Makin Island Sailors Prepare World War II Sub for Big Screen

Story Number: NNS080208-02Release Date: 2/8/2008 10:51:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alec J. Noe, Commander, Naval Surface Force Public Affairs

MOBILE, Ala. (NNS) -- Sailors from the Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Makin Island (LHD 8) continued to restore one of the oldest existing U.S. submarines at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Ala., Jan. 30 in order to prepare the World War II era vessel for its appearance in an upcoming film.

Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW/AW) Jonathan Davis and Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW/AW) Levi Miller took the lead on the restoration project several months ago after hearing that the decommissioned USS Drum (SS 228), which sank 15 Japanese ships during World War II, would be used for filming in March 2008.

"It's rewarding to help return a World War II vessel to its original seagoing condition -- especially since there is only one worker and volunteer working at the moment," Davis said.

When the pair found that there was little funding for repairs and only one staff member assigned to maintaining Drum, they led a group of Makin Island Sailors in donating their time to bring the submarine back to her former glory through sanding, painting, and general cleaning so the whole world might see the submarine in a way that no one has in more than 30 years.

"I wanted to contribute my time and energy to restore a historical piece of our military and assist my community," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class George Kraynak, one of the Drum volunteers assigned to Makin Island. "I found the experience very rewarding and would recommend anyone to donate some of their time and come out to see a piece of history."

Makin Island is currently under construction at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems with a planned delivery date to the U.S. Navy of Nov. 14, 2008.

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