The Naval Undersea Museum Foundation resumed construction of the Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport ,Washington on 15 July 1987. Phase I construction is now underway. Additional exhibit areas and a 500 seat auditorium will be added in subsequent phases as additional funds become available.
A nationwide fund raising campaign is in progress to raise the estimated $6.6 million needed for all three phases of museum construction and major exhibitions. The Navy has donated a site overlooking the lagoon near the entrance to the Naval Undersea Weapons Engineering Station (NUWES) at Keyport, Washington, and will operate the facility when construction is complete. Currently, close to $3 million has been raised from private and corporate donations. A vigorous Museum membership campaign was kicked off in January in Washington State at a dinner attended by Washington Governor Booth Gardner, with member ship now approaching 12,000 in the local area alone.
The Naval Undersea Museum will serve as a counterpart or the Navy Museum at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., the Navy Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida, and the Submarine Museum at Groton, Connecticut. The Naval Undersea Museum is located in the Pacific Northwest at Keyport, because of Puget Sound’s strategic importance in navy affairs and Keyport’s historic role in undersea systems development. Plans for the Museum’s exhibitions are being made with the advice and guidance or navy historians and individuals long associated with the Smithsonian Institution.
The Foundation is looking for assistance from Navy Submarine League members, retired military personnel, industry, and community leaders. A $15 donation will secure a lifetime family membership in the Museum Foundation. Individual memberships are $10. Corporate and Foundation donations are also being solicited.
The Museum is a particularly exciting development for Navy Submarine League members and those interested in the historic~ development or undersea technology! While the central thrust or the Museum is the underwater weaponry or ASW, the historic~ presentation or the development or the ASW roles would be incomplete without a significant treatment or the magnificent contributions or our Submarine Forces over the years. Non-combatant undersea achievements will also have a place in the Navy Undersea Museum.
Consistent with the museum’s broadened scope of interest, TRIESTE II will be transported to the museum as soon as a ship can be scheduled for it, from the east coast. TRIESTE II was rebuilt from TRIESTE I, which — manned by Picard and Walsh made the world’s deepest dive to the bottom or the Marianas’ Trench, 35,800 reet down. The dive was made in January or 1960. TRIESTE was also used in the discovery or the wreck of the TITANIC, the examination of THRESHER and SCORPION remains on the bottom, and recovery of the Palomares nuclear bomb. Similarly, a WW II 5″-25 Mk40 wet-mount submarine gun will be on display. The primary reason for its success — as the best submarine gun of WW II — was that it was free flooding, using a dropped breach block and having no plug in the muzzle which had to be opened for draining after the submarine surfaced. This made the gun ready for immediate use as the water flowed out of the barrel on breaking free of the ocean.
If you would like to become involved in the work of the Naval Undersea Museum Foundation, contact the Foundation office at Building 57, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., 20374. Documents or artifacts appropriate for display or presentation in the archives of the Museum may be sent directly to the Museum Director at the Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station, Keyport, Washington, 98345-0580.
Officers of the Foundation include:
President: VADM Eli T. Reich, USN(Ret.)
Executive Vice Presidents:
(East) – RADM Dempster M. Jackson, USN(Ret.)
(West) – ADM John G. (Jack) Williams, USN(Ret.)
Chairman of the National Fund Raising Committee:
Mr. John B. Dalton – Goodyear Aerospace
Northeast- VADM John T. Hayward, USN(Ret.)
Southeast – Warren G. Corgan, Western Electric
Central – Mr Robert Clark – Goodyear Aerospace
Southwest – Dr. N. Yaru, formerly of Hughes, Inc
Pac. Northwest- RADM R. R. Fountain. USN(Ret.)