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News Release


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 225-04
March 25, 2004

Donation of the Harbor Tug Hoga

Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England announced today that under the authority of Title 10 United States Code Section 7306, the historic tugboat Hoga will be donated to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum (AIMM), a qualified non-profit organization located in North Little Rock, Ark. Before its opening to the public later this year in Arkansas, AIMM plans to perform work necessary to display the tugboat as a Navy memorial.

"I'm pleased this historic vessel will be preserved as a testament to the unrelenting courage and fierce determination exhibited by Hoga's crew during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941, and the difficult work that followed."

"Those in our naval services join me in congratulating and thanking the people and leadership of North Little Rock for preserving this important part of our history and making a home for Hoga."

Hoga played a crucial role during the attack by saving ships caught in the Harbor, and pushing heavily damaged vessels from the channel. For its actions, Hoga received a commendation from Adm. Chester A. Nimitz in February 1942. After the war, Hoga was leased to the Port of Oakland, Calif., where it served as the ports first fireboat. The vessel retired from this service and returned to Navy custody in 1993. Hoga was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in July 1996 and placed on donation hold due to its designation as a national historic landmark.

The Navy received applications from five eligible organizations for donation of Hoga. Of these five, four provided complete applications with plans to commemorate the harbor tugs unique history. A Navy team conducted a rigorous, objective and comprehensive review, evaluating the four complete applications under the Navy's published criteria (business/financial, technical (mooring, towing, maintenance and environmental) and curatorial/museum development. Only after a detailed evaluation of these factors did the secretary reach his decision to donate this historic vessel to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.

The Navy donates ships as a way of preserving naval history and tradition, educating the public and commemorating the men and women who built and sailed these vessels. There are currently 47 museum ships displayed all across the country, in 21 states. These museums give the general public the rare opportunity to experience and imagine shipboard life first hand; to learn about naval tradition and history; and to commemorate the men and women who built and sailed these vessels. The Navy is very confident that Hoga will be well cared for at its new location in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Further questions can be referred to Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs at (202) 781-2975.