WARRENSBURG — A giant submarine float sat just outside the front door of the Missouri Veterans Home — Warrensburg on Wednesday, Nov. 6, as the home celebrated Navy Day as part of its Branch of Service Week.
The United States Submarine Veterans Topeka-Jefferson City Base brought the float to the celebration.
The float is a Guppy Class World War II-style diesel submarine.
The display resembles the USS Guardfish (SS-217).
Dave Hutchinson, Boonville, served on the USS Guardfish (SS-217) and still rides with the base in parades.
The figurines on the Styrofoam float are members of the base.
There are currently 94 members in the base.
The float is made of three different pieces of Styrofoam.
When it’s not on parade, the floats stays in a barn near Jefferson City.
The submarine display is constructed each time it arrives at its destination while the base of the submarine lowers into the trailer for traveling.
“It travels very well, 65 miles per hour, no problem,” TJC Base Cmdr. George Arnold said.
Arnold said there is no other base in the area that has a similar float.
He said the TJC Base had a smaller float but donated it to a base near Springfield.
Arnold began serving in 1959 and served on the USS Rock in 1960.
He served eight years in the Navy and three years in the Army National Guard.
The base includes submarine veterans from WWII up to present day.
The base’s float participates in eight parades a year. The parades are spread throughout Missouri and Kansas.
It also conducts the “Tolling the Boats” ceremony at the Branson Landing.
The ceremony remembers those lost while serving on one of the 65 United States submarines that have been lost in the history of the Submarine Force.
During the ceremony, the base members read the names of each boat lost, how it was lost and the number of submariners lost or survived the war.
“Our purpose is to let people know that we still remember and support those veterans that have gone before us,” Arnold said.