The Knoxville/Oak Ridge area is strategically located as a tourist destination in the east central part of the United States and is served by major Interstate corridors 40 and 75 plus McGhee Tyson Airport{1}. It is adjacent to the most visited National Park{2} and within easy driving distance of four million people{3}.

We believe, based on her strong tradition of volunteering for military service, that Tennessee needs and deserves a Military History Museum like the surrounding states all have:

Alabama;                      Army{4} 2,                  Navy{5} 1,                  Air Force{6} 2 Total 5

Georgia;                       Army{4} 5,                  Navy{5} 1,                  Air Force{6} 1 Total 7

Kentucky;                    Army{4} 4,                  Navy{5} 0,                  Air Force{6} 0 Total 4

North Carolina;            Army{4} 4,                  Navy{5} 1,                  Air Force{6} 0 Total 5

Tennessee;                   Army{4} 0,                  Navy{5} 0,                  Air Force{6} 0 Total 0

The closest submarine museum is the USS DOLPHIN ( and she is over 480 miles away in Richfield, Ohio{7}.

Tennessee has always had a very strong volunteer spirit; “GENERATIONS OF VOLUNTEERS”, Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson, commander of the Tennessee Militia, who eventually became the seventh U.S. president, penned those words to Pvt. David Crockett, Lt. Sam Houston and 5,000 other militiamen as they mobilized for the War of 1812. With little notice, these citizen-soldiers left their jobs and families, laying the cornerstone for Tennessee’s “volunteer” tradition.{8}

The State is justly very proud of this strong and lasting tradition. We need a way to bring together, in one place, commemoration and celebration of this chiastic heritage. There are certainly other museums here and some scattered sites of military historical significance. This submarine and museum facility would serve as a central location summarizing and displaying Country, Region, State, and Local military history and acting as a gateway for other local historical resources. We envision a computerized local historical site resource directory being a major part of our offerings.

Our concept calls for relocating the only remaining Guppy III, diesel-electric submarine, the USS CLAMAGORE, SS-343 from Charleston, South Carolina to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. We propose to transport and birth her on a 355’ x 50’, specially constructed, barge with a gift shop/concession stand. Our initial plan calls for a minimum of 40 parking spaces. We envision adding a 4,838 square foot heated and cooled building with two access doors, two restrooms and no windows to house our proposed Military History Museum.

Once the submarine is stable at her birth we plan to offer:

An exciting hands-on tour of a WW II/Cold War submarine for first time visitors  

An opportunity to talk to sailors who served on these type submarines and when possible speak to actual WW II submariners

Visitors will learn about systems onboard submarines and how they work. They will discover that most modern submarine equipment is related to the equipment found onboard CLAMAGORE…primarily the power plants are different, a GUPPY III diesel power plant versus a nuclear power plant; Principles remain the same

CMPA will provide submarine history videos to the students like Victory at Sea, Thunder Below, Run Silent Run Deep, etc. Just like movies that were enjoyed 50 years ago on this submarine

Knowledgeable tour guides will be available. The possibilities are numerous and the experience would be both education and fun.

We plan to offer overnight outings for Boy Scout, Girl Scout and similar groups as this is a major source of revenue for other similar Navy ship museums{10}.

CMPA sees this as one of the greatest benefits gained from saving the submarine, and a great opportunity. Visitors will actually experience what life would be like onboard a submarine

Naval Museums traditionally rank at or very near the top of city attraction lists nationally{11} and provide significant economic benefit{12}. In Navy service you are typically assigned to a specific piece of steel roaming the oceans with from 5 to over 5,000 shipmates. Unlike other services, where you are generally attached to a base, Navy shipboard service provides a very close group with attachment to a specific vessel. Vessel reunions are very common and groups like the Navy League and veterans groups typically seek vessel related locations for their reunions. Having a Navy vessel and museum in an easily accessible location would generate significant additional interest in Knoxville’s expanding tourist visitations.

The Radio Amateur Club of Knoxville{13} meets in the Wallace Memorial Baptist Church but has no permanent radio station location. They could be utilized to re-commission CLAMAGORE’s radio room. They could use her antennas to operate an amateur station and thus provide additional marketing for the sub on Armed Forces Day, Field Day and similar occasions. This would also introduce visitors to High Frequency and Very High Frequency radio communications similar to those used during CLAMAGOURE’s ocean tours.

This attraction would certainly complement and strengthen area festivals in May Tennessee Statehood Day, July Fourth, August East Tennessee History Fair and September U. S. Constitution Week. This would be a major patriotic attraction for convention groups of all kinds visiting this area. Operating hours could be extended and extra docents added to offer conventioneers day or night activities that would enhance the experience of a Made in Tennessee visit and encourage repeat visits.

References below come predominantly from Internet sources to provide easy access to the full source information.

{1}McGhee Tyson is in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which called it a primary commercial service airport since it has over 10,000 passenger boardings per year.

{2}Great Smokey Mountain National Park is the most visited per the National Parks Conservation Association ( with over nine million recreational visits in 2013.

{3}Eastern United States Population Density and Distance from Knoxville:  map by Todd Napier, TDC.

{4}Army Museums, Directorate of the Army National Guard  (

{5}Navy Museums, Historic Naval Ships Association (

{6}Air Force Museums, National Museum of the Air Force (


{8} GENERATIONS OF VOLUNTEERS , Tennessee National Guard (

{9}Proposed future museum building

{10}Naval Warship Museums Problems And Potentials, by Robert St. Jacques, American Military University,

Updated 01 October 2000 (

Name                                       Location                                   Annual visitors  Annual revenue

Battleship Cove                        Fall River, Mass                       130,000                       $1.4 million

Intrepid Sea-Air Museum         New York City                        450,000                       $5.8 million

Independence Seaport              Philadelphia                              125,000                       $0.5 million

Battleship North Carolina          Wilmington, NC                       230,000                       $2 million

Battleship Alabama                   Mobile, Al                                325,000                       $2 million

{11} City Attraction Listing, Trip Advisor (

{12} Naval Warship Museums Problems And Potentials, by Robert St. Jacques, American Military University,

Updated 01 October 2000 (

{13} RACK, founded in 1954 as a 501(c) (3) organization (

Possible initial museum on the transport barge.

Possible initial museum on the transport barge.