I was born in California. I spent my early years in Paramount, which isn't far from Long Beach where the Spruce Goose, the largest airplane ever constructed, was once located, and the RMS Queen Mary, a retired oceanliner, is still. I have seen both of these historical vessels, and I have very fond memories of both.
I moved to the Charleston area when I was 13. I did not really understand my new state's historical value until I had a child of my own. A few years ago my daughter and I made a trip to see some of the area's historical sites. Before this day I had never seen a real submarine, let alone set foot on one.
We went to see the CSS H.L. Hunley. Then we visited Patriots Point. The first thing I saw was the USS Clamagore. She was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.
As we crossed the walkway onto the deck of this sub we were greeted by a man who knew a lot about her history and gave me and my daughter a personal tour. He explained to us that the sub was the first of her kind, because she had been retrofitted to shoot a different type of torpedo than other subs. He also told us she was known as a Guppy III class sub.
We spent four hours with this gentleman. He answered every question we had. It was like we were new crew members and he was showing us the ins and outs as to how this sub worked.
He told us the USS Clamagore was the first and now she is the very last of her kind.
I have read that Patriots Point wants to get rid of her. We have to save this piece of history, not only for people like me but for children of the future.
As of last December, there were only six World War II sub vets left in South Carolina. We have to pick up where the "Greatest Generation" left off.
Mary Scott Drive