- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The historic tugboat, USS Hoga, will soon head to its new home in North Little Rock from California after federal officials cleared the journey, according to the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.

Museum Executive Director Greg Zonner said the museum learned Wednesday that the Pentagon approved the plan for the Hoga’s trip to Arkansas once repairs finish to prepare for an initial tow, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1PWOUVe ) reported. Officials hope the vessel will arrive by Dec. 7 in North Little Rock, which gained title to the boat a decade ago.

The Hoga is a designated National Historic Landmark for its crew’s efforts during Japan’s World War II attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. It pushed the heavily damaged Battleship Nevada away from a sea channel leading into the naval base, preventing a significant portion of the U.S. fleet from being blocked in the Hawaii harbor.

Once at the Maritime Museum, the Hoga will join the USS Razorback submarine. The submarine was present at the official Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay in 1945.

“From our standpoint, we’re really excited,” said Bob Major, executive director of the North Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau and a museum board member. “Having a boat from the first day of the war with Japan and from the very last day of the war with Japan will be quite significant. …the only other place that has that distinction is Honolulu, so we’re in fine company.”

Under the approved plan, the Hoga will be pulled behind another boat in what’s known as a “wet tow” to transport it to San Diego from Mare Island that’s near Oakland, California.

The ship will then be placed in a cradle when it arrives in San Diego on a cargo ship for a “dry tow” to New Orleans. The Hoga will then be moved up the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers to North Little Rock using a “hip tow,” where the tugboat will be tied alongside a towboat.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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