The Hoga, a World War II tugboat, became the newest addition to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum Monday, two weeks before the 74th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Ship horns greeted the arrival of the boat, officially classified a Navy yard tug. “That is our honorary submarine welcoming our lovely tugboat,” said Allison Hibblong, the museum’s director of operations.
Hibblong and members of the museum’s board of directors were joined by former North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays as the boat reached its new home. Hays, who began the process of acquiring the Hoga 15 years ago during his tenure as mayor, said the tugboat played an active support role when the USS Arizona and USS Nevada were bombed during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
“We have actual pictures of her putting water on the Arizona, putting water on the Nevada as she pushed the Nevada out of the channel, so it’s quite a historic vessel and, joined with the [USS] Razorback, couldn’t be a more fitting tribute to the men and women in the military,” Hays said.
The 100-foot tug is an official National Historic Landmark. Plans are underway to open the interior of the tugboat to public tours by the spring of 2016.