restoration project is under way in Muskogee on a true war hero.
The USS Batfish is a World War II submarine that's highly decorated with military honors, but her condition has highly deteriorated over the years.
A group of Active Duty and Reserve Chief Petty Officers of the United States Navy spent Saturday painting the USS Batfish black, restoring the submarine to her glory days of World War II.
"It amazes me how many people don't realize we have a sub in Oklahoma. To see a sub to begin with is a treasure, to see a World War II sub is an even bigger treasure," said Rick Dennis, Muskogee War Memorial Park Manager.
The officers working are from across Oklahoma and northern Texas. They have volunteered their time as part of their naval training.
"We're trying to give back to the community what the Navy has given us. It's been one of the best parts of our lives and it's given us great things," said MMC Casey Bills, United States Navy.
The project not only restores the sub, but preserves our history, too.
"She was commissioned in 1943. That makes her well over 60-years-old and she has seen some action and it tells a story," said Dennis.
And what a story she has. The USS Batfish was a sub killer. In February of 1945, she sank three Japanese subs in only 76 hours, a naval record that still stands today.