NIMITZ MUSEUM - WWII MIDGET SUB (1991)

A Japanese two-man submarine, captured the day after the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, is displayed at the Admiral Nimitz Museum and State Historical Park in Fredericksburg, Tex.

That small German heritage community was the hometown of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, commander of the Pacific area during WWII.

The 78-foot, 18-ton submarine is the focal point of a year-long 50th anniversary commemoration of the Pearl Harbor attack, a grim reminder of a nation unprepared
for war.

Five of these midget subs took part in the attack. Two were sunk during the raid, one is on display in Guam and another in Japan. This boat has been at Key West, Fla., since 1947.

In 1943, it toured the nation on a large trailer as part of a U.S. Savings Bond drive to help finance the war. One of these stops was in Fredericksburg. Purchase of a “war bond” or the smaller denomination “war stamps” was the price of admission to climb upon and look inside of the unusual craft and see mannequins dressed as Japanese crewmen.

The museum will spend $60,000 restoring the boat during the next two years. After that, it will go on permanent display at Pearl Harbor.

Nimitz Museum is one of the nation's most interesting and complete displays of its kind, depicting only the Pacific theater of operation. It is partially housed in a large wooden hotel building once operated by the Nimitz family.