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WWII submarine veteran spends 70 hours every week serving to to revive the USS Drum


MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – One nuclear submarine veteran has spent years restoring the USS Drum at Battleship Memorial Park.

The USS Drum is the oldest WWII submarine in existence.

It began twenty-two years in the past when Tom Bowser was driving by way of Cell and noticed the USS Drum on a billboard.

He determined to cease by Battleship Memorial Park, and that’s the place his friendship with Lesley Waters took off.

Lesley, a Battleship park Upkeep worker, has labored on the Drum for a number of years. Tom determined he wished to assist.

“After I first bought right here they’d simply taken the boat out of the water, the strict was gone, the underside six toes of the bow was gone, it was stuffed with rust holes on the facet, it was strong rust,” mentioned Bowser.

Lesley and Tom turned a robust duo. They proceed to revive the sub all by themselves.

“So I began elevating a little bit bit of cash and me and Lesley first we began restoring the within,” mentioned Waters, “after which we began rebuilding the skin after I bought some donations after which we rebuilt the strict after which sandblasted and painted the facet, then labored our means across the boat.”

Tom mentioned the USS Drum is a reminder to guests of the 52 submarines and over 4,000 submariners who made the final word sacrifice.

“We honor the misplaced submarines. We need to preserve the reminiscence alive and loads of the households and every thing,” mentioned Bowser.

The USS Drum made a outstanding official 13 warfare patrols in WWII from April 17, 1942, by way of April 2, 1945.

Donations from sub vets from all around the nation and native companies have been an enormous assist with repairing the Drum, however Tom mentioned he and Lesley nonetheless have a methods to go.

“We’re getting alongside fairly good, we’re virtually finished with a lot of the structural work, we bought fairly a bit extra to go, however we’re getting there.”

Tom mentioned he jokes about hoping somebody will stroll as much as him with a million-dollar donation.

If you want to assist, you are able to do one of many following:

  • Go to the USS Drum (SS-228)
  • Inform others about USS Drum (SS-228)
  • Volunteer
  • Make a financial donation

If you want to volunteer, contact Tom Bowser at Tom.Bowser@drum228.org

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